Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-13-05, 10:33 AM   #1
Mayonnaise
Arschgaudi
Thread Starter
 
Mayonnaise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago (Beverly)
Bikes: Merckx Team SC, Masi (fixed), Merckx Cyclo-Cross
Posts: 834
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Some nights I’m just too damn tired to make the 20 mile ride home and choose to hop on the Metra with my bike. Last night was one of those nights. The miles I’d ridden all week combined with the three beers in 30 minutes at Cal’s made the last train out a certainty. Not too crowded, but enough. I boarded and followed my normal routine.

I take one of two trains out, depending on time, and have come to know and be known by all the attendants. I’ve established a pattern of super cool . I say hello. I get on the train with my clean bike, secure it with my bungee, have my prepaid ticket ready, read my book. If I’ve had something to drink, I keep it to myself: I don’t preach, I don’t testify, don’t need no witness. Don’t impress anyone with my Roger Daltrey-***-Axl Rose vocal prowess. I am a Nun at Sunday Mass, dig, obedient, quiet, faithful, praying my rosary. When my stop approaches I get ready way ahead of time so as not to cause a delay. I detrain quickly, looking them in the eye and say good night. It’s usually their last run and they want to get home as fast as I do. That’s it. The same every time I ride, nice and predictable.

Just before we leave a guy rushes onto the train, obviously running late, hustling to make the last train out.

Randomness is perplexing to me sometimes. How in a city the size of Chicago do you run into the same stranger three times in three different places in one short summer? Many of the same people ride the last train out, you get to know their faces, start making up little stories about their lives, give them nicknames. First time I saw this guy that barely made the train was here on the train. He was talking to a young “friend” loudly that night, going on and on with his lame movie and book reviews and half baked philosophy. The kind of ranting that’s too loud to tune out. The kind of guy you get trapped next to and want to strangle after 15 minutes because he will not shut the [blank] up. If nothing else, the Jesuits taught me to spot false logic and it soon was clear that while this guy seemingly had read these books, the department in his brain that sorted the information and built the foundations for his arguments had been underfunded by the trickle down Reaganomics in the 80’s, shuddered in the 90’s and is now home to a bustling family of field mice playing Euchre. About two weeks later I saw him in a restaurant and had a 15 minute battle with myself wondering how do I know this guy. Not long after I saw him again at the help desk at Borders, going on and on to the poor grad student (Modern American Poetry, no doubt, good luck: “Waiter, more iced tea please”). I know you, I thought to myself, I know you. And now, tonight he’s back. I’ve been watching him closely all summer but he has no idea who I am. I pretend to read.

He’s wearing a Jimmy Buffett T-Shirt, peach pants, bleached hair, and a red face to match his pants. He’s disorientated from running and tries to focus. He’s looking for a seat. He spots the Masi that is taking up what I suspect is his usual seat and starts talking to everyone, words coming fast, “can we move this bike, can we put this bike over there, what about this bike, can we move this bike.” He may have been drunk but I don’t think so, rather, I think he’s a bit, you know, touched. He keeps going on until half the car turns to me “reading” my book. I acknowledge him directly. “Yes, can I help you?” I ask. “Can you move this bike, it’s taking up my seat?” I look him right in the eye, I see his red face, the Tilt sign blinking brightly through his eyeballs, and right in the center of his lips is a sticky bit of goo between the top and bottom lip that won’t break even when he’s talking. For a few seconds the goo is all I can think about. I point to four other seats and say “there’s a seat here, here, and here.” “I want to sit by myself,” he says, “and you’re taking up 1 2 3 4 5, 5 seats.” Mr. Peach was crazy but he wasn’t unreasonable so I figured I’d help him out. What do I care, my ride is short, I’ll be off in three stops. “Give me a minute,” I say, fussing with my bag and book. A conductor taking tickets tells him there’s open seats in the next car and Mr. Peach says he needs to go the bathroom first. I go back to my book.

He finally emerges from the restroom. Mustn’t have found his medication because he’s more ramped than before. “You gonna move this bike?” Mr. Peach says, looking at me, goo still on his lips “Last I heard you were going to another car to find a seat,” I say, beginning to lose patience. “Are you going to move this bike or am I going to do it for you,” he threatens. “Don’t touch my bike.” I say. “Move your bike or I’ll move it for you,” he commands. I don’t like to be told what to do, but I’m still willing to be a nice guy and move the bike, I don’t care. He’s a freak but whatever. I can see his mind racing so I slow things down, like Kwai Chang Caine, “I’ll be with you in a minute,” I say after a long pause. Again I pause, barely moving towards collecting my stuff. He can’t take my benign behavior. “You gonna move this bike or am I gonna move it for you [blank].” With that word negotiations ceased.

