Phil's Bike Tour

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. http://emptyvesselproject.org/ 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?"

"OMG! PHILLLLLL!!!"

"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."

"okay."

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!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

time on my hands, water on my knee, booze in my

I've been working for a day now. Thus far I'm uninspired. only one tag on my first day. My dispatch has a really think newyork accident add to my already substantial confusion. Plus since more of DC is an Alpha-numeric grid I feel it should be easy.

NewYork Matt of Real Courier feels me out over the radio. I don't try to BS him, but I don't let on to how green I really am. I have biked is a lot of different cities and I have worked delivering things, but never so formally. I'm more concerned with fucking up by taking on more than I can handle.

Right off I got the wrong address twice.

"go to 6 hundred 13 street, the entrance is on G"

so im at 613 G ave., but there is no 613 G... oh so its 600 13th ave.

When I manage to get though the maze of rear entries and service elevators the secretary at the pickup is MIA. Then I forget what company I'm working for. Truly a comedy of errors. I can't even seem to swipe enough pens to make up for my lost time. My drop is 15 late, but the recipient is still on vacation so I don't think she will mind. At least the biking is fun. Playing in the streets with traffic is not something we can really do in Portland. We have too small a downtown core.

Im trying to get my polo on. Maybe it will happen. Drunk talk the night before dont count for much. I'm telling folks that I'll buy a beer for anyone who beats me. I roll up to Citybikes. They have a good shop and fair prices (although they were fast to admit they are not quite as cool as Citybikes in Portland, understandable, not many places are worker owned). My bike, Duff Numba Five needs some TLC. My grip tape is rattyass and I only got 8 of 14 gears. I start talking polo up to the mechanix and a girl comes running in from the sales floor.

"you are playing polo? where? when? how? Do you know spencer?"

I should have known it was Diedre. We talk. She tells me directions to internet access @ Howard UV and the "best restaurant in DC: Veggie Soul"

$2 = 2 tacos. vegan, laid back, simple, delicious

strange they dont call themselves vegan. Not enough folks even know what that is in DC so its easier to say vegetarian. I miss that joint already.

They have a place for intenet if you are a student, but just try to get in there otherwise. WHAM! that fat black lady is on you faster than a mosquito, and let me say the mosquitos may be small, but their are stealthy. (so maybe its not an appropriate metaphor, as she was not stealthy, but she was about as helpful as a mosquito)

"If you dont have a Howard ID you cant go to the iLab."
"Do you know of other resources on campus where i could go?"
"..." (blank stare)
"..." (I return the favor blank stare)

Eventually the security guard comes over and says there is a place just down the street with free access. Nice guy! Security is actually really helpful. Walking into the posh building I hatch a plan. It's very new and I don't want to be turned away again. I hand over my ID to the security guard

"Im an associate professor of Communications from Linfield College on Sabbatical Bike Tour. I'd like access to your media lab."

He chuckles, "that's nice. Just sign here and go though those doors, the internet cafe in on your right."

"ok then"

Monday, July 11, 2005

best fake of a bike tour ever!

THIS IS SO GREAT! im getting emails from all my friends who are on bike tour... watch as i entertain you all with someone else's work:


well hello everyone,
today is july 9th I've just been told, and I am at the Public Library in Cortez
Col. I've seen and done alot since the last email, that I don't even know
where to start. We made it across HWY 50. and then into Utah, thank god. As
soon as we got into this state everything changed the people, the land, the
air, every thing. that first day across the border on our last climb of the
day this couple kip and emily saw us and greeted us at the top with fresh cold
beers. yuuuuuummmmmmmy! they offered to let us stay at there place and feed
us drinks and food and give us showers. they gave us dirrections and a cell
phone in case we got lost. after our showers they fed us, and fed us, until
there was no more food (or beer). so they ordered us bacon cheese burgers and
milk shakes at the dinner. thanks kip.
the day after that we met a woman named Lauriann who is a cyclist that was
hanging out in Cedar City for the weekend. she is going to ride across the
US next year to raise money for something. anyways she was super cool, and
since she hadn't any plans for the next day she took all of our gear and
drove it to the top of the hill ( 10,500 feet at a 8% grade, damn). I don't
think we would have made it with out her help. that night we saw fire works
over a lake in the mountains. it was awes. the next day Lauriann carried
our stuff again, to Bryce Canyon. the first we saw of Canyon Land Country,
which has had some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. at one
point in the next few days there was a senic viewpoint from the top of a
mountain which showed that the whole state of Conn. could fit inside of
this area of canyons. Crazy.
Since then we've met a few other cyclist going the other way, and had a couple
of small adventures. yesterday i rode out to the 4 corners monument and today
I am meeting back up the Brians and we are heading off to Mesa Verde, to see
the Native american cliff dwellers city. I've seen alot of old indian ruins,
and checked out a couple of museums yesterday. this area of the states is
awesome, I hope everyone gets to see it one day.
after this the three of us will be heading off towards the rockies! we are
going to spend a few days with a friend of ours, but I am not sure where he
lives. If anyone needs or wants to send us stuff, we should be in Pueblo, CO
at the end of next week. until next time, you all have fun workin and stuff.
Later
Dave

