Friday, May 30, 2008

It aint over...is it?



It aint over, till the fat lady sings. I think we have all heard this old saying. I’m not sure, but I think it has something to do with either an opera or Oprah. In either case, it’s the attitude that the Street Kings are bringing to the Alleycat this weekend. Our crew is coming to win. I was checking out the downtown layout last night on MapQuest trying to get some of the streets order down. The whole thing would be a lot easier if they had arranged the streets south to North by the age of the president instead of popularity. At least I would have something to go off. Washington should be the southernmost street, not the middle. I don’t think the prostitution racket would lose that much business being on Carter Street instead of Van Buren. Frankly if you are looking for a 190 pound hispanic woman to pay for sex, you shouldn’t even be on a street named after a president unless it’s Clinton. The North South streets are set up nicely of course, all the avenues are west of Central, and the streets are east. They do throw in some boulevards and ways every now and then, but for the most part, it’s legit. Some of the guys in the race live or work downtown and they will have a better lay of the land then my crew. I have heard alot of rumors about the race; needing a bag big enough for a 20lb weight, hospital stops, ending in Tempe. I guess we will find out Sunday... like the great baseball sage Yogi Berra said, it aint over till it’s over and even then it aint always over.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Toronto

In my constant state of flux, monitoring all things bicycle on the net and within a fifty foot radius of myself, i happen upon alot of interesting websites. In my estimation there are two types of people out there: watchers and doers. Of course where does that put the peeping tom that is both watching and going a few rounds with the baldheaded champion at the same time? I cant say, however i think it can be said most cyclists are doers. And in that vein i do happen upon a great number of activist bicycle oriented sites not unlike Biking Tornto. (Toronto is either a Canadian city or state or parish or providence, i cant keep shit like that straight) anyhow;


Biking Toronto is nothing short of a lovely little website that declares proudly: "A citizen on a $20 bicycle is as important as a citizen in a $20,000 car". Seems simple enough. What it doesnt take into account and fails to mention, is that a citizen in a $40,000 is worth enough in tax dollars that citizen not only has the right to run you off the road, they can alternately use the broken parts of your $20 bicycle to unwedge your remains from the grill of said motor vehicle. I also found this little nugget of bike fun on the same website: Biking Toronto community contest. The website creator challenges its readers to come up with a new design for the "community" of like minded individuals. I tend to consider myself somewhat handy in the creative side of things like this. Here is my submission:
Its a little edgy, and i could see how some sensitive people might take it as a low blow on their current tagline with some pro-Vietnam era hate held over,but i think the whole "green" thing is going to be what scores all the points with these tree huggers up north. The winner gets a T- shirt and the knowledge they made Toronto bicycling that much better. Cross your fingers for me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just lucky i guess

I know i am beating this subject into the ground. But i keep going over it in my head. If i had been ten seconds either way, i would never have seen the bike thief that i have dubbed: The worlds pettiest petty thief.

Im just lucky i guess. Not as lucky as this dude. I mean, his last name is Sup(e)rman and then his parents hit him with the a double dose of DC hero monikers with the darknight for a first name. Score! I looked up his court records and found he is a career criminal, if you want to include shoplifting, stealing from your feeble grandparents, and breaking into parked cars, a career. The other two clowns got arrested and we got the bikes returned safe and sound.
I feel like this post is rambling a bit, but the race for the cure is this weekend. I know it sounds like a legit race, however its really an alleycat race in downtown Phoenix. The STreet Kings will have a few horses in the race. SK signed on, James T and St. Paul both threw their hats in the ring. I think James T was going to make some gearing changes after the lung burner last week. Move that 46 up a tick perhaps. He was considering moving all the way to a 49 or 50. I just dont see it. Hes got legs, but lets face it, hes no Batman bin Suparman.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

bicycle.com...a pipe dream

I am not a selfish person (at least i don't think so and my opinion is the only one that matters anyways) however i have found myself lately wanting. Desiring those things that others have and i do not posses. In this case its a simple URL bicycle.com. If you have ever perused the ethernet and perchance visited this site perhaps you can understand my frustration. A sad little site that has not been updated for 6 years. SIX FRIGGEN YEARS! Such a waste of a perfectly noble creature (the bicycle of course) . The site is nothing more than a single page listing the biking accomplishments of Ashley. The page reads and looks like she it should be on Match.com instead.
An excerpt from the site:

