Monday, May 28, 2007

We might as well take a moment out of our otherwise busy lives to say that Team Wreck Stuff tore shit up at the Bicycle Fetish Day Alleycat on Saturday, May 26th, 2007. TWS finished First Team, placing 4th (me), 6th (Jeremy), and 7th (Dan Bones!) overall. A TWS affiliate, Brantley, finished 2nd.

We won't get in to how lots of fast racers are out at San Fran for the North American Cycle Courier Championships, but we will get in to how it's great that orgs like the City Reliquary are throwing great, participatory events for cyclists who ride underneath all sorts of flags; how race organizers, bike shops, and bike companies in the scene/community are generous in prizes; and how thanks are due all around to fun times.

This month has been a real nice TWS debut. Keep your eyes open for us in the future. It will be futile and we'll steal your stuff, but keep your eyes open for us anyway.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I've really wanted to update this blog this week, but I've been running around at work like a busy, busy, bee.

Well, here's a picture of me at an alleycat in New Haven this past weekend. My team went there with the intention of winning - we came in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Pretty close if you ask me. 2nd overall/1st out of town is my top finish to date, and a tough one to top.

Monday, May 14, 2007

New York City is special. You can spend a lifetime traveling and never leave the city limits. You can spend a weekend biking through it and pass through a million different cities. You can be a million miles away and find the green globe of a subway stop lighting up a lonely, quiet corner. You can be in humid midsummer on top of the hill at Sunset Park, seeing Manhattan, the sunset, from miles away.

You can also take repose on a rooftop, maybe when you need it the most. You can watch the people in the building across the street living out their lives, almost close enough to touch, a grid of windows. You can see a world of rooftop terraces, the occasional penthouse, and grey and brown wooden watertowers. They're too numerous to count and from rooftops everything seems close - you want, of course, to be able to jump from one to the next. To fly through, exploring this strange aerial world, all tabletops, craggy summits, smokestacks, and the inevitable crevices between them. You want to be a the most limber tightrope walker, to with two quick paces alight on the next roof, circle the watertower running your palm against its rough surface, feeling the cold iron of the protruding nailheads with your finger before throwing a new line across a gap; in between steps in this brief span you look down to the checkered game of automobiles, to the dancing and woven paths of pedestrians, you hear for a moment a honk, but you take your next step and are on a new roof, a new garden, seeing new buildings - grey, brown, orange, black, or cold impersonal glass - new hard topography.

I cannot throw a line or jump. Not from the window of the kitchen in the office, or from any of the conference rooms either. I can't jump to terraces with sculpted concrete - gargoyles, urns, petric ivy. I have no line. The belief that I can passes, the desire remains.

Last night, for a moment on a rooftop in Chelsea looking north and East, quiet when I needed to be, and thankful that I refused the offered beer. I so rarely take quiet time when there are others around, but I did, and was thankful that my company, my friend among these strangers, knew where I was.


Oops! I've accidentally been doing way more racing than I anticipated! I even put together a calendar of upcoming races, and I can't believe how much there is to do all through the spring, summer, and early fall. I don't plan on racing everything, but I am enjoying pounding the streets a whole lot.

I didn't intend to race "Three Sparks Night" during the Polo Comp, but got talked in to it. A fun, fast race that was mostly a scavenger hunt. I don't know how I did other than I didn't win, which is fine since I had a blast and also learned that too much Sparks is a very, very bad thing.

I didn't plan on racing "The Angel III," either, but since I was out at Kissena Velodrome watching the racing, I got caught up in the bug. It was a one checkpoint race; the pack hopped on Metropolitan Avenue after a few miles in Queens, and stayed on it till the end. I got out to an early start and kept passing people till I found myself racing with a group of people moving at good speed. Many downhills, easy traffic, some big intersections being blown en masse. At one point I got dropped by the pack. As the distance between us grew to several blocks - and the several more - I began to give in to the fatigue to which the hot, nonstop pace had given rise. Anticipating a red light at an big, tough intersection several hundred yards away, I just began to slow when another rider came up from behind me (in a move known as a Surprise Buttsesh) and said, "Come on! This intersection is important!" We sprinted together, made the light, and I was re-energized. I caught the pack I was with. When we got to the finish, there was a crush to hand in manifests. One of my riding buddies came in tenth; based on that I got my manifest in the collector's hands right afterwards, I figure I came in eleventh or twelfth. The award ceremony was epic - great, generous prizes, which would have been nice to win but ultimately I'm in the racing for the personal challenge and for the fun.

Then I found out about Ghostbusters Race this past weekend. Team Wreck Stuff - a loose affiliation of fun-loving scoundrels - put together a three-person team for this race. It was a 30+ mile, trivia-and-challenges points race that hit some key locations from the film (which I don't think I've ever seen, actually). We rode hard, wrecked a thing or two, experienced lots and lots of close calls on Avenues in midtown, through which we had to ride over and over again between checkpoints and the home base. Finished fairly high - fifth, I believe - but didn't get enough points to place in the top three.

Team Wreck Stuff has made a good showing lately, and we're looking forward to Grand Theft Velo this weekend in New Haven.

There are some sudden/not-so-sudden variables that might preclude my involvement, but if I go, I'm in it to win it - no doubt about it.

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