Phil's Bike Tour

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

another kinda driver

my helmet camera worked good i think, maybe another polo movie. mykle lives on 27th and Killingsworth and has my mini from the MtBomb we did the day before. We strap it down to DuffNumbaFive.

Killingsworth is fast. there is on street parking.

A car is parked ahead, I will check behind to see if someone is coming. yes... I wait, they pass, and another...

and there is a break in the metal waves. I dive in. a car is approaching me from straight ahead. I keep biking fast and have started to pass the parked car and am about to pull back over. There are 3 cars and me.

the driver behind me cannot wait any longer. She tries to pass. I am clipped from behind.

I lay there for a min
"you need to get out the road."
"If you only take one thing away from this, it is that I have a right to be here."

she tells "I didn't want to hit the oncoming car. Would you like a ride?"


we load the bike and its gonna ok i think. then an ambulance rolls by. I flag it down. I didn't call it so I guess its lucky, they wrap me.

"yeah, if i can get downTown that would be wonderful"
"oh, I dont have enough gas to get that far."
"... well, how much gas do you have?"
"I was just gonna go home."
"So you are offering me a ride to your home"

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Originally uploaded by revphil.
bring me your hot, blinging, swaggering masses yearning for free fun

Monday, July 18, 2005

A: Under the bridge

Q: Where do you go when you are depressed and you are already at the bar?

Could I be surrounded by people about to get laid?

These women, they wine ya, they dine ya, they cheese ya. Then you are alone and waiting for something cool to happen. At least i have bike videos. Off to Jersey City... It's like a bat cave. only with good lighting. Wait, is that possible?

The rest of the week I spend time editing. Don't accomplish much given how much I have to do, but the pieces I finish are awesome. Steve has edited "Fear and Loathing in Jersey City" from my helmet camera footage which inspires me to crank out "Ride to the Worlds". A video of my mid morning ride from New Bedstuy to The World Trade Center inter spliced with out-of-context clips from CMWC. Grounded in awesome music. Finding good copyleft songs to sample and splice has been trouble for me in the past. I know the internerd is full of annoying things that could be useful, but I rarely have access to it when editing. MEH. Luckily this time the choice was clear: the punk-ska-core band, Team Spider, “Summertime in the City”. Seeing as how they played the CMWC closing party I figured it was appropriate. The song rocks and unless you are really paying attention you might now notice just how many times it loops.

The highlight of the video for me is how well the Pepridge Farm Cosie section turned out.

My hosts, Steve McMaster and Teressa take me out later. I get plenty of drinks which is great, so I make nice with the ladies and convince one of them that she should come with me. This is a really hot, youthful, Indian girl with a certain hatred for the human race. I can dig it. Her and her sister sat close to me. My crew was leaving so I decided she should come with me.

She didn't bike (duh, almost no one bikes to bars in the Lower East Side, its got too much mass transit apparently), and she wont ride on the seat or handlebars. This should have been a good warning sign.

A week earlier in Baltimore I turned by back on 3 girls who all declined to take a ride on my handlebars, but were into me nonetheless.

"I AM DRUNK, YOU ARE GIRL, GET ON BIKE!" (in reality I might not have been that lucid or charming)

Later I was sad I had such strong drunken biker principals. I vowed to not let my feelings about bikes keep me from finding a warm place to stay, especially if it's with hot biker girls (or even biker-groupie girls)

So we decided to hit the next bar (why would i go to a bar? another mistake. the park! the bridge! these are the places to imbibe!)
I turned to lock up Duff Numba Five, and noticed a monitor abandoned on the ground below the pole.

"WOW! That sucks, but it reminds me of home." I said as I fumbled to remove the chain from around my waist. "I work at a place in Portland that deals with this kinda stuff"

It was my first day with the chain and lock, and I hadn't really figured it out. I took 10 sec. trying to be cute and mounting my bike on top of the monitor. It didn't work. I gave up and locked it to the pole and when i looked up I saw the girl walking across the street into a building with some guy.

I turn to see her sister still standing there.

"What just happened?"
"She walked off with that guy."
"Did she say why?"
"She said, 'Tell him anything.'"
"Oh. huh."

I move to unlock my bike. I never remember being this dissed before, but Im sure sometime in my childhood I had it worse.

"So what are you gonna do?" she asks me nervously
"Idonknow. Cry? Your sister do this often?"
"She's kinda young. So... do you want a get a drink?"
"You don't even mean that."
"Well it's up to you."
"thanks." I said without feeling. I put my chain around my waist.
"Comon' you can have a drink with me." I look at her for a moment. She seems like she really wants to spend time with me. I don't understand why, but maybe I can find out. Add some salt to the wound, who knows what Ill find.
"Alright, lead the way."