He was bullying, he was confrontational, I had cause. I’d had those beers at Cal’s, my hatred for him grew to a giant whitehead, I had my hand on my U Lock. All those things you wish you would have said afterwards were coming to me beforehand, all my moves were clear and focused, it was a chess game and I played 5 moves deep. I’ve had a 3000 mile summer, suffering and living with pain, chasing after some of the fastest wheels in the region, pushing beyond my pain threshold. I was fit and I wasn’t the least bit scared of him. A chance like this comes around once in a lifetime. “You’re a tough guy now?” I said (I can be butch if I need to). He went after my bike.

Right then, right there Brother Mayonnaise got real chilly. Cool breeze. Like someone turned on the air conditioner, like a hint of autumn suddenly in the air, I was cool, baby, very cool. Like Dylan in the 60’s, Bowie in the 70’s, Prince in the 80’s, Cobain in the 90’s, I was cool. Bono and Mick were driving Chevrolets. I didn’t return Madonna’s call. I was cool I tells you, cool. Like James Brown eternal, like Jack Nicholson used to be, like Barry Mannilow never was, I was low down bad ass cool. Muddy Waters shouted “Mayonnaise” from beyond the grave. Digging the scene with a gangster lean.

Mr. Peach tried to move the bike but didn’t see the bungee, got frustrated and flipped his wig. He treated the whole car to a scene from Rainman when the conductor came by and asked what was the problem. He kept counting out the seats , “1 2 3 4 5, 5 seats, 1 2 3 4 5, 5 seats, he’s taking up 5 seats, I need to sit, he’s not moving his bikes, look, 1 2 3 4 5, 5 seats.” His voice was loud, his behavior wild. When he wasn’t in the gym he was a conductor on Metra and he quietly, logically spelled out the policy. “It is Metra’s policy to allow bikes on the train. Bikes are allowed here and here. It is the policy of the train. Like I told you there are open seats all over the train. I suggest you find yourself a seat and comply with Metra policy.” Dumb as a bucket of shrimp, at least he had three self preservation impulses that managed to bridge the synapse and made it to the Fight or Flight Department: Self Preservation Division in his psyche, which triggered, rather quickly, the flight solution, and shut his pie hole and left to find another seat. Everyone in the car clapped.

Last edited by Mayonnaise; 09-13-05 at 10:40 AM.
Mayonnaise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 10:48 AM   #2
Ira in Chi
loves living in the city.
 
Ira in Chi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow that was dense. Next time you do that maybe double-space? Definitely some great moments in there. Cheers to Metra for their bike policy.
Ira in Chi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 10:48 AM   #3
drac_vamp
hullo.
 
drac_vamp's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: san francisco
Bikes: 74 paramount track, 80s maruishi track, 70s chesini track.
Posts: 1,458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bravo
drac_vamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 10:53 AM   #4
teadoggg
Skidmaster
 
teadoggg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chicago
Bikes: don walker, redline, TBD
Posts: 1,627
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
one of the most enjoyable threads I've read in a while. Thanks, Mayo!
teadoggg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 10:54 AM   #5
EnLaCalle
Radio Bemba 00.0
 
EnLaCalle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Rocking the spot.
Bikes:
Posts: 866
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Agreed. Though it's too bad... I thought that the spittle flecked offender might turn out to be none other than J-Po, aka Josh Po aka Josh Powell aka BODEGA BANDIT!!
EnLaCalle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 10:56 AM   #6
teadoggg
Skidmaster
 
teadoggg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chicago
Bikes: don walker, redline, TBD
Posts: 1,627
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnLaCalle
Agreed. Though it's too bad... I thought that the spittle flecked offender might turn out to be none other than J-Po, aka Josh Po aka Josh Powell aka BODEGA BANDIT!!

haha! i knew he'd turn up again.
teadoggg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 10:57 AM   #7
jim-bob
hateful little monkey
 
jim-bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: oakland, ca
Bikes:
Posts: 5,274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Man, you really need to get some new villains.
jim-bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 10:58 AM   #8
HereNT
無くなった
 
HereNT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sci-Fi Wasabi
Bikes: I built the Bianchi track bike back up today.
Posts: 5,073
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayo
He spots the Masi
Um, isn't that the one with gears?
HereNT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 11:10 AM   #9
absntr
Frankly, Mr. Shankly
 
absntr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago
Bikes:
Posts: 3,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Nope, Masi's the fixed, Merckx is the geared.
absntr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 11:15 AM   #10
HereNT
無くなった
 
HereNT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sci-Fi Wasabi
Bikes: I built the Bianchi track bike back up today.
Posts: 5,073
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Cool - just wanted to make sure we were on topic with all the moving threads...

