Monday, October 27, 2008

The Airborne Toxic Event ride

Local indie rockers The Airborne Toxic Event put out an open call on the Midnight Ridazz website for a music video shoot, and we couldn't think of a better way to spend a Friday night. The ride gathered in Echo Park, maybe 50 or so people on bikes including the five band members, and the shoot was ON.

Spoke cards and free copies of their new self-titled CD were handed out at the start.

They picked a route through Silverlake, Los Feliz and Glendale at a very leisurely pace. Occasionally we would all pass the camera guys - I have no idea what the final cut will look like but it will end up in the video for the "Gasoline" single.

HW and Anna

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday Pub Crawl to Cougar Bar

Was I there???

Last night saw a group of us gathering for burgers & beer at the newly opened Laurel Tavern. Twenty-two people strong, most arriving on bikes, all to help celebrate Ryan getting a little older.

Next stop: The Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City; landmark since 1880 and long-time hangout, hotel and hideaway for musicians and actors.

Getting there

"In 2007, the Sportsmen's Lodge was sold to developer Richard Weintraub for approximately $50 million. Weintraub reportedly plans to renovate the existing hotel and add retail space. The project would retain the Sportsmen's Lodge name, and would be renovated "to evoke the mid-century cool" of the San Fernando Valley in the 1950s. Weintraub's redevelopment plans include construction of as much as 300,000 square feet of retail space on the site."

In other words, its days are numbered in its native state, including the Muddy Moose Bar & Lounge, currently where the over-55 crowd goes to drink Gin & Tonics and dance to a live band busting out such hits as Stevie Wonder's "Part-Time Lover" and Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart". The bar scene here is so awesomely rich with sights & smells; Ladies wearing Shalimar perfume with salon do's getting hit on by suave silver haired smooth-talkers with names like Edgar and Morris.

Us youngsters crashed Edgar's action, drank his booze and dragged his women out on to the dance floor with a refreshing display of flexibility and stamina. Partying past 10:30pm proved we were the real deal, 20-somethings with our whole lives ahead of us.

Throwin' down with Cougar #1

Still going strong with Cougar #2

Illy bags a Sugar Mama

Things start getting a little fuzzy...

...and ended in birthday boy's room for a nightcap.

Somehow, the Xtracycle managed to guide me and my full-faced head back home, prefacing an unholy hangover on Sunday - the upside being it distracted my brain from the aches and pains resulting from the One Less Fixie wreck.

photos courtesy aosty & Endo

Saturday, October 25, 2008

One Less Fixie

One finally got me. I guess its just a matter of time when you tempt the automobile's playground day after day. Riding home from work in the bike lane, doing all the proper things I should be doing, I approached a driveway on my right and before I could shout "Fuh..!" I was plowing my beloved fixed-gear Trek into the passenger door of a silver Ford Mustang convertible that appeared effectively out of nowhere.

For a split second I thought I'd be going over the hood. Then there was an explosion of plastic, glass and carbon fiber as I slammed into the sideview mirror and promptly dropped to the asphalt.

Rewinding a few minutes, there were 2 lanes of traffic to my left as I rode. Bumper to bumper, not moving. I was moving however. And so was the driver of the Mustang who took advantage of a gap in traffic to zip into said driveway on his way to work. Thats the point at which we were violently introduced.

He called 911 and put me on the phone. I was in shock/denial/tough-guy mode of course so I declined an ambulance AND the police. 30 minutes later after swapping insurance and drivers licenses, I came to my senses and told the driver I'd be calling the police to document the incident with a police report. Otherwise I was ready to leave with a bloody knee and a broken bike. Ungood.

Which brings me to the bike, which I actually mourned in slo-mo as we both collapsed onto the street after impact - "oh noooo myyyyy biiiiiiike....."

Its fucked. The fork was shoved straight back towards the downtube and the downtube itself has crumpled. The handling of the bike is noticeably more twitchy now thanks to the modified head angle. Two of the Spinergy Rev-X bladed snapped off the rear rim. How the front wheel stayed intact and the rear failed is a mystery of science.

So now the aches & pains have set in. Bruised ribs, jacked up wrists, gimpy walk and a whiplashed neck. Insurance companies contacted, police report submitted, pain meds swallowed. All in all I'm lucky to get tangled up with a car and walk away. The bike won't be ridden again but can be replaced (and I just had it powdercoated about a month ago! Grrr!). The Spinergys are toast as well. All because some fool didn't look close enough to anyone that might be approaching him in the bike lane. C'est la vie. Its done and time to think about what will take the Trek's place.

And now in tribute to my bike, vis-à-vis a post on BikeSnobNYC earlier this year, I give you One Less Fixie.