"Where to start? I'm a strange and eclectic person, and might just be one of the coolest chicks you'll ever meet. I believe I'm one of the luckiest people ever conceived, and live a truly gifted life, although those that don't really know me may think I'm especially cursed. Which I find funny because, well, I find most things funny these days. Especially myself. It's a long story, better left for another day. "
at least the site owner/operator had the wherewith all to realize naming her site bicycle.com would attract a large number of men albeit sweaty and shaved. She included some vital stats for the curious onlookers.
Height: 5'9"

Weight: 135 lbs (this number looks a bit kind but maybe thats just me)
Accuracy of the above info: +-4% (see above)
Favorite Designer: John Ross. He designed several dresses for me, and they're stunning. Pictures soon.

Marital Status: Single, but dating.
The Great Loves Of My Life:The second. Uda's Uda's view of Thailand

Favorite Beer:Umm, certainly not the swill the boys @MO like.

a.k.a.: Creampuff, CrAshley, BAshley


I can only offer her this advice:
I have posted many unanswered emails to the sites owner requesting both the procurement of the above referenced URL as well as a valid cup size. I also offered a test of bicycle skills, the winner of which will be rewarded the website address. I cant imagine what bike related event she could smoke me in. Any updates will be posted here as it appears we cannot expect any updates at bicycle.com any time soon.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mill Killed!


The street Kings were out in force for Kill Mill Volume II on Saturday night. What a race! Over fifty riders, on a point to point race through downtown Mill all the way to Southern (about 4.5 miles) The start line was behind a brick wall and a short run through two lanes of traffic to where the bikes were laid down. I got off fairly quickly and felt like i was in the lead group over the bridge. I saw James T and St Paul in front of me at the start, and then Bucket came around me at the Flour Mill. I felt like i held my own on the down, but at the "finish line" the direction was to turn around and slug it out a few more blocks back towards down town. I had burned all my matches and it took everythin i had to get back un-passed. St Paul ended up 5th-ish , James T in 7th, bucket in 8th andI came in somewhere around 10-11 (they stopped keeping track past 5 i guess. The kings also had a member from our UK chapter. "The man in the Yellow hat" rode the newly appointed Colnago on duel green Aerospokes. There have been countless discussions since the race about gearing inches and strategy. As i have mentioned in other posts; the "balls" factor seemed to play as much as legs and lungs on a race like this. There were some close calls on University for our group when we missed the green light. The race next week "race for the cure" appears to be a more traditional alleycat with stops and requiring a bag.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

BUSTED!!! BIke thief caught!


I am so friggen pumped i can barely type! I busted one of the bike theives today less than a block from the store. I had been visiting local pawn shops hoping the scumbags were going to unload the bikes for some quick cash. In the last two days I went to three shops, no luck. Today i rode my bike in so i was going to just eat my lunch in. Not much was going on at work, so i borrow a car and decide ill take a drive to Vegas pawn on Scottsdale. As I am turning off Scottsdale road i almost clip a guy on a bike. MY OLD BIKE! The bike has been painted black, but the hubs are still mango and the maverick fork is still blue. If that isnt amazing enough, the guy is still wearing the same clothes from the robbery two days ago. Same shirt, same hat, same gloves, same stupid look on his face. I debate what to do as he casually rolls down Scottsdale rd and i am following closely behind at 5mph. He makes a quick turn into Circle K and leaves the bike outside. It takes everything i have to not just grab the thing and have a go with this bastard right here. At the testosterone levels i was at, i might have gone HULK on the guy. Not to mention he had the build of a 13 year old. I call the police and am barely able to get out the story over the phone. As i am talking he exits the store and heads West on Continnental i follow again as inconspicuous as I can be. The cop meets us at at 68th Street and as i flash my headlights to inform him i am the guy talking to dispatch the guy bolts. The cop hesitates but i dont, Now im second wheel (in a car mind you) and this guy is spinning like a housewife in a jazzercise class. the cop hits the lights and we all pull over just off of 68th st. I get there first and tear the guy off the bike. I would like to tell you i got in some shots, but i didnt. The cop breaks it up and the guy keeps saying "I didnt steal your bike sir." Everytime he says that I step towards him and yell in his face umpire style "You shut your fucking mouth or I will beat your ass!" The cop tells me to calm down or he is going to arrest me. I have never made a good victim. Luckily i had the cops card that made the case yesterday and it has the theft record written on it. They stuff the guy and get all the details. I didnt get the exact adress, but the guy lives right across 68th somewhere. Less than a block from the dealership. I got a call from the cops later that day telling me he admitted to stealing the bike and was getting the other two bikes to the police some how. what a day. Two seconds either way, i would have never seen the guy. Today I win.

