Sunday, May 16, 2010
Bike weekend weirdness
What happens when a tall "art" bike crashes a fixie-kid skid contest? I was hanging out in the park across from Hot Italian (a restaurant that has made itself in astonishingly short order the center of downtown bike events) when just this situation developed.
The fixie kids -- and mind you some were no kids -- had finished a track-stand contest and were beginning their skid contest when this weird thing pedaled into the middle of the park. It featured two riders from San Francisco -- surprise -- and some kind of pre-written monologue for the upper rider to recite.
The fixie kids were nice about asking the thing to move over and the SF hipsters obliged. They seemed sad they didn't get to finish the performance piece that they had in mind.
I'm not proud to say it, but I was disappointed. I was secretly hoping for a kind of Nerd vs. Geek showdown. This was shaping up to be Ali vs. Frazier or Godzilla vs. Mothra. But it all kind of fizzled into a blur of polite mumbles.
The woman next to me gushed about the art bike reminding her of Reinhold Niebuhr and the "need to create something." I remarked that the need to create seemed, in this case, secondary, to the "need to be looked at." Her face registered genuine surprise at having found such a miserable ignoramus in such a pleasant setting.
The skid contest continued, with riders vying for who could best demonstrate the inherent danger of riding a bicycle with no brakes. This kid came in second: