Phil's Bike Tour

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."

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