I had ridden the fixie in to work today although it was threatening rain. I could have called the cavalry for a ride home but instead i mounted up as it began to sprinkle. The ride home was my own personal slice of Paris Roubaix, but it felt great. I was screaming at the wind with joy with my mouth open i could taste the rain and dirt from the street. I got home soaked through. Even my waterprooof back pack was wet inside, but it didnt matter. Today i won...and that doesnt happen very often.

Still reeling.

The bike theft has really gotten me down. I can’t stop thinking about those bastards calmly walking in and rolling right back out with my guys bikes. I combed the local pawn shops yesterday at lunch but to no avail. No Godzilla green niner with mango hubs in sight. I couldnt help thinking every bike i did see also belonged rightfully to someone else. The single speed was my first single speed mountain bike, handed down to one of my technicians after I built my Independent. I loved that bike and the only solution I would settle on besides hanging it in my garage for safe keeping, was to let someone else enjoy it. And Tim did. He rode the bike three or four times a week and was constantly reminding me that it was the best bike he had ever ridden. He also reminded me that he couldn’t/wouldn’t have a custom bike like that if I hadn’t made the selling price so friendly. We have such an emotional attachment to our bikes don’t we? I think a lot of that stems from the joy that is derived from them to begin with. That coupled with the fact the machine is tailored and tweaked and adjusted to just fit just us like a comfortable pair of shoes or a broken in old leather jacket, seeing someone else on your bike can make you feel anxious or in this case; downright angry. Unlike cars, the bike is (with some freak exceptions like kid trailers or tandems) a single body transport. Thre is the fastidious cleaning, constant inspection for needed maintenance and adjustments, and upgrades, in my mind the relationship becomes one of reciprocating joy. The bike brings me joy; I try and do the same for it…for her.
P.S. The type of gal that would snuggle up with a big box mountain bike (derailleur side down no less) isn't the kind of girl you take home to mother.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rolling fixed.



Its a different ride isnt it? The pedals are the only thing you have to worry about. No shifters, no brakes, nothing but mashing the pedals. it kind of makes you feel one with the bike.

I would say it makes you feel at peace, but lets not get all pinko-commie-hippie about it. This is still a street gang. And speaking of street gangs, the upcoming alley cat KILL MILL is supposed to be well attended. The Kings hope to have four riders at the line and if all four show, i think we could cover up the podium. Its an interesting race concept speaking of being one with the bike; A single sprint from one end of Tempe to the other. No turns, no stops, just a 5 mile drag race in the middle of the night. As always the "balls" factor will undoubtedly determine the winner with so many stop lights and even in the middle of the night the street will still have traffic.


Thanks to all the notes of support for the guys that lost bikes. I hope something turns up and they get the bikes back. If not, BIKE HAUS has offered to sell the guys new bikes at wholesale to replace the missing ones. A solid move, they have always been stand up guys there.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bike Theives!

video

I am so angry right now I can barely contain myself. These videos were shot THIS MORNING at the dealership. Three scum bags stroll right in, lower the bike rack inside our shop, and roll out with three bikes. Six minutes before i get there. It made me sick as the tape runs and i see my self stroll past the empty bike rack six minutes later. I contacted the police of course but there isnt anything they can do unless the bikes turn up. One of the bikes is unique enough it could be spotted. A godzilla green single speed niner with mango CK hubs and a through axle Maverick fork. The other two bikes are right out of the box, an XL Stumpjumper (blue) and a black Raleigh both full suspension bikes.

video

I drove around the block after viewing the tapes and talking to the security here on site. i don't know what i was expecting to find, but i felt like i had to do something. Maybe someone will recognize one of these fuckers or one of these bikes and do the right thing. If you do know something and want to leave an anonymous tip; email; Suicideking15@yahoo.com

Monday, May 19, 2008

How the other half lives...