So the rest of the night was spent distancing ourselves from each other. No insights were gained. No buzz was improved. No hot women yearning to engage my super sweet Sano soul. Just this sister, and damn is she ever annoying. Shouldn't I be spared having to deal with the annoyingness of her presence? After an over an hour we agree to be miserable in separate quarters.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

biking for fun pain and profit deficits

The next couple days I'm content to just Maxin and Relaxin. that's the plan.

Sunday I ride out with my PDX FREEGEEK friend Matteo. we have, for the last several months planned on tearing some shit up in nyc. Sunday is BlackLabel ride day and today's destination Is a booze cruise. ive been meaning on spending more time at boat parties. then some techno bike dorks roll up on us and instantly show the degree of the bicycle uncoolness. (a term i reserve for the truly unfortunate)

"Hey, you, are you Super Chunk?"

Ouch. I know the BLBC are not entirely comfortable with their NYC mutant bike brothers. (they shared the first ever cooperative event at the end of june, and though they had a great time some were down on the CHunk. typical. bike gangs gotta hate at least a little. that's why there are gangs. But did they expect more organization? It was probably just the dynamic of having 2 organizations in charge, who makes decisions? a multi-lateral-bike club tribunal?)

From what I have observed NYC Chunk and BLBC are coming with fairly different methods, though i wonder if their goals are even the same. For sure one very clear separation between the 2 organizations is how they desire to be perceived.

While the Chunkers are a colorful distraction from the city, BLBC is a harsh black reminder of that same city.

Colors. And with the colors of the BLBC clearly on most of the riders backs, the crew is rather taken back by this random cyclist's observation that they could somehow be mistaken for some other mutant bike gang.

I like to like bikers, but one of them was really annoying. At one point while everyone had merged to the right lane to leave a lane for cars one of their heavy rain geared folks refused to move into the lane with us,

Now normally I am fairly down with this kind of traffic calming, but in NYC the typical biker self defense guideline is:
A) dont give the potentially crazy motorists a reason,
B) dont be an asshole

So it was a little tense, as the guy yells back to us about how he knows where the bike lane is coming up, AND it was coming up on his side of the street (not ours). Alas it was not for like 4 more blocks, so meanwhile cars are getting a little frustrated, rolling with the BLBC could give someone a overstated sense of self-security from cars. (though you might get insecure about other bikers)

Watching tall bikes navigate though traffic is awesome! I can only imagine how cool it is to be parading during the St. Chino's ride... someday ill be there.

We make it to the boat party which turns out to be a party to repair the boat. Clever. But there's beer and cooperation and the Project Empty Vessel seems to have the right ideals. could there be more content by the time you read this? could there be less?

matteo and I spend lots of time entertaining wicked thoughts, drinking and repairing the upper deck railing. a fairly complicated series of knots was the answer. it is a boat after-all, and matteo is quite the boyscout.

later we dine at Grub. A rotating free food gathering for artists. The food was vegan, and not paid for which also is hella cool. A person with some equation for light on his chest (as well as the words entropy and energy on his arms) and I talk about some sideshow action. Turns out he was in the BigBang Circus with MsClair, who i think recently had a breakdown or something (maybe it was just the bus)

I helped him with his nail in the brain routine, and he tells me lots of great stories and shows me some fire eating tricks.

then after getting back to the ChickenHut I decided on the beer run NOW! and rolled out with a cute boat-girl's lock and chain. it was only supposed to be 3 or 4 blocks but i missed the store, and biked on for another 6 blocks. ugh. when i got to the store i couldn't find the key! crap! did i loose it, did i get it? well before I start freaking out about finding the key (that im fairly sure I had but lost) I decide to buy some beer cause if nothing else she will feel better with beer in hand and head when yelling at me. I look all the way back. nothing. ok, maybe she has them. I drop off beer and yell up to the 4th floor:

"Hey, do you got your keys? I think i may have lost them if you dont." The yell comes back saying she does not.

