Confessions of a failed cyclist
A poseur’s diary
By Josh Fernandez
Sunday, March 1: Man, hard-core bikers are sweet. Actually, no, the weekend warriors who sweat bacon grease out of their spandex are not sweet. At all. But the guy I saw today—with the tattoos and that miniature hat with the little bill flipped up—was radical. I always pass bike-messenger types while driving my car, and even though they get bent out of shape when I swerve in front of them, their whole scruffy aura is too badass to pass up.
Saturday, March 7: Went to San Francisco today and saw real bike messengers, with their knee scabs, recreational crack smoking and dreadlocked girlfriends, and I couldn’t help but to think, “Yeah, man, that’s my scene.”
Saturday, April 4: Today I ditched my boring-ass, pedestrian lifestyle and looked for a bike on Craigslist. I wanted a road bike that looked like a fixie without actually being a fixie. The concept of a bike with no brakes on it is like a boxer who gets in the ring and punches himself in the face, you know? Anyway, I found a nice hundred-dollar road bike and bought it from this sketchy dude in Elk Grove. It’s a radical bike, but it’s white and kind of plain looking. I figured I could paint it bright orange later. I also bought a lock at Target, so right when I got my bike home, I chained it to the fence outside my apartment.
Sunday, April 5: ****, I feel so much cooler now since I’ve become a biker. In honor of my new status, I put on some Seattle politi-punk music and kicked my feet around the house until I got hungry enough to head to Safeway. On the way out, I looked at my new bike—sleek, rugged, totally sustainable. But I got into my car and drove off. While I stood in the frozen-foods section, I wondered, “What do bikers eat? Meat? Tofu?” I settled on Kool-Aid and went home.
Monday, April 6: Last night I might have overdosed on juice. My dream was epic! I dreamed I was riding my bike like a steed through a fiery land occupied by demonic wizards and dragons. And ninjas. There were tons of karate ninjas. I had no destination, but I rode forward, frothing at the mouth like a priest at a preschool open house. But instead of molesting children, I slew dragons and wizards with my magical sword. When I woke up, morning wood was in full effect. I was sweating, invigorated and ready to mount my bike and rip through the city to work.
When I got outside, I dropped my fingerless gloves on the concrete. There was only a chain dangling from my fence—my bike just a sweet, stolen memory. So I got in my car and drove off.