Giant of a man

Marshall Perkins has been around a long time. “How long, Wanky?”

Well, one time we were sitting around and I asked if anyone remembered when coffee became part of cycling. In Texas there sure as hell weren’t any coffee shops in 1982 where you could swing by and get a quick cup before or after the ride. The closest thing I remember was Sweetish Hill Bakery in Austin, but nobody sat around drinking coffee pre- or post-ride.

Marsh remembered, and he even remembered the first couple of shops that served espresso, some joint in Santa Monica back around the time they invented tectonic plates. I got a great education about coffee-shops-back-in-the-day and we all agreed that they were a massive anomaly, but then again, so were bikers.

Marshall is a giant of a man and not just physically. He’s always stood up for the downtrodden, always been ready to lend a hand, always taken the side of the underdog. In our cycling community, he and his wife are pillars of support for those who wind up in need, especially when winding up in need is the result of a biker winding up on someone’s bumper.

I always wonder about what makes people good. Then a few days ago I saw a magazine article from 1982 about a guy named Captain Jim Perkins, California Highway Patrol commander of the Ontario office.

Here’s the link to the story, which is even more relevant today than it was in 1982. The entire article by Captain Perkins is typed out at the end of the document for easier reading. Captain Perkins is, of course, Marshall’s dad. The apple stayed pretty close to the tree.



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24 thoughts on “Giant of a man”

  1. A most deserved commendation of a fine man, loved and appreciated by all who know him!

  2. 1982 ….. 55 years of age … 89 now

    Interesting that his safety advice is still what we still hear today.

    I hope he is riding carbon, all carbon now at 15 lbs or less on a new cloud.

    1. I knew someone would catch that. Bought mine from Freewheeling in 1982 along with my Nishiki International.

  3. Thank You Seth. You show up to THIS party every day, that is rare and appreciated. Pops is 88 and at 84 put away his 1600cc motorcycle and his bike.
    I started racing almost 40 years ago, they didn’t make size 48 shoes back then. I had to use tennis shoes until something could be made in Italy and shipped over almost a year later.
    Who remembers the Pioneer Bakery on Main? I loaf of warm fresh baked bread after a hundy was great!

  4. Everything in this post triggers certain memories. My first decent bike to ride, Fuji S-10s 1980, then first decent racing bike, Trek (didn’t have many models then) 1984. Such a sweet bike.

    Coffee. In my college racing days we talked about coffee, but there was no place to get a good cup. You could get decent beans at the food co-op.

    It wasn’t until I started riding with a local group in Fair Haven in 2002, that we started meeting at a local breakfast stop, but we usually had coffee after the ride. Then three of my ride-mates got into business together and eventually opened an Italian style bistro in Fair Haven, and we moved our meet-ups there, and that is when we started consuming before ride coffee as part of the group ritual.

    On some days now, we start there with coffee, we ride to Asbury Park and have coffee at Cafe Volan (Home of Black Flag Coffee), and then ride home and go for coffee at Booskerdoo in Fiar Haven. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

    Great reads.

    1. I definitely think coffee was a late 90’s, early 2000’s thing. I remember seeing my first Sckubrats at the airport in Somewheresville and thinking, “Wow, I’ll order a cup of coffee,” and having no idea what any of it meant.

  5. Love ya Thrash, sounds like your Dad is another gem. Thanks for writing, Seth. I love it when you highlight a member of our peloton. 🙂

  6. Old skool will always be cooler than new school. Pops and Marshall are the coolest of cool.

    1. No argument. And what a great article, written two months after I bought my first sport bike.

  7. In the late 80’s and early 1990’s, living in Sacto there were coffee shops opening left and right, which I attributed to and increased enrolled in AA and number of methodone clinics in close proximity, they all had to drink something after and discuss. Which soon, before and after club rides, were frequented by cyclist….but of course there is no correlation between the first 2 groups and the last group…..

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