So like a drunk frenzied detective horny for the girl who's keys i just lost (just like Sherlock Homes) Im off biking up Bedford going the wrong way, trying to use the oncoming headlights to spot a glint of key-like reflection. Bedford Is a 3 lane main thoroughfare North though Brooklyn. I come back down the street, this time with traffic, but only going a few miles per hour so i can see better in the ever dynamic street light. Crushed aluminum cans, pools of oil and craps of metal. NONE OF WHICH ARE THE KEYS! yikes. i am freaking out pretty good now and I am back on my 4th pass from the Store when I get the call

"Phil, where are you?"
"Im looking for them now, Im really sorry, I hope i can find your keys, or that you enjoy lots of beer instead of having to go home." (smooth phil... like colt 45, you works everytime)
"phil i have my keys, come back."
"you have the keys. oh. uh, i cant talk now"

The streets were turning increasingly mean, and folks had started to take notice of the bald guy without a shirt riding back and forth for the past 30 min. Crazy mumbling guys now just kinda looked at me confused, while the hommies on the corner have started heckling some. Nevermind the wave after wave of honking steel crashing behind my wheel.

back at the Chicken Hut she apologizes

"I thought you were joking, like fucking with me for not giving you the keys, so i played along... sorry. Uh it is late and I have to go, but call me."

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Im your charity case so buy me something to drink

Friday starts @ 8:30am and apparently it goes all day.

Matt is working dispatch again for Real and is running me raw. I gotta get my camera back from Corey's and meet with Agitha. It was so odd the way I ran into her yesterday.

Im biking behind a sexy biker gal coming up on Dupont Circle. Well I had better tell her about polo... and then, my confidence snapped. I was just frozen behind her... and I was loosing ground. Either this lady could move or I was just zapped for energy. i reached down within and pulled up on her as we started to turn round,

"Hey, you ever play bike polo?"


"uh yeah. hi."

So I couldn't tell right away but it was my good college friend, Bjorn's girlfriend, Agitha. Apparently she is working in DC. wild. alas she already has plans for polo night. oh well. So we have plans to meet soon instead. hope that works out, so far everytime i meet an old friend as soon as we are apart its as if we never met.

Plus i gotta get my dolladolla bills for all these tags.

Plus I should start drinking soon. If going to bars it pays to be ahead of the game. So I down a few @ Citybikes with Diedre, using a discreet handtowel beer cosy. Folks there are mighty chill for letting me drink in their repair shop. Then sprint over to Corey's with John (a messenger turned tech) it was a veritable geek fest as we downed our yinglings talking about the new BMA web page: uh its not done yet.

Then I gather my shit and bust balls down to the Lucky Bar, where my $ waits with spencer. i guess Matt was sick of waiting. eep. I hand over my signitures, then finally agitha comes in to collect me so we can spend some time with her friends who are 3 girls and one guy and they are all into labor issues. I am pondering which one of these girls is available, so when they ask me what I want from my employer. I look positively foolish. This could be towards my advantage. I think i need to cultivate my dumb blonde mentality. that way i can surprise folks when i am actually paying attention. I get lots more beer bought for me, which is awesome. and I'm offered food but I have to turn it down if i have any hopes of getting good and sloshed tonight.

All they can talk about is how if everyone had a stable job there would be no problems. Im feeling like this is not my fight, besides I spend far too much time arguing with folks that are smatter than I, so I take a rain check on popping their utopia balloon. Ahhh... nonprofit-types. No matter where you go its the same. The volunteers work with such fervrence that they convince themselves they could solve all the worlds problems if only _______. It was kinda like being back in portland 5 years ago, before the weight of the world snapped my will to believe.

I miss the cues. so I dont pick up that Ive been paying attention to the gal who is already dating the guy on my right.

I talk a bit to Bjorn on Agitha's phone. He is biking in HoodRiver. THen I head back inside to drink with Joe and Spencer. Seems like Joe buys me like half a dozen beers. He tells me he is getting hooked up so I keep accepting them.

Then we take off to meet Meredith at the Common Share. Excuse me? a Kiddy Pool?!? well alright then, lets dance, but hey, let's not neglect the $2 beer. We leave Joe and Spencer debating the value of getting in a fight in front of a bar. She puts me up and we get some co-op food in the morn. Awesome! Its like a grocery in a basement across the street. totally underground and organic. I especially like their 2nd Generation Toilet Paper Dispenser Tree.

Friday, July 15, 2005

best polo ever

Well depending on how you define "best" and "polo" ... "ever" is not up for debate however!

The DC kids who braved the downpour to play... damn

I told folks that I would buy a beer for anyone who beats me. In fact, i asked people to spread that rumor, i Had 2 6-packs and a travel jug, aka a "handle" of Canadian whisky. should be some good polo, no?

I took Crusty/angry/violent joe (someday perhaps he will become joe cool?) on my team and we were promptly crushed by spencer and Corey a duo that played together regularly. Add beer and whisky and rain and repeat. Sprinkle with crashes and serve unto the face.

no serious or overly debilitating injuries, no broken bikes... solid polo.