When i was a younger man with so much more disposable time,I considered Mexico my fortress of solitude. A place to rest, relax and recharge. Now a four hour ride on the bike has become that place for me. I revisted the old haunts south of the border this weekend and was not suprised to see that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The bicycle is not a hobby in border towns or resort clusters like this one. Its a form of cheap transportation. However the use here is so much more limited. Most of the roads are dirt. There is some pavement but its quality is poor to say the least. Most of the bikes you run across are hybrids of a sort. Tall frames with skinny knobbed tires, like an accidental cyclocross frame. The tide falls here dramatically in the mid-morning leaving a strip of hardpack about the width of two highway lanes. Once the water recedes the bikes tear across the sand taking advantange of the short cut before the water returns that afternoon. The rest of the beach is unegotiable. Deep soft sand or sharp coral debris. The bikes are tearing from one end of the beach to the other, to get more crap to sell to tourists like me, they arent there for excerisize or relaxation. Thats what i came here for. Ironic isnt it?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The crap ride.

I have ridden with cyclings elite, i have ridden with the pack, I have been in the break and have been on many group rides and races. You could say i have probably seen a slice (some smaller then others) of nearly every side of local cycling, or so i thought. Last night I rode the crap ride. yes it is actually referred to as the crap ride. And not because the ride is crap, or at least i didnt think so. Perhaps it stands for Citizens Riding Against Pollution, or something clever like that. Its short by road bike standards, but then again not everyone was on a road bike and like i said, this wasnt your typical ride to begin with. It was as diverse a crowd as might see at a charity cycling event. Roadbikes with downtube shifters, mountain bikes with panniers, comfort bikes, and alot of fixed gears. The riders themselves were just as diverse. Which was good for me, i didnt want to stand out, and with this group i think it would be hard to do that. The ride gathered at Tempe Beach park with some of the fixie riders throwing tricks and riding backwards. One of the riders had a bullhorn strapped to his back. It was out of reach from his hands, but a friend would often grab the attached mic and make announcements. "Welcome to the Crap ride" or inviting passing female cyclists to join in "You should be riding with us. Ladies are welcome on the Crap ride." I think he might have had better luck on the invite if he stopped refering to the ride by its name. the ride was pretty straightforward. Up the greenbelt to Orange Table for some beer. Orange table is cycing friendly and offers a dollar off drinks if you ride a bike in. The beers are all foreign and thick and heady. Most of the conversation was about bikes, life, roomates, and work and girls. The same as any group ride with single guys. It was a good time to relax and take it all in. The ride back was down 68th street with two announced and quite extended "drag races". During the first of which i unfortuneately flatted. No one was carrying anything that resembled a kit but i had my own and waved the other guys on before i realized i had an unthreaded CO2 and a fill neck that required threads. I phoned base to tell her i was going to be late and walked back into Tempe considering life and bikes and girls (mine to be specific) and all the things you go on group rides to talk about. I got up early enough to fix my flat and ride in today. A good ride with good weather, but it was no crap ride.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Anger...rising...veins...pulsing...

trying to maintain control...



What you may ask yourself has me in a heightened state of anger and distress to the point of physical manifestation? Well i will tell you.. bikecommuters.com . A small distasteful sight that prides itself on reporting on the single statement; "Bike your ride". The author makes no statement as to his whereabouts but judging from his his latest post "faux-fixies" and an apparent lack of cycling knowledge, i would guess he is chiseling out his next article by torchlight in a damp cave somewhere outside of Akron. I don't profess to be or know all things bicycle, but i also don't have a website professing to do just that either. And trust me there is a difference. just like there is a difference between shaving your legs, and shaving your legs in a soapy tub surrounded by floating candles and listening to Yanni live at the red rocks on CD. The crux of the problem of this "article" is the author doesn't seem to be able to grasp the idea that what makes a fixed gear bicycle a fixed gear, is the gear being affixed, or fixed as it were, to the chain line, and not the presence or lack of brakes. Conversions or otherwise.