---------

good for me! (dont tell me how it was for you)

so ill fill in this gap somehow i swear. maybe text?

it's not the years, it's the mileage

When i wake up i notice i am surrounded by feet. Not happy shiny feet, not sexy delicate feet, not even odd-but-funny monkey toed feet.

stank feet.

No cause for alarm but I can hardly breathe. As I rise it occurs to me that part of my knee's swelling is due to odd sleeping positions. I wonder if my health would have been better served by staying in the alley I passed out in last night. More room to stretch out and fresher air.

We get up and eat some grub and talk some shop. They are excited to host 2006 North American Cycle Courier Championships and press me for details about PDX. I admit I had nothing to do with it, but I know organizing bike events using volunteer labor is no small task. They agree to have polo prominently featured in next year's NACCC. They Hosted the Worlds in 2000 but it was a rush job, as Boston was supposed to host but couldn't at the last second. They are looking forward to having time to prepare sometime awesome.

I am introduced to some southern jargon (south of the mason dixon line Im told everything changes). Can someone remind me what fried grits with kitchen scraps is called? I was so out of sorts all morning I could barely drink my morning vodka w/ Yingling chaser. Hair of the dog seems like it might help my eternally swollen limb. I was all set to pile into the van headed to Philly when I stopped.

"Wait, where is Philadelphia?"

As it turns out getting from Philli to DC would have been a bitch so I waived goodbye to the crew and went back to Aaron's where he and his lady (Melissa?) were trying to figure out my options for going south to the Capital.

"No bus service on Sunday"
"No trains either"
"Fuck it, im on bike tour anyway"

I get some directions that claim to avoid the highway. Me and the internet have a different opinion of what a highway is. The route is US 40 west to US 29 South. That first stretch getting out of Baltimore.... whoa. They put the "EEEE!" back in sketch-EEEE. All manner or debris lines the road which for a good part of the time is in a lowered roadway with 15 foot concrete walls. Fortunately, even the cars dont want to drive in all the rubble and glass and tires and abandoned furniture pieces that litter the right lane so I am sometimes left alone. Of course there are the drivers who feel they need to help you... wIth their horns. My policy is to not respond as long as they are behind me. I figure if they want a conversation they can come up and talk to my face. Still, some drivers aren't sure what to do with a biker in front of them. Going out of your way by changing lanes to pass a biker instead of making them pull over could hurt your reputation, I gather.

a smattering of my favorite conversation starters yelled at me:

"What are you doing?"
"You need to get out the road"
"Why you biking here?"
"You cant be movin'."
"Whatchu thinkin?"
"Ahh man I swear if you dont move..."
"Why are you doin this to me?"

Like I said, this was a 3, 4, and sometimes 5 lane road/bottle return receptacle.

Once I get out of the city life was grand on US-40. There is green everywhere and sometimes a shoulder, and generally really good clean surface. I see a deer only 5 feet off the road in the trees. I couldn't make out what kind.

US-29 was different. Lots of construction, and it felt like any freeway back west. (this makes me wonder what would it have been like on the Interstate, I mean if there is gonna be 4-5 lanes exit ramps and such, what's the difference?) The construction can be good or evil. When I decide it looks too dicey I end up on the freeway with only 2 lanes and no shoulder. Just a concrete barrier on my right and a wall of flying steel on my left. But as dangerous at that must have been, I didn't get harassed much and I didn't feel like I was in peril. Still better is to get on the construction side and take your chances with the debris. I was really lucky though. I had an extra tube but no pump and no presta-shrader converter even if i could get to a gas station.

