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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)

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Old 02-18-04, 12:43 PM   #1
Mayonnaise
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Soil Falling Over My Head

Cruising Archer, shooting gaps, toasting yellows, charging like an Apache; still winter in Chicago and I’m snorting steam like a caribou. Salt, grime, dirt soon cover me as I cycle down the wet streets heading to the lake. I ****** at Phoenix Park in Chinatown (sight of my ungracious fall) and trackstand in silent vigil over the forsaken manhole cover that brought me down. In a perverse dance, I release my monkey, hock one magic loogie and yell a yell stolen from Skeletor in Pedal, then surge into the future: 18th down to the revamped Pedway, over the train tracks and onto the path on the south side of Soldier Field. Winter keeps all the pretenders home which means I have the whole lakefront to myself except for the occasional anorexic running for her life. Mist covers everything and muffles the sounds of the city, buffering the onslaught. Heading into the north wind I’m a million miles away. Don’t even dodge the puddles of soft slush. It’s cold but I’m warm. Got Wiener Circle on my mind.

I’m always finding stuff in the street. My favorite was a half set of dentures (top) I spotted one day in the gutter. It was chilly then too and I had my long gloves on so I picked them up in put them in my jersey pocket. I brought them home and washed them and now they’re on my bookcase. I salute them before each ride, a reminder of human frailty. Right near Tower Records on Clark (new address, corner of Bankruptcy & Chapter 11. I hate Tower Records), I spot something brown and out of place. I stop to pick it up. Sure enough, a wallet with $107 in cash. I look quickly then close it, just in case someone is setting up some kind of trap. I’m slightly delirious from my good fortune. I say “Score” aloud and promise myself I’m keeping it this time. I start hearing voices. My conscience starts asserting itself, first from behind then right in my ear. I’m prepared to wrestle and start making bargains. I’ll keep it but I’ve got to sit here a 20 minutes to see if anyone comes back looking for it. Few minutes pass and everything seems normal. Cool, no one’s coming. Okay, okay, I’ll check again. I take out the wallet and have a deeper look, pretending like it’s mine. There is no identification at all, no credit cards, no drivers license, no nothing, just the cash (bunch of small bills) and that’s it. Looks like it’s going to be my day. Wait...in a hidden fold there’s a beat up Chicago Public Library Card with a name: Jason Ramos. My stomach sinks. By now my 20 minutes are up and all I want is to hop on my bike and bolt, I tell you, I’ve already got that money spent. But I can’t move. I’m sparring hard with the voices and I’m loosing. I reach for my cell phone call 411 and they put me through to the library. I tell them what has happened, give the name and number on the card and my cell phone number. “You satisfied?” I shout to myself. At least now I’ve done all I could and if no one calls I’m keeping the damn money. Gonna have some fun with it too. Tomorrow night is Black Drag Queen night at the Jackhammer, or maybe that new Talking Heads boxed set, maybe even pay down a little credit card debt: forget that. I bet my phone rang no more than 3 minutes later, tops. Guy introduces himself as Jorge Ramos, says, “you found my son’s wallet?” Couple of awkward exchanges as we negotiate it’s return. I tell him I’m on my bike and I’d be glad to bring it over. Jorge’s cautious but then realizes I called him so takes his trust one step further and gives me his address. He’s over near Damen and Montrose, which is near where I used to live. I tell him I’ll be there in 20 minutes. Soon as he said “son” the voices and arguing stopped for good.

