Scrutinizing the Squish

The-switchTo Squish or not to Squish? What a Stupid Question.

You’ve seen it a thousand times before. Lord knows you probably do it all the time. One of those weird human behaviours recently introduced into the ever-growing catalogue of weird human behaviour: Reality TV shows, monster trucks, men dressing up as girls, girls dressing up as men, webcams, and now…The Squish.

You know what I’m talking about. You’re outside the schoolyard, behind the bike shop, down by the place where they should have a dirt jump park, or anywhere else where there are mountain bikers and you’ll see them. Squishin’ their forks, squishing the rear shock, squishin’ when they’re talking, squishin’ when they’re standing still, squishin’ not even knowing that they’re squishin’.

And you’re just as guilty. What’s the first thing you do when you get on a suspension bike for the first time? Change gears? Adjust the seat? Check it’s weight? Nope, you give ‘er a good squish. You reef down on the front fork, you take it for a spin and thrust your butt down on the rear suspension a bunch of times to see how it feels. Then, for good measure you pretty much hump the thing to make sure the front fork and the back shock got what it takes. You’re pushin’ the cushin’ and god darn if it ain’t the weirdest thing.

What is it? What makes people cruise around on perfectly normal bikes made from A to B and instead push down on their suspension like monkeys punching candy buttons? They know what it feels like. They know it moves. Is it some sort of infatuation thing, like the bangs that constantly need flicking, the hat that always needs to be adjusted? Or is it more a man flex thing, pumping wares to all those who would watch: “Look at me, I have suspension, and I can squish it many times and it will not break. It is long and plush just like me…Want to see me squish some more?”

Shouldn’t we be preserving the squish for when we really need it? Could you argue that every time we squish a shock or a fork when we’re on the road or cruising a crowd or just freakin’ standing there like a dumbass a wasted squish? I mean, every piece of gear has a certain lifespan. Shouldn’t the plushness be preserved? I guess it’s like a lot of things in North American life. If you got it, might as well flaunt it. No need to worry about the future…no need to save. Floor the Hummer off the start line; load up the credit card. Blow it all and blow it all now.

I’m as guilty as the next squisher. I’ll admit it. I squish on a regular basis. Squish my forks in the shop before bed. Squish my way down to the post office. Squish down the road on the way home from a ride. Maybe it’s just this crazy world we’re living in where you can squish. You’re like, “Damn, this bike squishes…it actually squishes!” And you’re just so blown away that the tire actually moves up and down and the rear tire actually does the same that you just can’t help squishing until you blow your seals and your bike thinks your trying to breed with it and your neighbours who don’t have a bike think you’re insane because all you seem to do is cruise around on this big weird bike of yours and work it over like it’s a horse or a mule or some sort of mutated pogo stick with wheels.

Anyway, next time you get a chance, take notice of the squishers. Ask yourself why you do it, why they do it, why everybody does it. It’s weird behavior and we should understand the phenomena. Let’s face it, we’re all addicted to the squish. In fact, I got to go right now, I’m feeling a little hankering for the up and down…the cushion’ in my dual suspension is calling for a little pushin’. And I’m gonna give it some.