Posts Tagged ‘fixed gear’

Hipster’s Don’t Wear Glitter

October 23, 2015

I protested over some of the best sushi I have had in recent memory.

My friend looked at the waitress and asked her, “does she look like a hipster to you?”

The Japanese waitress looked at me, smiled, looked at my friend smiled, “she looks like a hipster.”

Damn it man.

My friend was joking, poking fun at me, but I do have some tell-tale signs of hipsterdom.

I work for tech.

Although I do not work in tech.

My family is a tech family, no getting around it, just none.

I work in the Mission District of San Francisco.

San Francisco is already up there on the hipster list, but the Mission?

Please.

It is über hipster.

And that’s not because there are so many Uber drivers in the bicycle lane waiting to pick up their fares from Tacolicious or Mosto or Dosa or Bar Tartine or dropping them off in front of Rhea’s Deli to get that one sandwich that goes so god damn good with that tall boy of Pabst Blue Ribbon that was drank at Mission Dolores Park that one day last week when the weather was so good.

“Come on!” My friend exclaimed, “you ride a fixie!”

Granted.

Yes.

I do.

“You worked at a bicycle company in the Mission!”

Yes.

I did that too.

I remember when I posted a photograph on Instagram, before everyone fucking knew what Instagram was (my Paris friend was shocked that I had been on Instagram so long, nearly four years, she hadn’t realized that the app has been around that long, but yeah, I got on the bandwagon awhile ago–the app just celebrated five years or publishing the selfie, remember what that used to be?  Literally, a self-portrait, I did a few of those before Instagram, in pencil) of my bicycle and one of the dad’s I used to nanny for commented:

“The hipster just got more hip, is that possible?”

The mom of the play date at work asked me on Tuesday night if I knew so and so, “you know, she’s really cool, and hip, like you.”

I don’t know the person she was referring to, but I can infer the compliment.

“Oh, we are going to be the envy of the neighborhood,” a mom who I ended up leaving after a really uncomfortable week of being overly micro managed, said as I agreed to be her nanny.

“We got our own hipster nanny!” She exclaimed and gave me a hug.

Note to self, if they hug you that much before the job is yours they might be neurotic.

I didn’t even know there was a candidate for nanny that was hipster, must be a subculture.

Speaking of.

Here’s a great definition for hipster courtesy of Wikipedia:

The hipster subculture is one of affluent or middle class young Bohemians who reside in gentrifying neighborhoods,[1][2] broadly associated with indie and alternative music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility (including vintage and thrift store-bought clothes), generally progressive political views, organicand artisanal foods, and alternative lifestyles.[3][4][5] The subculture typically consists of white millennials living in urban areas.[6][7] It has been described as a “mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior”.[8]

Hmm.

Let’s see.

I like subculture.

Ok, I can see that, ok, fine, a little hipstery there.

Affluent or middle class?

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

But then again, better off than I have ever been and were I living in the mid west I would be considered middle class.

Of course, I wouldn’t be making half of what I make here in the San Francisco as a nanny.

No way.

No how.

And in San Francisco I am not middle class and certainly not affluent.

Bohemian?

Sure.

I will go with that, although I think I am more of a sparkle pony than a Bohemian, but I have some of the trappings, I like art, I like music that doesn’t play on the top 40 radio stations.

When, in fact, was the last time I listened to the radio?

Oh.

Ha.

Yesterday, in the car with the mom on the way to the boys appointment to get their annual flu shot.

I got mine too.

I remember listening to the lyrics of the song that was playing and wondering, who the fuck writes this?

Awfulness.

But I love art and that is very Bohemian.

So ok, a couple of points on the hipster scale and I have tattoos and yes, I do have a one speed custom bicycle, but not because I am affluent, but because I worked in a bicycle shop and not because I had some rabid interest in bicycles, it sort of fell in my lap, my friend was the General Manager and really wanted me to come and work for him.

So I did.

And I built a bike.

But my bike, despite having hipster tendencies–one speed, custom paint job, Italian drop bars, steel frame–is so not a hipster ride.

The aesthetics are totally skewed.

Hello.

I have a deep midnight blue paint job with Rock Star Sparkle top coat.

Not one coat.

But two.

No hipster in their right mind has a whip with glitter.

Or a leather seat with embossed roses from Italy.

Just me.

What else?

Oh yeah, gentrifying neighborhoods.

Yeah.

I used to live in the Mission, but no longer.

I lived at 20th and York, paid $650 for my room with its own bath in a five bedroom house with four other girls.

I bet now that rent for my room would be $3,000.

I lived at 22nd and Alabama with a woman from Northern Italy who had rent control from having lived in the top of this Victorian forever and paid $500 for a huge room with everything included.

I also lived in an enormous Victorian on 23rd and Capp before it was gentrified, thank you very much, for $450 a month plus utilities.

God.

I have people question why the hell I moved out, but if you knew who my room-mate was you probably wouldn’t have moved in.

The last place I lived in the Mission was a tiny in-law at 22nd and Folsom and I paid $750 including all utilities.

