10.14.2006

what an idiot.... I am an idiot

tonight I was feeling social
the kids were in bed and I felt like a drink
well... felt like a drink, a snack, and some socializing
so I went up the corner to a neighborhood bar

the bar is part of the "new" mount pleasant
it is a basic neighborhood sports bar
nice setting with two televisions within view of each seat with a simple turn of the head
an amazing juke box
too many televisions if you ask me

so I make a few calls
come up empty with my short list of local maybes for a drink up the street
so I march up alone
a brisk fall night through the city streets
that air is crisp
the snap is fresh in comparision to the August humidity

on my approach to the main strip I pass a house I used to live in and the many houses that were once my neighbors
at the main strip I consider deviating from my plans
but I figure to go with my first selection on account of the chance of me seeing someone I might know
most of the people I know from the neigborhood
others I know just from the bar

the place is pretty crowded
crowded, but vacant of a familiar face
I am pleased to catch a seat at the bar
as the objective of drink and food are still available

the setting offers plenty of eye candy
people watching
I can overhear an amusing conversation with some chap with an accent
maybe australian maybe not
the discussion involved a line of questions pertaining to the team mascots

the question involved the tigers
the game involved the pathers and the wolverines
there was some effort to get to that point
which was amusing in itself
then there was a question as to who the tigers were
here I learned some information about baseball that I could not have guessed with a hundred guesses
sports on television are not my thing

then it occurred to me that I would much rather see a pather against a wolverine rather than this football game
there is no chance for me to get the controler
after all this may be an option on the discovery channel
the discovery channel is good for such things

the eye candy keeps me entertained
so do my drinks
the food is on its way

my focus changes and I see a friend of a friend who I have seen here before
he is usually here
he is somewhat a fixture at the bar
I decide to make a trip over to say hello before my food comes

the topic of conversation moves from mutual friends to bicycles
I felt like we could have worked on the mutual friend topic a tad longer before moving to bicycles
but... the conversation moved to bicycles
I like the conversation of bicycles

okay... I like to talk
but... believe it or not I also like to listen
sometimes... I do not like what I am hearing
sometimes conversations are not as entertaining as I would like

we exchange hellos and get to talking

we talked about how eight hours were spent working on his house...
well, he tells me about how eight house were spent working on his house
I asked deeper
maybe it was too loud
he repeated the duration of eight hours

the topic that he is a home owner is a potentially interesting one
new house?
bought a house?
where is the house?
he gives me the basic answers

with some effort I get the details of tile but not much more
there is just the yet another mention of the duration of the task
no great detail
just the mention of 8 hours of work on the house
I do not dig any deeper into the questioning of the house projects

knowing that he recently got a new bianch cross bike I switch topics to something that may appeal to him with greater interest
I probe him about his cyclocross bike then mention cross talk
the mention of the cyclocross video podcast does not intrigue him
we talk
he seems uninterested in the cross concept then it comes to surface that he wants to change the tires
I recommend just riding the bike and letting the knobs wear down
sure a more tire pressure thin road tire will get you there quicker with less effort
but we could all use the work out
he is set on needing faster tires
not for fast riding
for his "long" rides


the cross topic moves to the fixed gear topic
he keeps saying track bike
I try to correct him on track versus fixed
he knows there is a difference
but breaks it down to drop outs alone
while there are plenty of horizontal drop outs on non track frames

there is mention of a track bike shop in baltimore
there is talk of haines point
he shows little interest or response to the information that is offered to him

there is talk of brakelessness and practice
all from him
as if he is introducing the concept to me

we talk about the purchase or the build
he wants to build it as he is a self proclaimed handy may
so I mention Chain Reaction a local not for profit that may have a cool used frame
as the frankenbike can have more character than a bike out of a box
the thought of a non-track track bike specific frame upsets him
I mention the Bridgestone Track Bikes from Japan and a rumor of a shop in Baltimore that specializes in track bikes
then of course the Internet
none of this information interests him

he is moderately amusing as he goes into great detail of the drop outs needing to be track
he describes any and all possible drop out angles
not realizing that many of these options would work just fine

the conversation continues
this guy keeps talking
telling me about track bikes and the one he just rode and how it is totally different
a bike that is owned by a mutual friend of ours
is that bike a track bike? I am not sure
yes it is fixed... but there is a chance that it is not an actual track bike

blah blah blah
I know I am just another poser with a fixed gear
but I have a fixed gear and ride a fixed gear and I have to hear this guy tell me about riding one
he tells me about the feeling
he tells me that it is a completely different experience
he tells me all of this ignoring the facts...
I have fixed gear
I ride a fixed gear
this guy rode one once around the block and now he is the Encyclopdia of Track Bikes and Fixed Gears

the track bike fixed gear converstation fizzled before it ever got started
this guy is as good at listening as he is at talking

the conversation drifts to a memory lane where he lists the bikes he has owned

it is a really interesting story
you will love the list
the story is awesome...