Soon I'm in the metro sprawl, where i find a dive bar/mexican restaurant in what must be the Latin side of the DC burbs. I meet Louis who tells me he works for a multi-national construction Company. He tells me (from what I can understand using my spanglish skills) that I should call his boss and get a job.

Seems ok, but really do i want to work construction? I mean the doctor told me to ride my bike to make my knee strong... Then he buys my pupusa and rice and bean dish. I was stunned, it was really generous of him, (though i guess it only would have been $3 if I had paid it myself). Moreover do I want to work on rebuilding the Pentagon? Humm, I kinda do actually. Thoughts of sabotage run though my head like fuzzy bunnies in a sunny meadow.

It reminded me of the cabby I met at the Cricket Cafe in PDX. His nerves had been fried from years of driving. He nearly lost everything. It was an awesome story, so I paid for his early AM special, which was about $3 too.

Finally after lots of steep hills and rough roads I made it to the capital and called Diedre, who is subletting Max's place. She's out for awhile so I have to wait, so I ring up Harper from the deadbabies. He and Kevin (aka Kirkland, like the Costco brand) are about to roll out for beer. Awesome.

In order to keep the drunks in the bars beer sales at stores are over at 10pm (so we buy a sixer each before we go to the bar). We drink for cheap, make nice with the ladies and run into spencer who always seems to have a polo mallet. We agree to polo tomorrow. diggity

Harper is a great host. I am stoked to have a room with a bed a place in the freezer to put the rest of this vodka. Tomorrow he tells me I can get some work making deliveries. Max told me of stories of drinking 40s in alleyways. Seems appropriate for working in a swamp of political corruption. Two job offers in my first 6 hours and Im not looking for work. This could be the antithesis of Stumptown.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Viva la Gangbang

You party as long as you can, then you drink on the train on the way back home watching your friends trackstand on a moving subway while you borrow someone's Triple Antibiotic Ointment (thanks Austin) and then you go home and there are people still parting. What's that Rick James said, "Cocaine is a hell of a drug."

I retort: meh

Doyle and BLBC crew are up. So it makes since that I not sleep. I should go to Wolf Camera, but im stalled a bit by inaccess to computers. what suck is this? the internet is responsible for my tardiness? I repeat: meh

So my camycam is still broken, worse its sill just hanging out at the chicken hut, the miniDV tray refusing to close. It will take weeks to repair and since i am heading South for some unknown ammount of time I'd like to have it in the shop now rather than just before i board a plane back to Cascadia.

20 min after leaving the Chicken Hut I give up on delivering the cam cause I need to catch a Chinatown Bus soon, nevermind my natural tendicy to get lost when i know where im going. Sure enough I am way deeper in Brooklyn than i need to be to cross the Manhattan Bridge. The Chinatown Bus pulls off just as i roll up. Lucky for me there are 20-30 other passengers who are also stranded in Chinatown. So they are getting us another bus. We only wait a couple hours!

I spy a biker with all the messenger trimmings: chain around waist, track bike (fixed gearing w/ out handbrake... actually that describes a lot of bikers in this town, so nevermend) sure enough, Nick is going to Baltimore for the gangbang as well, and also has never taken said bus before.

We get dropped off in the middle of nowhere, that is to say we are now in Baltimore. There is a pitch of grass on the embankment next to the turnout from the freeway. About a quarter mile away I see some other more established bus lines have a building which could have a bathroom or phone I suppose. Austin and I use our powers of deduction and head into what we assume is the city center. Originally we were going to be so early we had planned on getting a bottle and finding a park, now they actually have their tables set up for registration only about an hour late, practically early according to BikeTime.

My knee is still swollen though. Ever since i crashed on Chris from TeamSpider's couch its been more fluid than meat. I keep on expecting to hear gushing noises every time i pedal. And it's my "good" knee. wasupwitthat? It's a team race and I can't put myself on a team cause I think i might not even be able to finish so I decide to save my dollabills for booze and just document what I can. Good thing too, biking around the core of the city was fun, but after a half hour I needed to flush out the fluids building in my joins.

"Across from the Hustler Club, next door to the Original Chicken Palace, is another 'chicken-based-palace-hut-thing'. Go though that alleyway past the video game arcade and in the back in a liquor store"

So I puck up some knee lube and OJ and head for the municipal buildings. they often are deserted early, have nice accommodations, and though are often patrolled by cops the pepper aren't gonna blink at some dirty biker drinking juice at cityhall.