That was about two and a half, three years ago, right as it was getting crazy.

Now.

Well.

Fuck.

Whatever.

Everybody know how expensive it is to rent in San Francisco, and now I live in the Outer Sunset, where I am very happy and content to live.

Although it too is getting a little on the hipster side.

I’m definitely progressive, I definitely eat a lot of organic food, ok, sigh, I am looking more like a hipster every word I type.

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

I wear glasses with oversized wood frames.

I listen to alternative music.

Ever hear of jazz?

Yeah, like that.

But there’s a lot of music that I listen to that is definitely not mainstream, is underground, and is alternative.

Fuck.

I guess I am a hipster.

Wait.

Millennials.

Nope.

Fuck that.

I am so not a Millennial.

Not by a long shot.

I’m way too old.

Gen X thank you very much.

There.

See.

Not a hipster.

Well.

I guess I have some characteristics.

(Wrecking Ball coffee in my cupboard from Washington State)

Converse on my feet.

Fixie in the garage.

Yes I did own a vintage Vespa, well, I thought it was a Vespa.

But.

I protest.

I am still to glittery to be hip.

And I eschew cigarettes, tall boys, tech talk, Tinder, festival clothes, floppy hats, jean shorts (unless I’m rocking some funky tights), happy hour in the Mission, and snobbery.

See.

I’m too nice to be a hipster.

So there.

“I’m just joking!” My friend laughed at me, “you know I’m just joking.”

I do.

I do, I know.

I am willing to admit that I am often mistaken for a hipster but as soon as I wave my hand and give you a hug the truth comes out.

Oh!

Your’s so nice.

You must be from the Midwest!

Yup.

I’m not hipster.

I’m a Sconnie.

Cold, Grey, Foggy

May 23, 2015

But not lonely.

Alone.

But alright with it.

Not whistling in the dark.

Whistling through the dark.

The buffalo paddock was glowing with mist as I rode my bicycle through the depths of Golden Gate Park on my ride home this evening, the bounced back light from the underbelly of the low-lying clouds and the thick fog swirling in from the ocean, made the meadow look as though it was laced with snow.

And it felt cold enough on my ride home for me, for just a moment, to actually think that the field was full of snow.

I did a bit of a double take and then chuckled at my misperception.

I should always chuckle at my poor perspective, my inability to ever see anything quite clearly.

It does seem like so much is shrouded in fog and mist.

I can be magical though.

The ride home, especially the stretch from the waterfall through to the buffalo paddock always does it to me, especially when there is little or nor traffic on the road and the glimmer of the lamp posts marching stolid through the dark makes me feel like I am on the cusp of the wilds, that I am in that in between land.

Could be fantasy.

Could be reality.

Sometimes I call it Narnia.

I am reminded of the Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the lamp-post in the woods, the snow flurries around the halo of light, I feel like that when I ride through the mists and fog and head home to my small spot by the sea.

“You’re all the way out there,” my friend said to me as we caught up hanging out on the side-walk across from the SafeWay in the Church and Market neighborhood.

Three more blocks and I would be at the sea.

There’s a special kind of absence of light when I turn off Chain of Lakes and make my final descent down Lincoln Avenue to 46th, cornering like I’m still riding my bicycle in fixed gear, there is a blackness, a lack of light, that even should I not know the sea was there, is indicative of the ocean being there.

The edge of the world.

I could just drop right off the edge.

Not that I plan on anytime soon.

I could become morose, I could wish for more than what I have, but that is just a misty shroud of self-pity that doesn’t serve me or my fellows.

It’s really just selfishness masquerading around in fancy pants clothes.

I love my warm little space.

It is exactly as it should be.

Pretty and quaint.

My life is exactly as it should be as well.

And I have a three-day weekend.

That is nice.

I did have a moment when I was in the middle of the day, a stretch that is not always relaxing, but heralds that it is closer to the end of the day then the beginning, and I thought, I am just not going to make it all the way to the weekend.

And what do you know.

I did.

And it’s here.

And yup.

No plans.

Get excited.

I remind myself.

Things are going to happen.

Stuff is happening things are brewing.

There is not a single reason in the world to be troubled.

Just because I can’t see through the fog doesn’t mean that something fabulous.

Amazing.

Astounding.

Miraculous.

Out of the ordinary.

May happen.

I have a confession to make, now that I am through a good chunk of the blog and have lost a number of readers, I mean, how long can you wax poetic about fog and mist before someone decides to go watch some down loaded porn?

FYI.

I write about working for love and being a nanny and I get like zip reads.

I write anything about sex.

I get reads.

I know what you all want.

I know my audience.

But do I know myself?

Here’s one.

I need to stop looking at my ex-boyfriends FaceBook page.

I’m about to unfriend the man again.

It’s just about to start taking too much time of mine.

It’s just about to start.

Ha!

I make myself fucking laugh.

It is taking up too much of my attention.

He posted something and I found myself reacting and I was like, no, no, no.