my first bike
my first bike was a specialized hard rock
bought it used
I rode the shit out of that bike
I used to be a hardcore mountain biker
I rode the shit out of that bike

then I got a GT
I rode that shit out of that bike
no suspension or nothing
I rode the shit out of that bike
I was a real hardcore mountain biker


there is never a mention of a distance, a destination
heck there are no adjectives or adverbs to speak of

somewhere early in the conversation it was questioned why someone would ever want full suspension

at this point I was still sitting back and taking it all in
there was a short explanation about why someone would ride full suspension but I saw it fell on deaf ears
he feels that if he could have a mountain bike he would want the GT he used to have
I try to express to him that there have been some advancements in the mountain bike worth experiencing
but he is not hearing it
so I do not get into the development of disc brakes over v-brakes
or anything so techie

so I hear this set of stories about the bikes he owned
the bikes he owns now

rather than play the game you tell me your bike list I will tell you mine
I shift the story to city politics
try to mention some stuff about the new mayor and the concept of bikes in the city
which shifts to his game of show and tell...
I was fearing this
I hate show and tell
stories are great
recent stories are great
recent stories are relevant
good stores are definitely worth telling
but show and tell is old and tired

so he jumps into some show and tell
there is a car
the car has virginia tags
(he I know this story.... I live it every day.... there is always some asshole with virginia tags)
so he is riding up 14th street not far from his house
he is cruising along
when a car full of frat boys passing close leaning out the window yells and screams at him

then the story is supposed to get good
he continues on how he caught the car and yelled at the car full of frat boys and threatened to kick all four of their asses
I love morrissey
but I would not want to look like him
there is no way that these four frat boys thought that morrissey could kick their ass

after his story is told I do not offer doubt or question
I avoid getting parental about that being a foolish thing to do
what if they tested your theory?
no I avoided that
as it seemed like his show in tell was in reference to my topic of the future of cycling and cycling advocacy
I tell him that education does need to happen
but there will always be a car full of assholes
the education has to happen with the silver haired father of two and the soccer mom in the mini van

there was no real arguement there

or was there...

then I this guy gets started about bicycles on Rock Creek Park
how there is a bike path
and the bikes need to get off the road

I thought I was being set up
it was hard to believe what I was hearing
so I listened
this guy must be a regular reader just trying to bait me
man.... what a set up
bore the living shit out of me with your list of average bikes
then boast about how bad ass you were on the bike
only to say that you were bad ass on the bike
so bad ass that you rode the shit out of those bikes

man... what a set up
this guy is good

so this guy starts to tell me about bikes on Rock Creek Park
my response is simple

I can easily ride 20MPH on Rock Creek Park
the speed limit is 25
the cars are wanting to go 35
if not 45
20 miles per hour is legal
35 miles per hour is illegal
and the cars are going 45.... when they can

okay...
he gives me the arguement again
this time he gets into the numbers
I listen
we go back and forth
now I am beligerent
as he is being such an asshole
an asshole for being so dense
it is not an arguement

the bicycle is within the legal limits on the road
if the bicycle drops to 18 miles an hour it is sill closer to the speed limit when traveling 35MPH
I help him with math
I break it down to him
it blows my mind that this guy who is a wannabe poser on a track bike is so dense
as he holds the mentality that the bicycle does not belong
that because a person is in a car
they have a greater right to the road

that is messed up
if he could afford a hummer
I bet he would drive one

man... I got steamed
not so much steamed that he held the perspective of every other asshole in and SUV
but that I waisted my time listening to his lame as list of bike story and his recount of his mountain bike experience

I am an idiot
this is a nice enough guy
but I am an idiot
as I knew he is an idiot and well
that is what I get for being an idiot

no time to proof read
take it for what it is
chances are this is all that will happen before monday

somebody help me out with that info

his arguements contained all these attacks on fat people moving slow on expensive bikes
it is not a matter of price of bike or weight of rider
speed is not issue
the issue is the BIKES BELONG
that idea was shared with him
he did not get him
so the discussion moved to me letting him know that he is dense

this guy is dense
another dense asshole that does not understand that bikes belong
but this is a guy that owns and rides a bike

so this guy was boring and dense
not very good at discussing his point
not very good at telling a story
why did I sit down with him?
I should be angry at me not at him

hello should be enough
as I am sure neither of us want to have that conversation again
any of it

go figure


old skool track


a classic article Fixed Gear 101 from 63xc

and of course
Sheldon Brown

baltimore city paper article: bike messengers are nuts

I wonder what Tova Brown is up to
okay... I guess I could GOOGLE it

2 comments:

gwadzilla said...

ya know...

when people ask me, "how are the kids?"
I usually say excellent or awesome
as most people do not really care

it is like the question "what's up?"
or "how are you doing?"

you have to know your audience
you have to know when people do not really care

it takes me off guard
sometimes people really want to hear about the kids
but not usually

gwadzilla said...

I just tried to tie this together without a read

lightened my attack

but
the post did not publish

more on this later