A brother on a bike that I recognize from earlier rolls up and cops a squat on the bench next to me. He is messed up. Permanently. Burns, scars, sores, tweaked bones... still on a bike. So I share some juice and hear his story. His voice sounds like dried leaves in a food processor

"Im the devil's own."
"so your evil."
"i been bad"
"do you repent?"
"aint no savin me, every night i sleep with the devil"
"maybe you should check out the classified section"

Back at the party I keep on meeting folks from Washington, D.C. who want to buy me beer. Now I have a half drunk jug of vodka on my person, but who am i to turn beer down? Lot's of friendlies around including Harper, who was in Seattle and has since made a fresh start on the east coast.

"I've been given the responsibility of starting up a deadbaby outpost in DC"
"let's make some bikes!"
"I need a welder"
"naw, the design and engineering is more important. you can build choppers sans welds"
"give me a ring when your in DC"

Then I got distracted by a girl working a swag table in the party-lot (only a few trucks used for hauling things had parked there). Ginny is responsible for the styles out of Riot Apparel. Nice gal she had some dope shirts and a cute smile. But then after making nice for a few min I got distracted by some video action going on.

Dual projectors are set up. One has goldsprint info on it showing the relative position of the riders. (Goldsprints = 4 stationary bikes for racing a short distance... basically spinning out for 35 seconds, it's painfully annoying to participate but watching is kinda entertaining and makes for a better background than stupid 2 dimensional video crap. Of course these are the same guys who told me to put my clothes on or get out last time we had Goldsprints).

The other projector IS video crap, so I rush on over and talk some shop. Local cable access guy wants more bike videos. You dont say... No audio and the video breaks up cause the DVD has been though over 1000 miles in my bag. but still some of it looks good.

Then I get distracted by an alleyway. That is where I wake up several hours later. Almost everyone is gone. I call my contact from earlier who was actually excited to have me stay... Yeah, he's not answering.

But luckily I had met Stewy from Philly, who was going to a friend's place with 4 other guys. Aaron was super cool about us taking over his floor space and bought flat of Yingling beer to add to the mostly full handle of vodka I had.

Someone showed up with a burger that had 4 different kind of animals in it: pork, bacon, sausage, and ham... with an egg! delicious.

Man we had a great time in that space. Watched some videos, this time with sound. Hella entertainment. Stewy plays polo in Baltimore on Wednesdays. Aaron knows of the zoobomb and feels like he wants to help spread the word of the F.U.N. movement. B-Timor, Murderland could be next on the minibike circuit.

http://www.messengers.org/events/events2005/2005.07.09.baltimore.jpg
http://www.riotapparel.com/

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Its nonprofit time... is that like 4:20?

Megadittos to Steve from bike TV and Chris from Teamspider for putting me up. Thanks guys, ill be back to stink up your homes soon! Plus its great to edit video while on the road.

Drinking with Sommer and Sara in the "TimesUp New York" space, grillin and illin with some of the best enviro bikers anywhere. They tell me how sad they are not to have a PDX connection (Shift was almost "Times Up Portland"). who knows maybe there will be one in LA someday. Until then I enjoy the healthy supply of food available, as dumpster diving has been good to some of the regulars. Tons of fresh bread and pastries. This is as close to Portland as I have felt in 6 weeks. That may now sound like a long time but it feels like I've been gone forever.

We check out the "Still We Ride" NYC Critical Mass documentary at Anthology Archives. its fairly timely considering how much time and effort went into it, but still i want more. http://www.times-up.org/cm.php

Sara rides on my handlebars to Houston St. She is great at hopping right up and riding without fear. Its so much fun, i can hardly wait for Saturday during the Baltimore Courier Gangbang, a 3-person allycat with a dope flyer

http://nybma.com/

how can i not go? its like porn only it makes me feel just kinda dirty when i show it to a girl i dont know. There is a "handlebar race" so i assume that it's gonna look something like the flyer, hot bikers holding each other to avoid being tossed from a bike = kickass, and with recent practice I should be ready to rock.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

playing catchup

Lets try this at a greatter speed.

July 4th eventually I make it across the bridge back to the chicken hut, I colapse but I am not able to stay long.

To velodrome or not to velodrome, my body hath made the answer.

It says go ahead and try.