The house was easy to find, I passed it 100 times when I would get take out from the Greeks down the street. Homemade Christmas were decorations still up in late February. The door opened as soon as I stepped on the porch, guess they saw me coming. Jorge answers the door and there’s an eager 12 year old boy behind him and a sweet faced girl, maybe a year younger third: six big brown wide eyes checkin me out. I hand over the wallet right away, see their expressions, feel their relief, smell the warm air of the house. He thanks me and asks me where I found it. I tell him, and Dad looks at son with a telling look. Jorge tells me Jason and his younger sister had been saving money for a couple months to by concert tickets (he said the name of the group, but I tell you I never heard it before and couldn’t even remember to repeat it), they were in line at the Ticketmaster inside Tower when Jason reached for his wallet and couldn’t find it. “I told him to be careful with that money.” I’ll bet that’s not all he told him. I had the distinct feeling that Dad just got done tearing Jason a new *******, yelling the whole way home, and Jason not hearing a single word. Dad’s anger meant nothing to him because all he could see was the heartbreak of his younger sister as she said, “you mean we don’t get to go.” He’s not a boy anymore, but not yet a man, is learning the hard lessons of responsibility and hasn’t learned to cry like an adult yet, so his emotion comes out in anger, but his Dad was more angry, so all he had was a broken heart that wouldn’t stop hurting with nothing he could do to fix it. Then the library called and the house got real quiet.
Dad opens the wallet and takes out a $20 and hands it over to me. “No, it’s alright,” I say waving him off with my open palm. “It’s from my money not Jason’s,” he says. I wouldn’t be able to sustain it, not when I’d go home and see a People’s Gas envelop or a Colorado Cyclist catalog in the mail, but at that instant, on that porch, seeing that family rescued by a guy on a bike, money meant nothing to me. I insisted the answer was no. “I want to do something...” Suddenly, I blurt out, “have you got a banana?” “Jason, see if there’s a banana.” “And would you mind filling my water bottle?,” I asked handing it over to him. Jason heads back to the kitchen and there’s 10 seconds of silence as we both realize we’ve taken care of business and there’s nothing left to say; strangers brought together and soon to part for ever. “You rode your bike all the way from Tower?” “Sure,” I say, “it’s really not that far.” “You a messenger or something?” “Na, I just like to ride.” “I got a bike in the garage,” he says, “don’t ride it too much anymore.” Jason shows up with a ****ty brown banana that I knew I’d accept but never eat. “Sorry,” he says, “it’s all we have.” Dad looks and smiles and you could tell it was going to be a family joke for a week or so: guy finds Jason’s wallet and all we give him is a rotten banana. I take the water bottle back and make a quick exit, not wanting to prolong excessive thank yous, they were eager to get back to their lives too.
I take my leave and see those damn neglected Christmas decorations obviously made by an innocent child, imagine Jason being so excited about a new Playstation and how now it’s ordinary and how Dad must have been fuming but is now chilled and is looking for the right words to say to his kids about doing good in the world and how it’s been a long cold depressing winter and how I’m emotionally vulnerable and I keep imagining that sweet little girl saying, “you mean we don’t get to go.” I make a quick turn into the alley, dismount and cover my eyes.
The garage door I’m standing near opens and it’s the Ramos family. I didn’t think about it, but sure enough, I was right behind their house. I had just enough time to pretend like I was adjusting something before they spotted me. “Heading back to Tower,” Jorge explains, “thanks again.” Car heads down the alley, makes a right onto Montrose and is gone.
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Old 02-18-04, 02:03 PM   #2
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damn.. another great story Mayo... have you given any thought about getting these published ?

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Old 02-18-04, 02:35 PM   #3
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Your life is either a patchwork of fantastic tales, or you're a great lier. I don't know how you have so many amazing adventures
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Old 02-18-04, 03:16 PM   #4
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Excellent.

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Old 02-18-04, 03:21 PM   #5
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doing good, feels good.
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Old 02-18-04, 03:34 PM   #6
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What can I say - another great one, Mayo. ThanX for taking the time to share.
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Old 02-18-04, 04:08 PM   #7
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Glad to see you back here.
Funny, I found a credit card at the completion of my run this morning. Capital One No Hassel card. Turned it over to the gas station attendant, I still hope it didn't turn out to be a bigger hassel after I left.
Thanks for deeds that will teach kids that it's still good to be a good person.
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Old 02-18-04, 04:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny B
Your life is either a patchwork of fantastic tales, or you're a great lier. I don't know how you have so many amazing adventures
all you gotta do is ride a lot and look at what is around you.
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Old 02-18-04, 09:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 165-48:17
all you gotta do is ride a lot and look at what is around you.
Yea, I agree. All you have to do is open yr eyes and look until your eyes tear. ...Or read Mayo.
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Old 02-20-04, 09:34 PM   #10
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The Queen Is Dead
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Old 02-21-04, 01:39 AM   #11
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The Queen Is Dead
Louder Than Bombs
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Old 02-21-04, 07:15 PM   #12
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Meat is Murder?
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Old 02-22-04, 10:35 AM   #13
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Hatful of Hollow