Excerpt:



"What is a fake fixie? They are late model bikes that have been converted to single speeds but try to look like fixed gear bikes"

Then proceeds to post a few pictures he refers to as: "fake fixie 1&2"



A couple of the sheep that follow the site and actually took time to fill out a membership of some kind (probably family members and current boyfriends) try to point out this fact but are lost in the hubris of this site and end up only adding to the confusion. Take for example Quin who posts:

Quinn //
Around Reno the word “fixie” refers to any bike that has 1 chain ring and 1 cog. whether its a geared-to-SS conversion or a SS w/ flip-flop, i would say more “poser” than “faux”, because, 90% of the flip-flops are run on the freewheel.




I guess they don't know what a fixed gear is in Reno either.



Ghost rider does his best attempt to bring things to right weighing in with his opinion:



Ghost Rider //
If folks in Reno are using the term “fixie” to refer to a singlespeed, freewheel-based drivetrain, they are DEFINITELY posers. Ugh.
When will people out there learn that there’s nothing wrong with a singlespeed conversion?




"posers" indeed, Ghost rider and you are right; There is nothing wrong with a singlespeed conversion.



A last word from "Roman Holiday":

"A bike’s a bike. Just enjoy the ride & don’t label stuff."


besides an gregarious use of the word stuff, i couldn't agree more.

p.s. Even by 1953 standards, Roman Holiday was a shitty movie and is also a terrible handle for a bike website.

Monday, May 12, 2008

For exercise i usually bike, not suprisingly, but some days i step off the bike and get out and find other outlets for outdoor activities. This Sunday was one of those days.

It was supposed to be a short walk for charity. Raise a couple of bucks, get a free T-shirt, show up and enjoy the weather and walk for a couple of miles (three to be exact). That is how I ended up at 7:30 on a Sunday morning amidst a sea of women wearing pink and talking about healthy breasts. It was supposed to be a nice little event, but this event turned ugly. You would think with it being for charity and all, there would be some tact and decorum. Not the case. I think they should do a better job of screening the applicants and see if they cant weed out some of the "clowns". And when i say; clowns, i mean that in the most literal sense of the word. 7:30 hits, they call the participants to the line, and who do you think shows up at the tape just before the gun goes off? Sqqeezing his way through the crowd like half and half soft serve, I spot this clown:

Thats right; Ronald friggen McDonald, the burger baron himself. Front and friggen center. Mcdonalds corp could have sent a B level character like the hamburgler or grimmace, god knows he could stand to lose a few pounds. But the sent the man. I know they mean business. There he is resplindent in his red and white stripes and yellow gloves. I have to admit i hope to be carrying that much hair when i am 75, but i try to not think abou that. Ive a got a charity walk ahead of me and i will need my wits about me. I had planned on just walking the thing, but there aint no way im letting some clown smoke me charity walk or not. The gun sounds, the crowd surges ahead and Ronald starts out like a shot.

"Ive got this bastard." i tell myself. His nutritional regimine is burgers and faux apple pies for cheese sake. How can this guy possibly think he can beat me? I stay in pace through the first mile. The pace is hard but i can spot him through the bobbing heads of the crowd and his body guards.

Mile 1.75 I make my move. His yellow polyester pants are singing from the friction of his inner thighs as I take the lead. He is distracted by my daughters Mrs Arizona sash momentarily and i strike like a cobra. The course is a tight four corner number with a single ascent and quick descent. I attack the hill and dont look back. The thought of sweat and crocodile tears running down his face and smearing his pancake makeup propel me ahead. The clown cant hold my wheel. I settle into a comfortable pace and start marking time to the finish. I think i have the thing in the bag and then hear the familar slapping of size 22 shoes behind me. I cant look back. I accelerate pushing through the crowd leaving old ladies and strollers in my wake. Then in the close distance i see the finish line. Victory was mine. I hit the tape and turn expecting to see a flash of yellow and red, instead nothing. Turns out the slapping sound wasnt oversized shoes at all, just some obese girl from Tempe abusing a pair of flip flops under her hoove like feet. At the end of the day, i stabbed over six minutes into that burger flipping fool. Now he knows you dont mess with a Street King, charity or otherwise.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Spotted in Tempe.