Stupid body, my mind knows that if i get out there by 3pm ill still have to bike from deep queens back down to south brooklyn. Last time I did that the Black Label kids and I were huffing it for what seemed like hours. Given that I had not yet failed to get lost on days where i was confident I could find the place, it was easy to avoid.

So a closing party at the Hook instead. Some fireworks over the East River (which seems more of a bay than a river) and I get to kinda see the statute of liberty at a distance.

Fireworks get more and more lame for me every year. If they aren't exploding within feet of me or someone's bike, i just dont wanna even try. I think back to last year's event on the 4th. I feel homesick. I am crowded by hundreds of strangers lined up on the esplanade checking their text messages and talking loudly. I remember Independence Day as a child. It was cool to sit back on some grass and see thing explode in the sky above. These Brooklyn kids are fucked.

Loneliness sets in. I replace said loneliness with a couple Colt 45. Sure enough it works every time.

Back to the closing party I cant find my id. How will i ever gain access to this dope party that has, i am told, cheap beer and free food. Another LosAnglian comes to my rescue. Of course I cant remember his name.

He give me his id which looks like a shot from a cheech and chong movie, and to complete the image i take his hat. I get the bracelet for reentry then check on the food. $5! well... maybe later, as it is the line curls around and around. I dont wait in line well so I make it to the fence to escape the mass. But I am stopped by one of the Portland crew who seem to have a great distaste for everything i do.

"Are you trying to get out?"
"Yeah Im gonna head though the gate"
"they put up a dumpster"
"Oh, well I think ill go check it out anyway"
"Im telling you its blocked"
"I just saw someone leave though it a min ago"
"Why dont you believe me? you are going to have to walk back though here!"
"I believe you, and yet I am still going to see if I can leave."

It was somewhat stressful moment. I did believe her and yet I wanted to see for myself. I guess we are both too stuborn for our own good.

A couple of euros were chillin by the dumpster in the only place that wasn't packed full of people. We make short talk and then agree that we should leave. The dumpster was in a hole, but with our biker sweat and indifference to smelling like crap we moved it. and the gate swung open.

Upon our leaving a older man who seemed out of place walked up to the gate. I told him that folks were supposed to go to the door first. My gamble paid off. He WAS the owner and he was happy i was regulating and he was ok with our using the gate as an exit. WIN WIN WIN (cause i really dont care if some old cat wants to sneak into said party, in fact i was kinda hoping i was wrong and that he was just a old drunk trying to crash)

back outside, the ID gets returned, and I come back to the land of $1.25 malt liquor. Billy D Williams must have been thinking about me drinking in the street, I am sure of it. Chillin with the LA folks feels so good, David Benoff and the crew, nice folk to be sure, who are still just beaming that Bikesummer in LA went over so well. Everyday i get an email about how happy someone is that now LA proved it is a bike culture city.

Then back inside for some Team Spider action. Maybe the best ska-punk-metal group ever? not likely, but they rocked tonight. The room hopped and though i agreed to tape the show for Chris I gave up the camera at the end so that I could dance some. It was great. Just as it was over the bunny hop was raging outside. They actually had a dirty bunny jumping over the bar to show the bikers how to do it. All the bikers got schooled by someone being called Vanilla Rasta by the MC, a skateboarder who was oiling way over what all the bikers could pull. Could the egg on face be an oversight? let the conspiracy theorists go to town.

Then more polo! alas we had no mallets, so we fastened them out of the bamboo shoots used for the bunny hop. We played into the morning, when the folks told us we had to go take over some other street. We left to play some rooftop polo, but i think it was a ploy to get us away. At least thats what Id like to think, rather than that there was 5 people waiting on some rooftop for me to show up. that would be disastrous. All because I was taking my time rolling with someone that wasn't going with us anyway (friggin messengers actually going to work, just cause its 7am)

If anyone knows how to reach Randal McMurphy from Zurich let me know. there is still more Vodka Rugby to be played.

pictures of these folk: http://nybma.com/cmwc2005/whosregistered.php
musical acts of bikenss: http://www.teamspider.com/
pictures of CMWC13: http://www.trackstarnyc.com/

Monday, July 04, 2005

fat in the city

This is sunday. this is race day.

Last night i was out at the bar watching burley girls tackle and wrestle the drunk boys to the streets. My heart wants to wrestle, but my knee is happy. it hasn't been an issue in months of riding so i think ill keep it. They kinda posted results, my number was not among the top 10 riders in my manifest. I felt like i was close, like i really had a shot.


