Sunday, November 25, 2012

I do like to build for ladies in particular. They appreciate the subtleties that I like to take the time on. A lot of men love good shape and color, sure, but I suppose if I had my choice to pleasure a man or a woman, well, I’d just rather make a woman happy. And frankly the ergonomics are more intriguing to study. Pleasing a woman is no easy task, but it is one I am more than willing to take on, and when all goes well, absolutely worth it.

This bike was for Christy, a gal from the Nightingale, an art space down the way. She came to get it yesterday. A few folks from the neighborhood were hanging around listening to music in the shop, as they are prone to do. Pandora cut out for a second when a text came in. Normally that annoys the shit out of me, but I knew it was her and was looking forward to seeing her face when she got a glimpse of the new ride. She wanted it to be a surprise so she let me pick the color, style, gave me full creative power. I like freedom as much as anyone, but it comes with responsibility. It’s one thing if a woman tells you what she wants. It’s another if she wants you to tell her. But that’s a matter for another time. 

Christy came in the first thing she said was, “Is this my girl? Shoot she is pretty!” Made me happy to hear. A positive response is really all I could ask for.

It started out as a rusty blue road bike with a milk crate on the back. So, you know, we took it all apart. She lives on a corner where her bikes have a habit of living outside on those tall long gates. Everything was oxidized. I showed her how the fork on her old bike had to be cut out because the stem was completely seized. Most of the old parts I put in the scrap truck when it came around. Pretty much useless. We made it clear that the bike is to be kept inside. No more of that. A lot went into it. The new fork is from an old 80’s model Schwinn. The bike is lighter now, it’s quicker. It’s more comfortable for her, the seating position is more of a thing a girl can ride in, more commuter friendly, more upright, better for her body all around. Her saddle was fucked, for example. It was cracking and she would just slide over the rough edges. No good. I stuck with the saddle because her ass already knows the shape, but the skin needed to be sturdy and soft. Softness goes a long way. We are talking about a delicate region after all. So we had Mr. Poncho cover it in a soft brown leather. No cold vinyl here. 

We sent the parts out to be powder coated that old British racing green. The color was a minor controversy in the shop. Everybody had to put in their two cents. And some a little more than that. Folks were pushing for bright orange, fushia, or darker green. I made the final call because it felt right. It’s fresh and unique, the right fit for Christy. When she came she said she was hoping for green, which gave me mixed feelings because on the one hand I was glad to have come through for her and on the other I wished it would have been more of a surprise. My ego talking there I guess. Anyway in the end the smile on her face was all I needed. She took the bike out in the alley for a test run, where we all heard her discover her little bell. As she wound around the block, you could hear her ring the bell and just laugh, ringing and squealing, ringing and squealing. Doesn’t get much better than that. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lights, motherfucker.

Lights themselves are wonderful. What I hate are morons who've never fucking heard of daylight savings time and get on the street in rush hour without them. Because it's not “cool” to have reflectors or because they're too fucking cheap. It'd be $20 for a light that would save their asses. It's fucked up. Most cyclists run through lights, even at 5:30, the dumbfucks, but it's dark now. Put a goddamned flashlight on the fucking bike. And not so the road will be beautifully illuminated for your riding pleasure. It's so drivers can see your dumb ass in time to keep from killing you!

I talked to a driver who almost hit a cyclist doing exactly what I'm talking about. She stopped and checked to see if the girl was alright, but the driver suggested she get a light and the girl got pissed. What the fuck.

Not that drivers aren't morons too. There are these guys that smoke in their cars, windows rolled up if they have something to hide, never clean the damn windshield, can't see shit outside. Then you've got some skinny jeans motherfucker going down the street with no lights on. The height of idiocy.

I've noticed New Orleans cyclists don't really have this problem. Mainly because they ride so goddamned slow. The law says get lights, sure, but it's not the same. Plenty don't have them, but it isn't like they're going through at breakneck speeds, partly because life is different there, time is different, but the roads being total shit has something to do with it, too. The only way you can ride is slow, lots of folks on cruisers down there.

There's a young lady that's going to look real good on this bike. It'll be beautiful by the end of the week. We're going to build it per a conversation I had with her boyfriend, who is surprising her with a new ride. He's tired of seeing her hailing cabs since her bike got jacked this summer. If you ride a bike you don't always get along with cab drivers. So this bike will be a cab negator. Stylish and good for bad weather, but a small dent for Checker. Nothing against them in general, but when a taxi driver looks at the road, he sees twenty dollar bills, and twenty dollar bills are on two feet. Two wheels don't mean shit to him. His eyes aren't on the bike lane, so please people, watch the fuck out. Oh yeah, the Follis all finished..