I will not be posting tomorrow or Monday as i am not only out of town, but out of the country. I take my freakshow on the road tomorrow to Mexico for a few days of R&R. (well deserved i might add). If you tune into AZfixed, you might hase come across a Post from St Paul regarding a portable velodrome. I read everything on the site and it makes for quite an interesting read i might add. How cool would it be to see this thing in downtown Phoenix? I dont think we could gather quite the numbers for participants or spectators as the site shows, but it would still be bad ass. They report the track takes six days to assemble and then schedules three days for racing. That is quite an ordeal. Anyone know someone with an empty warehouse that could house this thing?


Im so in!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Damaged...




There seems to be some backlash at the recent success and increased visibility of cycling as a main stream sport. I personally blame this man:
Michal Ball and the whole Rock Racing scene are the harbingers of the new age of cycling and seem to be the catalyst for bringing it to a proverbial head as well. Rock Racing was supposed to get cycling introduced to a whole new demographic and audience, and in that respect it has been successfull. However, there is only so much room at the top for primetime TV coverage and sports memoribila sales. This power shift has caused some of the sports that have been "pushed aside" to push back and sometimes with a violent outcome. The latest incident happened right here in the Valley in Phoenix two nights ago. The cyclist was assaulted first by a man weilding a baseball bat, then was ran over by a car. The authorities didnt come out and say it, but this to me is clearly a case of both a MLB fan and a fan of the nastiest type: NASCAR fan lashing out at Michael Ball through an innocent bystander. I hope you are happy Mr Ball. Sure you are selling plenty of Lizard green kits and skinny leg jeans. But at what cost?


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Two bottles good, one bottle bad...

Yesterdays mountain bike ride was a two bottle ride. The problem was; I only had one. The transition from fall to summer came fast and I was caught unprepared. Maybe you’ve been there before; you find yourself thirsty and automatically go to the bottle strapped to your down tube. Without breaking cadence you find yourself pulling an empty bottle out, replacing it and looking for a second one without a second thought. When you find an empty bottle cage that sinking feeling in your gut replaces any joy the ride might have offered at that second. I hope you never have to feel that level of disappointment. I on the other hand not only tend to incorrectly predict bottle to weather ratios with any accuracy, I have a pair of legs that are uncooperative to say the least and therefore ride the disappointment train like a cross town daily commuter. My legs and I have a very unusual relationship. They don’t trust me and I rarely believe they are going to do what they say they will do. I don’t torture them in the literal sense of the word however they do flinch each time I get a razor anywhere close for fear today might be the day I cut their virtual throats. The relationship wasn’t always like this, but it has festered for some time and now seems irreparably damaged. Both sides have their share of faults and excuses. I will fully admit I lie to my legs on a regular basis. I have to. They are like a couple of spoiled goddamn kids, I know they hear me, but they just won’t listen. After being summarily dropped, I tell them;
“Just get me back on and we will sit in for a few laps so you can rest.”
They bridge nicely and then instead of keeping my word, I attack. Not because I think I can win, just because I am an insensitive bastard. In response after turn four of the bell lap, they refuse to sprint for me and as a team, broken and divisive; we end up a dismal 7th out of 12 in the D race. Its times like this that I usually say something I will undoubtedly regret at some point later, just out of spite.
“You have disappointed me in ways I only thought possible by alcoholic step parents and abusive Tee ball coaches.” I scream at my cowering quadriceps.
As I am sure you can imagine, my legs are as emotionally incapable as they are physically. A biting comment like that will usually bring about tears and we begin another long night of personal attacks and insults. I usually follow up a comment like that with the silent treatment through dinner, letting them suffer through their recovery alone, and ashamed. My being a S.W.A.T. level negotiator gives me the upper hand. I know whoever breaks the cycle and talks next; loses. I go about my business of cleaning up the bike and assuring her in a loud enough tone to ensure the legs can hear; “You raced well tonight. It’s not your fault we lost. Get some rest. That a girl.” Later that night they will breakdown and come to me to apologize; swollen eyes red from crying and a trickle of snot running down their little upper lips. “We could have push/pulled but didn’t. We will try harder. Don’t give up on us…you are all we’ve got man. I know we dropped you…but don’t drop us…please.”
I win!
I have them right where I want them.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An old friend...