This morning I make sure to get my helmet camera attachment off my broken camera. I call camera world, they have gotten no papers. They should have come in by now.

NYC Wolf Camera "why don't you have portland camera world fax us your warranty?"
rev "a fine idea. They should be in today."
PDX Camera World "That's odd, we faxed them last week."

and so it goes. Someday I will have my camera and the papers at the camera shop. Someday. I tell myself I am not leaving NY with that broken thing.

Until then I have been fortunate to have teamed up with the bike TV folks. Steve McMacpherson has a small Sony to loan me, for the helmet cam action and other shots that the "outsiders" could not. Funny i should be an outsider. I probably am, but i rarely let myself be aware of such things. My Shit-eatin-grin = other's chagrin.

For some reason I still held hope to race today. Maybe there was a type, a miscalculation... i raced to hard yesterday, almost flawlessly (with the exception of my tube having a blowout during the "flat fix" station.) just so I could use my helmet cam. I think maybe Squid (a primary organizer) will have a change of heart.

his words yesterday:

"You nearly killed me in Portland, that's why i was pissed"
"How"
"During that turn" (when he nearly hit me)
"Oh, I thought you were just fucking with me"

On my way to the big show I do manage to waste an hour trying to find media tapes at "J. & R." by the World Trade Center. This is a store crammed to the gills with technology, and yet i hate it so. It is everything about the future I detest. No cool kids. No reused anything. No idea where to get the things im looking for. No FREE GEEK style love. No this place sucked, and before it was over I had to go in and out of the store 5 times to different entrances to find the media for a camcorder. Then it was mine. and i left.

The PATH train out to Jersey City is pretty dope. 1.50 to ride, alas it takes 5-10 min just to get from the entrance and then walk down 4 staircases to the rail. Ahh security. I mean, this is a large hole. I would hate for someone to blow it up.

The race starts, im on the sideline. Maybe it is for the best. I get some good interviews with Orlando from LA, and Butch from Houston who now works in North Carolina. I burn though more tapes playing polo, rolling with Seattle's Messman, the group ride across the GW bridge and during the allycat.

So much alcohol. I try and document the mass intox going on. I hear stories of margaritas and spliffs and reggae music by Red Bull's tent.

Finally I get to hang with sommer just before he gets his skid on. He is in the finals and I want him to rock. He came here just for this event. But in the end, this little guy from Houston named Squirrel set a new world record, 509 feet.

skidding.

yes that is close to 2 football fields. More results are on the nybma site: http://nybma.com/cmwc2005/

Then a group photo is taken, which, now that I look at it is so packed full of folks there's no real reason to post the url, but clever folk will find it anyway, and be disappointed on their own accord. Randel McMurphy, aka The Zurich connection finds my "unbreakable" bottle of vodka. Within moments we are playing more Vodka Rugby. Let me just say it is an awesome game. Alas the bottle was not meant to be thrown 100s of feet, and dropped by a cameraman who thinks he can catch with his left hand, so once the plastic ring breaks, we announce, "TOPS OFF" and swill.

Then a great group ride. 100s of bikers touring the city. One cat had a penny farthing. He said he makes his own tubes, which is something I had been wondering about for awhile. Pulling up to the George Washington Bridge I see the kids ahead making the turn. But I know there are folks behind me, and I dont know if they know where to turn. So I stop and direct the bike traffic, but sure enough a cop rolls up.

"You cant be blocking traffic, you are breaking the law" (ahh that phrase should be on some biker's tombstone by now)
"yes sir. Im just trying to make sure we dont leave anyone behind. There are lots of bikers and they may not know where to turn. I didn't mean to break any laws"
"its too late for that, biking at dusk without lights..."
"You understand, there are people from all over the world, so it can be confusing."
"you gotta understand... this is Jersey City..."
"..." I give a confused look.
"You cant just be biking around breaking the law. That's why your organization is gonna be in trouble. No one was notified."

I start to defend the NYBMA when I notice the gate leading to the bike path across the bridge is now closing. Another cop standing near the gate puts his head down. I apologize to the cop and bolt for the last seconds of the opening. Im not sure everyone got across but I do know that no one got in behind me. At least not without having to deal with Jersey City's finest.

Eventually we make it to the video night at Riverside Park. It's over 100 blocks north, so Im guaranteed to have a nice long ride home to Brooklyn. No time to relax though, my batteries need charging. But the barrista is weird about me plugging in my camera. UGH! these people and their "heightened security". Eventually the manager comes back and also thinks its a bad idea.

