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Mike Cherney’s Knife

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DURING THE EXTENSIVE AND YEAR-LONG PLANNING, scouting, reconnaissance and beta collection phase of the Mythical State of Jefferson Permanent, Mike Cherney and Yonder communicated weekly if not daily. Phone calls, landline only. No texting. Some handwritten letters. And hundereds of emails. Mike is a photographer, 60’s survivor, jeweler, husband, father, bike rat, homesteader, builder, Toyota pick-up owner and oral historian of the fireside yarn variety. What follows is a particularly poetic excerpt from an unsolicited email about his knife.

Some question or interest was raised about my carrying a folding knife while cycling.

I don’t usually give this a lot of thought maybe ‘cause I have always had a knife on me of one kind or other.

It’s a tool, a pretty simple one, which does many tasks.

It makes toothpicks, kindling, wooden pins/pegs, temporary shelters, snares, spoons, forks and walking sticks.

It cuts food items, rim tape—used this move once to resolve a friend’s serious tire seating issue in the middle of another Nowhere after his 3rd flat—cardboard, paper, duck tape, handlebar tape. Even whittled copper wire down to size and got a remote water well back up and running.

My knife opens boxes, screwed together things, letters, plastic bags, fingers with splinters, cans of food, and old tire tubes to be used as protective sleeves on my bike.

It has also been used to field dress small game animals, collect rattles off road kill snakes and harvest fruits and vegetables.

I use it and rely on it every day.

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