Darkness sets, hunger follows on its coattails. The crew takes me to Ben's Chili Bowl! It's packed. It's vegan (well, the non met/dairy parts are mostly vegan I am told) Most importantly it goes good with the tour de lance and my movies which we watch for hours, then its' more rain. uh lots of rain. hella rain. When i finally get to Harper's I'm like a wed dog @ the door but no one answers. I alert Harper with the radio... nothing. I alert Kirkland with the nextel... nothing. I can hear the alerts going off in the open windows upstairs. I tell spencer i am coming over when Morgan swings the door open. He looks freaked! It is 3am.

"dude its a school night" he mumbles as he goes back to bed. I apologize and realize he is crashing in what was my bed. muthafucka! the couch is nice though.

later i would be told he didn't remember me from earlier, and so when he asked me if i was gonna be staying there it was cause he was afraid he had let a bike thief into the home. He didn't sleep very well that night.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"you made some money today"

Sometimes the day sneaks up on you. Sometimes you are just chillin on the bench when shit gets crazy. After getting only 1 tag yesterday I was preparing myself for another painfully underemployed work day. On the verge of chillin with Judge Judy and Brown with Kirkland I narrowly avoided sweating on the sofa all day.

Fuck this weather, It's making folks go crazy. I head down to the financial District and ring up Mat from Real Currier it's 1130 or so maybe he's got work... no dice. bit I find the high school band is working overtime at the Reagan Building. So I listen and write. A lady on the bench next to me asks me what Im writing. Next thing I know she is telling me all about her lost love, an affair built on fantasy role playing that she still needs and pines for.

"When I tell you my husband is not satisfying me Im not hitting on you."


She is married with kids and unfulfilled. Her time with the last guy, a writer, was intense. She tells me about the fantasies she played out involving blackmail, torture, and rape.

"A girl once asked me to beat her up." I said

"I'd be in to that!" she said more excitedly than she meant to. "Uhh... my husband wont even talk to me about this stuff, to him it's immature at best, and evil at worst. This was a solid reminder. Take care of your partner's needs, or they will find someone else to do it.

We talked for about 3 hours. Her coworkers came and left and came and left again. She takes my email and just then I get a call on the radio from my dispatcher: "Double rush job right near you, get on it!"

Then it's hurry up and wait. Im chillin in the Dept of Commerce and I wait for 20 min. a dozen calls are made to different people and departments. No one knows where the package is.

"Oh The package hasn't been sent down to the mailroom yet." No worries, im paid to wait by the min.

I get it and I get another pick and I drop and pick and Im at the International Trade Commission just before deadline. In all I make $60 in less than 3 hours for doing what I love: playing on my bike in the street, meeting new people and feeling a rush I create with my own legs.

But then there's the air. I dont remember any air being this bad. In LA I was lucky the air was good when i was there... and I spent most of my time on the western half of the city. In NY it rained every other day and seemingly kept things feeling clean. In DC im dying, and not as slowly as I am comfortable with. Although you can get some good food there. A $3 slice of pizza = 1/4th of the pie. awesome. Still it's hard to eat when you cant breathe.

I talk up the polo at the Lucky Bar after work. $2.50/10 buffalo wings. Folks seem into it, but I know it's' only talk until they are swinging mallets. More bars, more people. They tell me about the guy who in New York Claimed to be from DC and called himself mohawk. But he didn't have a mohawk, and he wasn't from DC. Now he is MIA, but he left his mark on my helmet: "mohawk says any helmet law sucks"

Great people chillin at the Common Share: Moon, Joe, barry, kim... we dance and party and damn its a good time so another bar! An ex messenger who now works as a scientist at the department of defense doesn't have a bike with him so I put him on the seat and head up the hill with me on the pedals. Normally it's not that big of a deal, but I did sprint my ass off today, my knee is still swollen, and this cat is a little over 200lbs. So I decide we must stop at the park to lighten the load of vodka i have in my bag.

Contraband is shared. I miss out on the second floor of the bar. Apparently that is where the girls have been hanging out. oh well. I am taken to a home where folks can do more drugs... im starting to fade some. If tomorrow is more like today... and fuck its only a couple hours until i gotta wake up! So I watch a new friend play Manhunt on his Playstation. It's a hyper violent 1st person shooter from Rockstar games. Perfect thing to wind down with.

Then some more vodka and a freak out from my host and finally at 630 we leave the crackhouse. My throat hurts, I stink like hell and there are bugs all over this swap. If not for my trusty Stim-U-Dent toothpicks I wouldn't even have minty fresh breath.

Why does my knee continue to swell. I give you all the lube you need!