Wednesday, February 6, 2008

ode to girls on bikes.

I wasn't making many runs into SF for the last 3 years. When you have a daughter or son, your social life takes a traumatic turn, not for the worse, but for the different. It means all those party friends you see at the bar on the weekend are still at the bar on the weekend, you just happen to be at home with your kids. Its a good thing. When they tell you it's life changing, it's true, your life hits a Y in the path, you choose a direction you were either ready for or not. The thing is about that Y is that the path is chosen for you, it's more like "Hey there goes your old path." As you walk down this new path you'll be able to watch the old path disappear in the background.

I'm now splitting my time between art school and wrench science. It's a beautiful thing to see things from other perspectives. I take the train into SF and then primarily walk or take the bus to class. Hauling my bike on the train everyday is more a nuisance than walking the 3 blocks to class. So now I feel like an undercover cyclist. I'm walking with the walkers, seeing things slowly instead at a blur. The walkers don't know I'm a cyclist, and the cyclists' don't know I'm a cyclist. I'm invisible. Art school has plenty of "cool" people. Lots of individualism, but also lots of conformity, like the fixie. The funny thing about the fixie here, is that alot of them don't ride fixed, they just want to look like they do. So I see front brake freewheels all over the place, little girls and boys coasting effortlessly down the street to slam there front brake on to stop. huh. There is also the track bikes and every other model out there. The poor mans Pake or IRO is the most common. Today in front of the cafe there was a nice blue fixie, I was going to take a picture and post it, when a nice girl came out and greeted me. I asked if I could take her picture and she obliged. So this is my ode to girls on bikes. I'll continue to take pictures of bikes and the people that ride them, so you can see first hand where the merger of messenger and art school has blurred a disturbing line. I'll lay invisible waiting for that next shot.

The second most common art school bike is the 70's road bike. The one you find sitting sadly at the back of the Goodwill in East Oakland with a price tag of $3.99. They do make ideal city bikes, relatively fast, heavy as iron, and not a likely target for those trying to find a bike to steal. The real art kids find the girls 10 speeds, the one with the lowered top tube. Preferably a nice pink or baby blue. A statement that they are intouch with there female side and have no conscious about riding a women's specific bike, even if it's size 13 and they have the seatpost jacked past the maximum mark. I'll probably have to take a few of those pictures as well. This photo says something even stronger, something that I can relate to, something that every cyclist can relate to. Your lame cards in your rear wheel. These cards are supposed to show some sort of stature, some sort of "my dick is bigger than yours" kind of thing. Generally if you look closely, it's some lame card they made themselves so that when they whiz by fast it looks like they have 20 cards and "20inches" to boast about. Keep in mind I ride a fixed gear too, so I'm not hooting and hollering just to do so, I'm just calling it like I see it.

Last is the quintessential, cheap fixies. SE racing and IRO. Mundane and boring. One thing that is really cool about bikes is that they are the extension of ourselves. The colors we choose the stickers we add. Not everyone has talent to do this, clearly demonstrated by these 2 bikes. Straight off the shelf boring fixies. This is when a fad has become a trend. You'd be better off with an old girls 70's 10 speed, bobbed and stripped and flipped to fixie, then to take the time to run down to the local store to keep up with the cool kid with a cooler fixie. Good try, try again.

Well that's it for this addition of "invisible cyclist in art school" check back next week for new bikes, new girls hopefully, and more people to talk about.



Ray Bao said...

cute chicks please...

Tim said...

i second that.