BTW Mayo - great use of [blank]...
HereNT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 11:21 AM   #11
*new*guy
ambassador of good will
 
*new*guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NOVA
Bikes: many.
Posts: 2,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Warm mayo can give you food poisoning, so it's good you kept your cool. Nicely written.
*new*guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 11:38 AM   #12
r-dub
likes avocadoes
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: oakland, ca
Bikes: heh, like that info would fit here...
Posts: 1,125
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Congrats on the keeping cool and letting things settle...I'm not sure I could do that if someone touched my Masi...
r-dub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 12:09 PM   #13
rexbantam
attacksquad
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: illtown, DE
Bikes: 3rensho pursuit bike, miyata church-bar cruiser, huffy rockslide
Posts: 57
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
if someone touches your masi again, tell an adult right away
rexbantam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 12:10 PM   #14
progre-ss
Senior Member
 
progre-ss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: The Poconos, PA
Bikes: Converted 1997 Trek Singletrack 930 singlespeed and a Kona Lavadome singlespeed, fixed Dahon folding bike, fixed 27" Miyata road bike, early 70's Raleigh Chopper
Posts: 1,002
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
I didn’t return Madonna’s call.
NICE!

It's difficult not to stare at the sticky bit of goo ain't it? Glad he didn't get the better of you. Seems like your Metra Attendants are "friends with benefits"! Hats of to Metra.

It's always a pleasure to read your posts Mayonnaise.
progre-ss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 12:45 PM   #15
Jesse M
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: out and on the parkway
Bikes:
Posts: 949
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
“You’re a tough guy now?”
haha. awesome, mayo.
Jesse M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 12:54 PM   #16
ImOnCrank
Yay!11! I has!!!1
 
ImOnCrank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Eastcoast
Bikes: Cocaine the white stallion, Custom Witcomb pista, (Being restored) 80's Pogliaghi Track, (destroyed) RAP Round Breeze NJS, Cannondale Jekyll 900, 84/5 Pinarello Montello (all italian)
Posts: 1,659
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Gotta love the mayo story
__________________
Bloodstains, speed kills, fast bikes, cheap thrills, French girls, fine wine...
ImOnCrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 12:59 PM   #17
Aeroplane
jack of one or two trades
 
Aeroplane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Suburbia, CT
Bikes: Old-ass gearie hardtail MTB, fix-converted Centurion LeMans commuter, SS hardtail monster MTB
Posts: 5,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
Don’t impress anyone with my Roger Daltrey-***-Axl Rose vocal prowess.
Got to love it when the robo-sensors remove the word when it's used legitimately. Good story.
Aeroplane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 01:03 PM   #18
sashae
ganbatte!
 
sashae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: nyc
Bikes: '06 Vanilla touring, '09 Vanilla cx, Zanconato cx, Moots Psychlo-X RSL prototype, Nagasawa track, Kalavinka track, Black Cat 29er, Cannondale Rize 2 26er, Serotta CRL Legend
Posts: 1,648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've actually had pretty good experience with MTA Metro North in New York... on a full train, conductor had me stand in the doorway, and said "this stop, the next one, and <x stop later> are the only ones on this side... just move into the doorway once we pass the next two, and you're fine."

Kept giving people the hairy eyeball when they were preparing to give me grief about the bike too.

It's rare, and it's good to have it happen.
sashae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 01:52 PM   #19
shot
shot
 
shot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 297
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
I’ve established a pattern of super cool.
Um...
shot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 02:09 PM   #20
hubs
@#$% cars
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Chicago
Bikes: '02 Schwinn Frontier;'03 Fisher Tiburon; '04 Raleigh Companion; 04 Dahon SpeedPro; 69 Raleigh Sport fixed
Posts: 405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
send a copy to metra. their guy got it right!!! WOO HOO!
hubs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 02:13 PM   #21
pitboss
cxmagazine dot com
 
pitboss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: WI
Bikes: Titus road, Fort CX
Posts: 8,269
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Redemption is now spelled M-A-Y-O?
pitboss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 02:56 PM   #22
iamjberube
idée fixée
 
iamjberube's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: back of the house
Bikes:
Posts: 629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
as always, thanks mayo.
iamjberube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 03:24 PM   #23
i_DROP
An Artful Dodger
 
i_DROP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Crooklyn
Bikes:
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
I can see his mind racing so I slow things down, like Kwai Chang Caine, “I’ll be with you in a minute,” I say after a long pause.
This made my day... hilarious.

//still at work.
i_DROP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 03:51 PM   #24
lilHinault
.
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: .
Bikes: .
Posts: 3,094
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Welcome back, Mayo! And great post!
lilHinault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-05, 03:58 PM   #25
Santaria
Senior Member
 
Santaria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brownsville, TX
Bikes: Surly CC
Posts: 2,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As a professional writer, I give you props on the story, but break that up next time a bit better. Nice flow.

/applaud.
Santaria is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:50 AM.