Join Date: May 2001
Bikes: 2 fixies, 1 road, 29er in the works.
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(This story only makes sense if you have the "Riding fixed book" by Mayo.
So my wheel's not done and I'm bummed. I take the old cannondale and head down town. There's a street fair in Encanto that slows me down. I hit the place where "midnight madness" is supposed to occur, and it's slow.. nothing happening. Cruise off to Cafe Bassam, and get one iced vietnamese coffee - high powered java. It's a place you can smoke inside, so it drives a large element away and makes for a peacefull place. They let me park the bike inside never give me gruff for being sweaty or looking out of character. It's alway a little dark and peacefull. I make my way back to the city admin building parking lot. Sit back and watch the crowds of MTB, weekend warriors and ultra racers.. Sort of a social misfit, me.. I'm not a hardcore bike only.. racer or pure commuter.. or weekend warrior.
In my bag I've got copies of "Riding fixed". Just a few really to give to the few fixed riders that I might see. There's not many in San Diego, but it's a growing amount. So, in a way, I could be considered spreading the word.. or not. I approach the first fixed gear rider I see. I explain the story behind the book in short order and proffer a book. He looks at me and says "Oh, I've got one, I'm the guy on the cover". Bieng as there are only about 300 copies, 210 of which made it to distribution, this is pretty rare. I then catch on "I'm the guy on the cover." My mind does the caculation, I"m in San Diego, the story was written by a guy in Chicago, the photos came from texas and chicago.. this guy's a ****ing liar..
"No, you don't understand, this was done in Chicago and the pictures are from all over."... I say.
Fixed guy says "No, my friend is Biff, he took my picture and sent it to this guy making the book".
I'm numb almost at the chance. "What are you doing in San Diego?" I ask him "I'm the guy who put the book together".
He looks just as sceptical as I am, if not more so
Turns out Jacob drove to Pacific Beach by way of San Francisco from Washington on a road trip from Texas. He, on a whim, decided to ride (his fixed) down to Down town San Diego from Pacific Beach (no small feat, as he probably took a major freeway), and then just happened to run accross this bike ride.. where I had last minute decided to go.. and on a whim out the door, took some copies of the book.
It's about as random as it will get. And freakish. But cool. Jacob and I laugh nervously, I mean, how just ****ing odd is it?
The ride is.. scetchy.. stupid in spots. Kids on BMX bikes, MTB, tandems and more weave in and out. 800 plus people on one lane roads in spots. We just ride sure that we're gonna get hit by some of the people. On a break we take the left lane and hammer a little. 16 or so miles (little italy) in there's some old drunk bastard with a baseball bat walking across the street screaming. About 1/2 a block I suggest we turn around and deal with the idiot. Jacob and I swing back and a third guy suggest "let's go kick his ass". I'm game for something, but I'm figuring out a plan of attack on the way up. Guy #3 drops his bike as I'm talking, simply walks up to drunk old guy with the bat, puts his hand on his shoulder and pulls the bat with his other hand and throws it. Just walked up, and yanked the bat away. You had to be there, but it was.. cool, but something out of a movie scene. Life, not life as my friend Josh says. He hits the guy with an open fist twice, and the guy (now batless) is suddenly cowering and apologizing. I suggest to guy # 3 that he let it go now, as he's disarmed and probably got the point. Guy #3 agrees, tells the guy to **** off, gets on his bike and keeps going. Jacob and I just look at eachother speachless. There's not much you could add to the night really that would make it make any sense, or really, make it any more clear. It was.. surreal. Jacob hammers and we finish the ride. We talk about various things, consider a beer, but everything is closed by now.. and go over a map for his ride home. I help clean up and hit the road about 3 ish in the morning.
The city is empty. In fact, I count less than 10 cars on my 15 mile ride home. A group of working girls make cat calls as I sail down El Cajon BLVD (near college blvd), and I laugh.. In fact I see more people than I do cars... The last hill is a *****, I'm pretty close to spent. I get home around 4 am, 50 or so miles later. Leave the bike in the living room, helmet on the floor, bag a few feet after that.. crash on the couch.
For all the new fixie forumites.. if you haven't read the Mayo book, let me know there are still some copies for sale...