Scare BnB in Austin
Éclat meets Muck Man - Does not end well
14 Oct 2014
Words and photos by Andrew White
A weeklong trip in Austin with Éclat What's the worst that can happen? We found out within hours of arrival. Austin is great, but we took a chance with an Air BnB booking. If it worked out it would have been the ultimate getaway, far from dirty 6th street and the liquor pitchers that ruin the following waking hours. If only we were so lucky.
Muck Man fucked us over pretty hard... let me work in to this. Going to Austin for a weeklong BMX trip has been done before. Everyone invited on Éclat spent their time in the city and seen the spots and gone to the bars and taco spots, and in an effort to set this venture apart from the others we booked a dream AirBNB. The listing said ‘Eco Retreat Centrally Located’ or something to that effect, and had a photo of the owner holding a baby goat very Messiah-like. It was going to be the house that riders wanted to unwind at, crack a beer, cook in the massive kitchen, explore the surroundings, take a dip in the pool, and on the nights with more ambition catch an easy cab downtown to kill brain cells at Shakes. One thing that was set out to avoid was to not spread out all around Austin, bunking on different couches, forcing the obliging TM to make the rounds morning and evening shuttling people. Expanding the spot offerings in Austin isn’t really an option (or at least not terribly feasible when the objective is to shoot a year’s worth of catalog images with five very different riders), but at least this time the crash pad will make the trip more relaxed but also organized.
The TM on the trip got picked up at the airport around a common dinner time, and having been on the road himself for the past month, the thought of a massive grocery run in order to allow smooth lodging for the week sounded wonderful. $350 to Ralph’s grocery behind, the standard issue Ford Econoline headed to the AirBNB. The long driveway leading to the grounds was tucked off a very major road in Austin, right by that spot where [Austin Legend Rider] did [Timeless Wallride/Gap/Rail] (if you’ve never been to Austin, that’s what is heard everywhere).
The entrance was quintessential Texas, with multiple Airstream trailers corralled next to a ranch house with stock tanks, thick weeds, and cactus plants. The van was unloaded, grocery bags brought to the kitchen, and beds claimed. It’s dark, a good sign that we are the only occupants in this rental. The ranch house where we’re staying is, cool? I mean it is cool, just a little neglected. There’s obviously no A/C, and there’s no way chlorine has been trickled down into the pool out back since Reagan’s second term. Aha! That’s the Eco charm. Ok so maybe this place is cool, we get it, the dinginess was just in an effort to be a bit greener.
Enter Muck Man, the Dick. Bearing an eerie resemblance to BMXers in the early oughts, he was tall and slender and with disgusting dreadlocks. Before you washed up readers out there start losing focus on the story with flashbacks to back rail fufs, let me screenplay out our initial dialogue with Muck Man.
MUCK MAN, ENTERS ANGRILY
What the fuck is going on here?!?!? Every light is on in this whole place!
It’s night time.
We’re gonna run out of power before ten o’ clock! Shut these lights off! Didn’t you read the listing? This is an Eco house! We run on solar. There’s no A/C. You only rented the back room, and the communal spaces are shared.
You never mentioned living in darkness. So we can’t use the kitchen? What about the living room?
MUCK MAN, DEFENSIVELY
Well, depends what you’re going to use them for, are you going to be respectful?
Cooking and relaxing, respectively. And we can be respectful. Unless that means sitting in the dark. What about having a pit fire out back to chill?
MUCK MAN, PUT OFF AND MORE DEFENSIVE
Fire outside? Dunno, can you guys be respectful? There are other guests.
This house is empty besides us.
MUCK MAN, ASSHOLEDLY
Yeah, but there might be people staying here. And when that happens you better be respectful! I think an Asian chick* is staying here tomorrow. (*his exact words)
This went on for a good hour, us against him back and forth. He was genuinely the biggest head-up-his-ass hippie I’ve encountered, and I’ve been to Bonnaroo. The whole time the argument is escalating I’m staring at the pile of perishable groceries laid out on the couch (not very respectfully), and reminding myself that we’ve paid up front since an overseas company did the booking. I had to negotiate this well enough to save the groceries and have the option of getting our money back, but my skills were more Veep than House of Cards. He accused me of not reading the listing, and I countered by saying that I in fact did, and there were no baby goats on the property as promised. Realizing that we probably weren’t going to gain any ground arguing with a man who thinks positive thoughts will re-freeze ice caps, we calmed down and set out to cook dinner.
Geoff immediately dropped his iPhone in a mosquito nursery outside, the stove didn’t work since it was out of propane, and the power was running out.
Our quixotic team house was falling apart. Darryl left to go home, Burns left, having been fed hours worth of future Bonedeth nightmare material over the past couple hours, and Geoff made his way to Hawk’s. Shane, Dan, Stevie, and I resigned to our designated part of the house, and enjoyed the limited internet until it shut off by Coleman’s hand before midnight.
After going back over the AirBNB posting thoroughly, I had more than enough confidence we could tell Coleman to GFH, which we did the following day. It was just too weird. He bathes in the cesspool pond out back.
Through all that though, it was a solid riding trip. Generic and unseen spots were ridden around Austin and San Antonio, and locals Burns and Darryl did a good job at somehow giving us leads on spots that we all hadn’t been to twenty times over. We also did not session house park once which is a marvel in itself. BMX and those involved are extremely adaptable. Stranger things have happened to groups of guys pulled together to a city with the objective to ride street. It would definitely be out of the ordinary for a trip to go without a hitch, and I’m fine with that.
Post Script: Muck Man fucked the 'Asian chick'. We all heard it.
He was genuinely the biggest head-up-his-ass hippie I’ve encountered, and I’ve been to Bonnaroo.
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