"This plug cant be out where we would trip on it"
"why dont we follow the cable back to the wall"
"well ok."

sure enough there is an outlet. And I get fresh batteries and just in time too, the race starts and for the second time tonight 100s of bikers tear out of the park, carrying their bikes running up several staircases. I follow. I shoot. I awesome.

We weave in and out of traffic. one way streets mean "our way" streets. But before I know it my tape runs out, and since im double drinking at stops it slips my mind.

GOD IM SO TIRED.

This race is only supposed to take a hour or 90 min. We go all the way down to the finical dist, then over the Williamsburg bridge... But this is where i get messed up. I get dropped by the pack at the Rockstar bar, so although I know I should go north to the 59th Street Bridge, I follow the other slowpoke back across the Willamsburg. bad idea. Then I gotta go across the 59th St bridge to make a paper airplane. But the guys there look at me and keep on asking, "should I put you on a subway?"

Now sitting down in a cool subway sounds nice, but even in my stupor I know that i am in no condition to figure out what stops I would have to make, never-mind having to carry a bike on any more stairs. So I roll back into the city with these guys working the stop, as they are sure no one else will be coming though at this hour (i guess im way behind). So I try to make up for being late by flying down the bridge hitting all the green lights, but I see up ahead a wet patch on the asphalt.

"No prob, my cyclecross tread will make short work of..."

I am down.

The wet spot happens to be a thin layer of fat/grease that has been dumped across the lane. The road rash on my knee and elbow smells delicious.

Then when going though a park i come upon Orlando and El Jimmy, and sure enough El Jimmy is decked out in his bike tube armor. Full on rubber smock, and a bloody chain ring in his head. A great costume. Really the only one i have seen thus far.

They are also blotto and crunk, so together we decide to try and get to the finish line. Even though we both live in the opposite direction. Finally we arrive and moments after I turn in my manifest a bullhorn goes off: the police are here, everyone has to leave right now.

ugh

Still I try to go find the crew at the bar. Yeah its late, and yeah im tired, but if its on the way home, maybe one of the 2 girls i kissed today are hanging out waiting for a well lubricated reverend to come walking in.

Ted Shred (the brakeless freewheelin' turntablist) is rolling with his lady as well. Sure enough there's bikes a plenty, and parking is scarce. So after several min of stumbling around trying to lift up the bike to lock it up (literally up) I am refused at the door.

"we are closing it down."

Its just as well. I am sick of being told that I am lucky to be able to pay only $3 dollars for a Budweiser.

I was so irate by the absence of booze, and folks lameness I decide to rock it down to where I know I can be treated well at 430am: Punjabi

The only Indian food cafe I have ever been to with Motor Oil available for purchase. For $4 they pack the grub. My eyes are big now, I am famished. At least my exhausted body tells me food is the answer. Better add some Samosas to the order.

I get a smile from a girl with her friend as im leaving and she is ordering. Sure enough we get to sit together on the stoop outside. I am tired I dont want to have to work hard to find a place to sleep. I am totally prepared to just crash in a park a few blocks away, but a bed would be a fine alternative.

We make nice for a few min, and then a Puerto Rican guy walks up and starts with his rap. He is definitely high to be able to talk that fast at 5am. He has a good wit, but i can tell the girls are not interested in taking him home. They decide to hail a cab.

"We would put you up, but we really cant bring anyone home without consulting our roommates first, they are already pissed at us."

"Well if im not on your couch they wouldn't know."

One girl smiles at me, the other grabs her arm, "we gotta go"

crushing.

Back to plan A, find a public park, sleep, enjoy the hot night. Which all the sudden has gotten significantly colder. All the benches in nyc have an "arm rest" looking thing every 4 feet or so. A cleaver way to prevent folks from stretching out, but I am not daunted. I just lock up the bike and try to position myself. The sun is rising but Im cold. I look though my bag for heat options. Having my helmet on helps some, more than the shin guard I got at the freestore. I find some sunlight to warm myself in, then lay down, then im cold again. So I keep this up for awhile until the sun is on a bench then I lay in the sun. Around 8 or so the park is hopping with martial arts and dog walkers. If only i had a sparks. Then this whole "sleeping" thing would irrelevant. Conveniently, the toilet paper I bought for the Chicken Hut is still in my bag, so at least I had a nice pillow.

