Phil's Bike Tour

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"


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