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Slick Willie Kokusia's morning.. (yeah, I'm no mayo)

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)

Slick Willie Kokusia's morning.. (yeah, I'm no mayo)

Old 01-09-04, 11:45 AM
SD Fixed
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: California
Posts: 4,612

Bikes: 2 fixies, 1 road, 29er in the works.

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Slick Willie Kokusia's morning.. (yeah, I'm no mayo)

You know when you wake up all sparky and full of vinegar. Out of the shower I decide to turbo charge and I make strong coffee Vietnamese style. I have a bowl of ice cream and some low sodium V8 juice. I get to the trolley station and catch the earlier train. Maribel and her 3 friends are at the back again. They're some cute Mexican high school girls who are always having the best of conversation. One of them is cute beyond numbers. I have to stand in the back of the train with the bike, and the cute one is facing forward, she's got her hair up in a tight bun, with large silver hoop earrings that dangle. They speak in Spanish mostly, of course not aware I'm pretty literate. They refer to me as "El Oro" ~ a reference to the gold seat on the bike. Coy glances and giggles are exchanged; we're two different worlds; that share 15 minutes a day. It's Friday, and they are decked out. She must be the poorest of the bunch, she wears the same clothes often, they are remnants of the thrift shops and 99 cent stores. But she does it with a class and determination that she's someone, not to be trapped in whiteman's stereo type of "poor Latino". I laugh to myself at my musings. I'm 31 year old married white male, old navy 10.99 cargo paints, a beat up thermal shirt.. and my ragged red Bianchi, pieced together last night at the used bike store..

I'm itching to ride, the Bianchi's bottom bracket has ovaled out, and I thought I was gonna have to dump it. I had picked an identical frame, but it was a later model, and Japanese frame with cro mo. Not the Italian made steel. Last night the guy a the LBS found an insert shimano bottom bracket. I tried to get it through, but it kept threading oblong. We chased threads, and did a little BB modification with a hammer. In the BB went in. I'm pleased.

So I get off a stop early, 25th and commercial. Giddy with caffeine. I lock into the straps, pull the bag tight. Looking around, I see no traffic, so I push off the pole and cross the trolley tracks. I pick up speed and the BB is holding, not wobbling. I get near a stop sign, don't see anyone left or right so I nail it. I'm pushing just about 80% of RPMs on the bike. My lungs fill with crisp air.. music fills my brain. I get near the 5, and do a full on resist stop without the front brake to see if I can dislodge the BB. It doesn't move. I grab a telephone pole and wait for the light to change. Traffic isn't coming, the light remains green and I launch it off the pole and take off through Ceazer Chavez Park (or Chicano Park, I get them mixed up sometimes), the next light is red, and I'm moving to quick for anything but front brake so I dive right.. look around and swing a u turn back and then down the street. That's when I hear the siren. I pull tight to the right, as I know people will steer into me avoiding the ambulance. I look over and officer so and so is looking at me. With a smile I pull over into the driveway. People at the bus stop are cheering. I know I'm screwed.

Out steps local policeman, who looks like he could be a greek statue. Chiseled face, with bulletproof vest jutting out. He walks over to me, a large amount of chewing tobacco is in his lip. "Do you know why I pulled you over?" I tell him that I don't know why.. he looks at me, and I admit.. I ran the light.

"Nope". he replies. Looking me over carefully. "You ran the light back at Kearny, crossed the trolley tracks at the station, not the cross walk, ran the stop sign, ran the second light, and then did that @#$#@ u turn work of art." I'm having a hard time concealing my laughter, I'm almost giddy. "You know I'm going to have to give you a ticketed." I then laugh out loud.. "Really! Cool!" His face turns to increadulility. He gets in the passenger side, takes my driver's licenses, military ID and punches me up. Suddenly, the idea of the Blues Brothers comes to mind. In my head I hear Elwood saying "I hope they don't got SMATS".

"You ever been arrested?"

"No" I reply. "Well, yeah, but it's been a long time".

"What's your social security number"

I rattle off the number, and it dawns on me, I could get like 4 violations.

"I'm just trying to educate you about the dangers.. It's fully with in my rights to give you a ticketed".

I tell him that I'm cool with it, break the rules, pay the price, I understand and I'm not disputing it.

"Hey, were is your back brake?"

I explain that it's a fixed gear.. like a track bike.. finally using the tricylce analogy. His left eyebrow raises incredibly high, looking up at me from his seat... He literally chucks my id card back at me.

"Be careful man, if you get hit, it's your fault. Don't **** up my day with stain on the street. Don't **** up your day by being that stain. You're free to go."

I'm off like a shot. A little disappointed I didn't get a ticketed. I would have framed it. But, I take it easy and don't run any more lights, and cut over harbor drive using a light instead of the usual illegal left turn. The bike lane is not filled today, and I make good time down past the ship yard.. and gate one is open. I pull in and the gate guard walks directly in front of me.. I pull a silly kid stunt and ride the front brake enough to do a rear wheelie, and come to a stop about an inch from his feet, my helmet almost touches his face. He looks at me and I smile, present him my ID card. He says "Hey, give a guy a little room next time.. I'm just making sure that the bad stay out." And I'm instantly cool with him: he wants to do his job well, and neither of us want interruption. We shake hands.. off I go. 5 minutes late to work.

In the bathroom, I'm changing and relaying the story to someone else who's washing coffee pots in the sink. Some catches the part about "he didn't understand the fixed gear thing" and a full bird Captain asks me about it. He even walks down the hall to take a look at the bike and we exchange tid bits. He laughs about the ticketed and tells me "get a rear brake".. I challenge him to a rear brake only stopping contest... He laughs.. and goes off to his office.

Sooo.. I'm in a good mood, waiting for phone calls, answering email.. it's Friday, my bike works, and my in box isn't all that full. Life is good..
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Old 01-09-04, 04:01 PM
Jonny B
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Bikes: Orbea Enol roadie, Fly Micromachine BMX, Fort Track fixed

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Great story man. Really put a smile on my face. Man I can't wait to get my fixie going
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