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p.s. did this morph into a Smiths discussion ?
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Old 02-22-04, 03:27 PM   #14
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just checking to see if anyone caught the reference in the title of the piece.
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Old 02-23-04, 10:54 AM   #15
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just checking to see if anyone caught the reference in the title of the piece.
Was it a Queen is Dead riff? I just go that record. What's the source of the reference?
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Old 02-23-04, 11:14 AM   #16
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Was it a Queen is Dead riff? I just go that record. What's the source of the reference?
http://www.oz.net/~moz/lyrics/thequeen/iknowits.htm
for starters...you can try tying in the synopsis to Mayo's story, but I do not see it tied in.
Possibly just referencing the following:
His only companionship is his false self-exalting nonsense which was just stripped from him think of the browning banana as a reward - and who knows if the water bottle wasn't filled from the toilet. It is nice to be rewarded when an action (such as returning $107 cash found in the street) is performed out of better judgement, albeit Mayo was tempted to keep the money. Yet the reward in this case is hardly worth the time. Also, actions done out of charity typically aren't meant to be rewarded, and Mayo did refuse the $20 reward - as would have I. So the knife spoken of in the song review is twisted in harder with the mushy banana. I can't really make the full connection, so this is more or less just nonsense to keep you reading my post.
And it worked.

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Old 02-23-04, 11:26 AM   #17
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just checking to see if anyone caught the reference in the title of the piece.
So much for my theory that Mayo was actually a 13 year-old girl living in La Paz, Bolivia...That or I’m correct and Morrissey is cold chillin' on his private Costa Rican island thanks to the legions of black clad adolescents that just can't get enough mope..
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Old 02-23-04, 01:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny B
Your life is either a patchwork of fantastic tales, or you're a great lier. I don't know how you have so many amazing adventures
Yeah no shiit, my story-post would have been short:

"This morning while I was riding I found a wallet with $107 in it... and now I have a new saddle! What a great day!"

Ha ha ha...
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Old 02-23-04, 03:15 PM   #19
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hey! how come they set up a separate forum for Track Cycling, but we still don't have a Fiction Forum?

mayo, you owe britney loyalties on this one:

"He’s not a boy anymore, but not yet a man..."

-ROB
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Old 02-23-04, 04:45 PM   #20
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Please someone tell me they've seen the movie Pedal. Skeletor was tweaked, but man, he stole the show.
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Old 02-23-04, 04:53 PM   #21
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Please someone tell me they've seen the movie Pedal. Skeletor was tweaked, but man, he stole the show.
Pedal, the independent film on bike messengers? For those that are looking for more info:http://www.sundancechannel.com/popup/?ixFilmID=1989
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Old 02-23-04, 05:10 PM   #22
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so this is more or less just nonsense to keep you reading my post.
And it worked.
I fell for it hook, line, and pothole.
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Old 02-24-04, 09:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 165
http://www.oz.net/~moz/lyrics/thequeen/iknowits.htm
for starters...you can try tying in the synopsis to Mayo's story, but I do not see it tied in.
Possibly just referencing the following:
His only companionship is his false self-exalting nonsense which was just stripped from him think of the browning banana as a reward - and who knows if the water bottle wasn't filled from the toilet. It is nice to be rewarded when an action (such as returning $107 cash found in the street) is performed out of better judgement, albeit Mayo was tempted to keep the money. Yet the reward in this case is hardly worth the time. Also, actions done out of charity typically aren't meant to be rewarded, and Mayo did refuse the $20 reward - as would have I. So the knife spoken of in the song review is twisted in harder with the mushy banana. I can't really make the full connection, so this is more or less just nonsense to keep you reading my post.
And it worked.
I can't believe you blabbered on that long... And in public, too!
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Old 02-25-04, 11:19 PM   #24
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I can't believe you blabbered on that long... And in public, too!
One day you will actually see the humor in your response.
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Old 05-04-07, 10:43 AM   #25
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I mean, if we’re going to resuscitate broken kneed old nags for another trot around the course, why not this one, which I always liked.
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