I was in downtown Tempe the other night and happened upon a converted fixed gear locked to a light pole just off of 5th street. At first glance, the bike itself wasn’t much to look at. A mid eighties TIG welded frame now stripped of most of its original paint. A comfortable non-expensive saddle, cut risers, and the obligatory Oury grips in a contrasting neon color that used to be green I believe. It sat there oblivious of the cycling world around it, a certain look of indifference could be noted in its well worn wire-beaded tires and matte rims with still shiny braking surfaces glittering in the sun. I imagined the bike (I had taken to calling Walter for some reason) was observing the rest of the cycling world the same way a plow horse would the Kentucky derby winner; Just another day at the office. I wanted to invite the bike (Walter) inside the bar with me for a round then remembered the hulking U-lock hung around his top tube. A grim reminder of his duty to me, probably not even necessary after all these years though. This old soldier isn’t running away. He’s got no where to run to. I took another look over the old frame considering how many miles he might have seen in his day then I noticed something along the drive side chain stay. Handwritten in choppy letters were the words “Death before derailleur!” in cracking aged white paint. I tapped the saddle approvingly and nodded the same before leaving Walter where I had found him. When I left the bar a few hours later, Walter was gone. Streaking his way efficiently and reliably towards whatever garage or apartment patio that called home. When I passed the light pole where he had been earlier I toasted my new found friend an invisible pint with; “Death before derailleurs indeed Walter…indeed.”


(not the actual bike mentioned in the above article) but I think you get the idea.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Street Kings alley cat (part deux) is in the works. I hope to have some literature out by the 24th so I can hand it out at Kill Mill. The HCD event. I will definitely be handing out contact info on the forum site. I like the thought of a simple race like Kill Mill. Just point to point, no stops, no manifest, no shorting the stops. Here are my thoughts so far:

A point to point race in downtown Phoenix of sorts, however each rider has to collect a few items from fast food restaurants, like French fries or something like that. I call it…get this: Fast Food fools, or just Fast Fools with a cool logo. Imagine twenty five bags of fries at the finish line and a couple cases of beer to go with it for the after party. I will have to look into places that would work. Downtown Tempe would be tough but the start and finish lines would have to be dialed in.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hell yeah!

A couple of notes from the weekend:


one: yes i did ride in the Cyclo De mayo. No i did not win. No i could not even see the winner from where i was riding. However it was the longest crit i have ever entered. Not a strong field but a big one and i was lucky to hang in as long as i did.


Two: azfixed.com is up and running most bugs are worked out. Scientists say humans only use about 9 percent of their brains power; i was at about 13% to get this bastard off its ass. My wife thinks im having an online affair.


Three. KILL MILL upcoming! Was announced on the aforementioned forum (just like i had hoped)


Three: STreeT Kings RIde this Thursday. members only ride. new member getting jumped in. as always. Come prepared for anything.

SK

Friday, May 2, 2008

Street King ride

The Street Kings take to the street next Thursday 5/8 for mayhem and chaos. Following last weeks Alleycat i realize i will have to do some customization on the Fixie to get it just right. Seeing the other bikes on that ride the thought struck me that there is a difference between customizing a bike, and making your bike look like a freak show. I

This is not an acceptable saddle unless you are six.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Beer and bikes..well mostly just beer today.

Sadly no this isn't the clubhouse but I sure wish it was. This is a bar in Europe where apparently you are able to simply pour your own drafts at a modified picnic table-o-love. The drinking is done in a number of marked and direct stages. The patron would begin by being sat on the outer bench for the first few of many rounds of dark German beer enjoyment. the table would be comprised of strangers (at this point anyways) all in different stages of inebriation. Once you became drunk enough that sitting on a bench with no other means of support becomes too difficult you then move to the other side of the table where you may feel free to lean against the wooden back until the room ceases to spin. After your ninth or tenth boot of beer, the strangers you were sat with are now some of yoru best friends and you find yourself telling them just this unashamedly through tears of joy. This phase of the drinking can continue on like this for some time. Its end, and the start of the final portion of the nights drinking is marked when someone at the table either pukes or wets themselves then removed from the table. This creates an opening at the table. The remaining patrons are shuffled around the table according to levels of sobriety and a new "drinker" is introduced to start the cycle all over again.