In the current issue of Dirt Rag (#178, on sale now) you’ll find a ground-breaking interview with Reverend Bob Seals of CoolTool, Kleen Kanteen and Retrotec fame. This multi-faceted artist, activist, frame builder, race promoter and team owner, if not agitator, ran his whole operation out of his ranch just outside of Chico, California.
Seals was first interviewed in Dirt Rag #38 in July 1994 by Fernando Avallone and we strongly suggest you find and read that original interview, there’s too much there to miss. We also suggest you read the new interview by the same author in Issue #178 if you haven’t yet. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting outtakes that didn’t (or couldn’t) make it to print. Most of these unimaginable stories are being told for the first time right here, in this second installment.
Vermont: MTB NASCAR
We’re at Mt Snow, Vermont, for a NORBA National race and I had an idea. We had a bucket/toilet we carried with us, with stickers on it and usually it had dog water in it. The XC race was a short circuit and just a few laps, so I said, “Ok guys, every time I come around it’s NASCAR. Two of you bring the toilet out and put it on the start finish line—I couldn’t give a shit about the race—I am going to sit on it, you guys have a beer duct-taped to a stick and hand it out to me, you know, like through the race car window, this is racing.”
So it was a pit stop: they cleaned my ass off instead of the windshield, everybody had a job. Cameras were popping, people were going nuts all around us. I have a picture of that, I’m sitting on the toilet and I have a beer in my hand at the start/finish line. Just like a NASCAR pitstop you know…
Once we were at the Naked Crit, in Vermont again, I think it was 1996, and Shaun Palmer and this other guy showed up naked riding a minibike and jumped right into the crit—it turns out the cops were chasing them. They take off and the cops want to shut us down.
He [Shaun] thinks I’m his real father because I was friends with his mom back when I was a teen, and he isn’t sure who his real father is. I met him back in the snowboard days; he did everything, a gifted athlete. In 2000 we were all hanging out in Chico, CA one time, and went out drinking and got kicked out of seven different bars that night, I was kicked out of an Irish bar for life. I was having a tug of war with Shaun with my shirt at Lasalle’s, after Shaun ripped it off my back. I couldn’t be at the bar without a shirt, and the only shirt they had was a pink girl’s one, so I had to wear this really, really small, tight, and ripping apart shirt the rest of the night.
In another bar Shaun peed on his own hand, then shook hands with the doorman, and then told him about it. We didn’t know he was the doorman [at that time] so the guy kicks us out when he sees us at the bar; it was a really wild night. I got kicked out of Duffy’s and to this day I can’t go back there, I was passing out vomiting in the bathroom so they eventually called the cops and got me out of there.