The next day I noticed my rear brake started rubbing again. I wonder how long it was like that. The real danger in drinking in not injury, it's missing out because you are too far gone to know that your brake is stuck.

I really need to shower.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Feel these rippling lebaneese abs baby!

for posterity, i have no idea what "my shwarma is loose" is supposed to mean. I did write this while at this awesome Lebanese place, Oasis (massive $3 falafel), so im sure that has something to do with it. maybe i was feeling the sacrificial lamb.

It was the best $3 falafel ever.

My Sharma is loose

It could be late.

I reclaim some street for the polo gods. Perhaps they will protect me tomorrow during the qualifying race. I want to ride in the main race on Sunday, but qualifying at 1030 am is a death sentance. Nevermind the world class bikers who are gonna kick my ass. Of 700 riders, only 125 will be allowed to move on to the Finals

My wheels are fat and underinflated, my rear brake sticks (Im told the pad could have a lip on it that is catching the rim. Thanks Jim C... and thanks for bringing my rack all the way from LA, and thanks for the beer... uh i guess i owe you.) my headset is still loose from only having one of the 2 allen bolds in the neck, my chain slips off the big ring if im not ginger with down shifting. Plus its late and i was just fed unlimited free beer at the party. I wish someone had told me that before I bought and downed a half a bottle of cheap vodka, but i guess the OJ was good for me...

Being that drunk means you get to be really happy when you see other drunks. No mistake i am cautioned by the locals for swinging Orlando around like a sack of potatoes. Rather than have the Polish Mob who frequent the venue after me (It's called The Warsaw, I should have known) I leave and now I seem to have forgotten just what I did afterward.

My head spins like a cottencady fed 10 year old ADD kid coming off the Scrambler. Not quite able to walk to the exit, not able to stop moving, and fearful if you dont make it quick the crazy eyed carny will start up the ride again with you on the platform.

Friday, July 01, 2005

polo? its on like donkykong!

Last night was the gold sprint qualifiers. Totally a retarded way to ride a stationary bike. But those that are good enough to spin out their legs as fast as possible for 500 meters looked good.

A much more productive time happened outside where drinks are cheaper and polo more appropriate. Grass is for potatoes, Street is for polo.

We angle the cones so that we are not chasing the ball every-time someone shoot as the goal. I whup up on some euros, but they show amazing progress. Could world polo be long away? Folks are playing in canada, Germany, switzerland, and im sure others. And im not talking about grass polo neither, I mean NW style bike hockey.

Once that ends and the euro kids and I still have whisky we start playing with the mostly empty large plastic bottle. sure enough whisky rugby is invented. I haven't had that much fun since I left the west hills. I dont remember how I got home.

after my first slow day at the chicken hut I was worried i wouldn't find a way to occupy my time in NYC. But after giving Greg a hand keeping some wooden shelving from being pitched into the dumpster and a few other random things... well it seems I may be able to carry my weight. The Chicken Hut takes in so many travelers... you dont have to be a burden to be a burden. But everyone has been great.

I particularly liked that one of the guys here, Manny, took me out to Rockaway beach at 6am. I had just finished the evening of my liver's discontent when realizing it was likely too late to ring up anyone, I saw a light on and movement on the 4th floor. Sure enough manny is going surfing.

"Hey I surf, or rather, after 8 years of going to the ocean with a fiberglass board and neoprene suit I still can only frolic in the water... LETS GO!"

Fully prepared to crash in the car, manny instead takes me underground and has me record his bringing a surfboard on the subway. awesome. We meet up with his friend John and after taking 4 transfers and a short hike (complete with egg in bagel for $1.25) I am on the beach gurgling sand. Fortunately around 10 am I realize im about to go lobster boy, so I put my towel/pillow over my face since I got no sunscreen.

Manny crashes into the jetty and is fine but dings up his ride pretty good. So he decides to get out rather than water log his board. I take John's out and really enjoy not having a wet suit to fight against. My best surfing days have always been sans neoprene (my best ever on the Oregon coast... i didn't stay in long). This was not one of my best days. but I am able to catch some rides, along with the nose of the board. So I spent a lot of time trying to not screw up other surfers.

hats off to Messman, aka Matt Messenger from Seattle for bringing hella mallets AND organizing polo (esp since trackstar has been busy working the other events, on top of being a bikeshop during the busy months in a city that has its share of bikers)