Words and Photos by Danielle Baker
Rig life lessons are like being homeschooled by Johnny Knoxville; you better learn fast or you might end up concussed and covered in urine in the back of the rig. One of the first things I learned was that peeing while the rig is moving is exactly like peeing on a plane; inevitably as soon as you get the safety latch latched on the bathroom door you hit turbulence, or a curb.
Here are some words from the boys who taught me about rig life, sitting down to pee, how to pick up girls, and who define the word demure as 'the opposite of Danielle'. These are three of my favorite people.
1. What are your favorite (and least favorite) memories from the road?
Steiner – Crankworx was nothing but bikes, beer and good times. Really everywhere that we had an event was pretty cool. . . although some of our stops were a bit different, damm you Winnemucca.
Chad – Not easy to answer. Could be the proper classy dinner we created or the 3am blurry dance party at the truck stop.
Joe-Jay – The ocean fuels my soul. West Coast, mi amor, you will always be my one true love. Worst stop? Denver. Don't ask.
2. You were brought on with Sombrio as a Festival intern for the summer and were supposed to be headed back to school in the fall. What happened? Too much fun? Couldn't give up Rig Life ?
Joe-Jay – There's no such thing as too much fun, but one day you wake up and you don't know where your life is heading. Then you realize it's back into the Nevada desert and you get your ass back to school.
3. Pretty sure we saw a photo of you with a moustache in San Francisco, how long did it take to grow that stache?
Steiner – It took all of 3 seconds to grow and it's weird, I never thought I would grow a black one.
4. Rollercoaster or strip club?
Chad – Riding Roller Coasters with strippers best of both worlds!
5. I hear you are a good dancer, who taught you your smooth moves? Kobe or Drake?
Joe-Jay – Comparing the way I gig to Kobe or Drake is like comparing a Volkswagen camper van to the Sombrio Rig, I'm just on a whole other level.
6. If you were American, who would you have voted for? Obama or Romney? Why?
Chad – Actually I would vote for Ron Swanson. He is a real man that doesn’t put up with shit. No lies, no bullshit, just straight up business no strings attached. Second choice would have to be Kenny Powers, no need to reason why.
7. Ho or housewife?
Joe-Jay – People like to say that anything's possible but lets not kid ourselves, we all know you can never turn a ho into a housewife, it's science. Which do I prefer? Both… Guess I'm headed back to Utah.
8. Rumor has it your brother chopped off your heel with a lawnmower?
Steiner – Yeah, it happened when I was 7, I was better than him at soccer he needed to slow me down.
9. If you could be anywhere in the world right now where would you be?
Steiner – Right here right now, living the dream.
10. Are you sorry for partying?
Chad – Never sorry! Life is short, have fun, laugh lots, go fast and take chances…. Good talk.
Rig life taught me a lot, and I'm also pretty sure that it made me gay. No matter how old, how committed, or how polite they are boys look at girls. It's a fact. Another fact is that when you are the one girl on the road with three boys no one ever says 'hey, check out the six pack on that Ryan Reynolds look-a-like over there'. I got used to doing double takes when feminine legs, bums, boobs and pouty lips walked by just to enjoy the comradery of the confirming head nods and appreciative raised eyebrows that followed. After being home for a week, I caught myself double taking on a female runner and thought, "did rig life make me gay?" Maybe I just miss the boys.
When I tried on the 'I'm sorry for partying' shirt at the SF Bike Expo, a stranger walked by and commented "No you're not." It's true, like Chad, I'm not sorry. Rig life created a perfect storm of constant new friends, new towns, cheap alcohol and a seemingly endless list of reasons to celebrate. There is a chance that I killed more brain cells in a month of rig life than I did the year I turned 19. I'm not advocating alcoholism, unless that works for you, but I am advocating partying. Climb fake waterfalls, do burn-outs in rental garages, watch strippers do the worm, karaoke in small towns, eat bugs, and start dance parties at truck stops. Have stories to tell and memories that make you cringe, just a little, with embarrassment. Life is short.
Living the rig life has changed me. Some of these changes will wear off over time, like bracing for a bump when I sit down to pee or checking for hidden cameras before I get changed. Hopefully some of them will last longer, like taking chances, making new friends, and being (just a little) more demure.
The Sombrio rig is home now for a little down time before hitting the road with an aggressive schedule for 2013. Rig life may be coming to a town near you!