Sunday, June 14, 2009

SF Dreaming

It's been a hell of a trip in SF so far.

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We barreled across the desert, only stopping to ride on the salt flats, where salt clung to our bikes like plastered snow, or the worst icing ever created.

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The light was surreal, the car ride sifting us through mist and fog and rain all the way through. Santa Cruise arrived through the night after the insane blackout rally course that is highway 17, where the darkness obscured the crashing scars from ill-cambered turns.

My sister Elaine's place is great, something that adults deserve, a place you'd settle down near the beach after a well-earned life. So lucky she can live there. her life feels good. Pride parade was bright and hilarious, transsexuals galore.

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We visited the Bicycle Kitchen in a new building, the prototype of the collective, clean and efficient. Instead of selling whole bikes, you give them $30 (or $60?) dollars and earn digging rights to cobble together a single bike. Paging McGyver.

Jessica and I bike everywhere, the city is easy and exhilarating, potholes and rushing traffic, keeping you on your toes. Everywhere's a race. Today we actually did a race, the sprawling, intimidating, epic Annual Oakland Rad Massaker Alleycat (formerly the Oakland Skrape. It's an insane 40+ miler that spans 5 cities in the east bay; Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont, Albany, and Richmond. 160 riders show up, and they're mostly all crazy hardcore.

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For example, the framebuilder for Broakland bikes was there, riding his own custom whip, and he's a beastly guy.

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Guys from Mash/Macaframa, etc. But tons of punky east bayers with every description of beautiful bikes. Bikes cobbled together from random legit parts. Colnago frames. Custom track left and right. Tons of vintage rides bearing braze scars from repairs.

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The race took us up the coast to all the different harbors, and then inland up the Berkeley hills. I was just blindly following people who looked fast, apologizing to the different groups for being a hanger-on out-of-towner who had no idea where he was. I got lost a couple times and was stupid tired, my legs cramped up and even though I was on a geared bike I could barely make it up the final hill. After 2.5+ crazy hours we collapsed in Willard park. I got 21st place, making me the fastest out-of-towner. Jessica, though, got 2nd fastest girl, blowing everyone's mind!

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This guy won, which made me happy because he's a scrawny little guy like me, and there was some CRAZY competition on race bikes, etc.

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EVERYONE got prizes, too, because the organizers hooked it up. Crazy number of things.

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Here's an organizer hooking it up.
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I was gunning for a helmet but it got snagged, so I got an ironic cycling cap.

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Very cool crowd and very cool time. It was also my birthday. Things are going great.

4 comments:

Luke Williams said...

Davey,

Your winning of the ironic cycling cap and that last photo reminded me of the point I forgot to leave out of my latest post: Breaking Away. It's this fantastic movie from the 70s I just re-watched that I used to watch all the time when I was little. Dave, the main character, spends most of his time chasing pretty girls, speaking foreign languages, being childish, biking all over, and covering his tousled hair with a little yellow cycling cap. If you haven't seen it, do.

Sounds like everything is great. Glad to hear it. Hope it stays that way all summer long

Luke

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Davey. I hear you leave Thursday for Europe. If the chance arises race a European Alleycat for me.


Well, enjoy the rest of your summer, see you when you get back.


-Dima

Elaine said...

congratulations to both of you crazy kids! way to represent SLC.

i am sitting on the couch next to that very same 2nd place lady-winner. she is quite lovely.

we just gorged ourselves on food at the crow's nest restaurant near our place. you get to sit in the restaurant and look out over the water.

and eat. so much. we all stuffed ourselves and then thought, why don't we get a dessert to share? end result: 1 mango key lime pie for nana, 1 santa cruz berry drizzled cheesecake for jessica, 1 ollalieberry pie a la mode for elaine, 1 chocolate decadence with oreo crust for asher. 4 incredibly full individuals roll out the door.

i hope you are enjoying yourselves! post when you can!

Der Blaue Reiter said...

Thanks guys! I'm gonna have to watch Breaking Away now Luke, dude sounds like my role model. I get checked out a crazy amount when I wear my cycling cap around here, but not without it. Must be in vouge.

Dima, it's my goal to race a cat here too, probably in Paris, that's where we have the most bikey hook-ups.

Hi Elaine! Thanks for taking care of Jess for me.

Bye