It’s not my business where he is or what he’s doing or who he’s hanging out with, but, dude, we’re supposed to be doing that together–fucking jealousy.

Didn’t I already work through this?

And then I knew I have not, not completely,  there’s always a little more work I get to do.

I have to stay away.

When I go down that road it isn’t shrouded in mist.

It’s a bright fucking light that says, you’re not good enough, he didn’t want you, nobody wants you, might as well go cry in my tea.

And then I focus on all the things that are lacking in my life.

Which is nothing.

Once I get disgusted with myself and tear my eyes away from the stream of posts, that are.

NONE OF MY BUSINESS TO BE READING.

Ugh.

So.

Maybe I’ll try that this weekend.

I won’t check his Facebook feed for the rest of the weekend.

That will probably help me see what is actually happening in front of me.

Maybe I’ll actually be available to the man I’m supposed to be with instead of focusing on the one who didn’t want me.

Good rule of thumb.

Focus on what’s in front of me, rather than focusing on what I do not have.

That whole compare and despair thing.

Because I am enough.

There’s not a thing wrong with me and my ex and I aren’t together because we’re not suppose to be.

That’s all.

It’s not some big mystery.

It’s just life.

It’s just an experience.

And the nice thing about coming in from the fog and the chill, with my fingers stiff from riding in the misty weather, I can always warm up, change my perspective, get cozy, and be happy that I’m not having a mystical experience.

I’m just having an experience.

It’s called living.

And it’s pretty damn good.

Especially when I mind my own business.

It’s good then.

REALLY.

REALLY.

REALLY.

Good.

Going Back In

May 27, 2013

Moving forward-looking backward.

This is what I don’t want to be doing.

I need to turn around and face forward, walk towards.

Towards San Francisco, let’s be honest.

See, every time I say, ok I am here in the East Bay, all I have to do is a little commute and every thing is cool, man, then I get on the BART train.

It’s not horrible, sometimes.

Then it is, like today, heading into the fray, literally, I had forgotten it was Carnival, I was on a car that was more crowded than a normal Sunday, and stinky, and loud, and I soon discovered why.

And I got to get off at 16th and Mission, which was a cluster fuck of crazy.

After having ridden too long on a car that stank of weed and beer and a long weekend.

I thought, I would live just about anywhere in San Francisco happy and without a care if I don’t have to do this commuting in and out so much any more.

When I am at Graceland, in the compound, I joke, but you catch my drift, I am happy, warm, cozy, on an island of loveliness.

The sun scatters down through the high palm trees and the cats run amok, inside and outside and the flowers bloom, the fig tree is pushing out gigantic globes of luxuriousness to be harvested later this season, the bed is comfortable, the bathtub, the claw foot mind you, is alluring, the sun smoothed out from the red and blue and yellow blocks of church stain glass windows spreading rainbows on the wood floors, beckons me to nap on the bench in the back room.

Then, I get on my bike and pedal out into the world and shall I say, my perspective is altered.  I cannot live on an island forever, I must foray out into the world.

What sucks, again, just a matter of perspective, but a hassle to deal with, is that I did no grocery shopping tonight.

I could not get out of the Mission in time to bust a move on Rainbow and once I was off the train in Fruitvale I just wanted to get back to the house.

Especially since I had the stank of vomit in my nose.

Some knuckle head from Hayward with an A’s cap askew on his tow head spewed chunks all over the last car.

Thank you jeebus that we had come up from under the Bay.

The entire car off loaded to move onto another train.

I could not believe how much vomit this kid had in his system.

Like, dude how many super burritos did you eat at El Farolito today?

Sad.

Such a waste.

I scrambled onto another car and was able to enjoy the rest of the ride and I had a fun conversation with a kid who had a beat up fixed gear who had all sorts of questions about my bicycle.

We bantered, flirted a little, not too seriously, albeit a bright, attractive, young man, his eyes were so red I could have gotten high if I stared at them too long, and I rode the rest of the way to the station chatting about riding fixed gear.

I am a little more comfortable on my bike then I was yesterday.

Reminded me of when I started riding bicycles in the first place.

I had moved out to Bay View and lived off Third Street at Palou.

The T-line had just gone in and the commute to work in the Mission was just too long.  I decided I was going to get a bicycle.  I could bring it in to my job and have a way to and from work that did not include the slow, still working out the kinks, new train line.

I walked into Pedal Revolution and told them I did not want “hip, slick, and cool, just something comfy I can get from point A to point B.”

They sold me a hybrid.

Which makes perfect sense, I would have done the same to me too.

Man, how far I have come.

I am still grateful for that bike though, it taught me that I am teachable.  It brought me too and from the Bay View and helped me haul groceries all over the city until I gave it up and switched to a one speed Pogliaghi steel frame an old lover left with me when he moved out of the city.

My room-mate at 23rd and Capp Street said, “you do not deserve this bike.”

He grunted, flipped it over, spun the back crank and shook his head.

Then he apologized, “sorry, I know that’s not very nice of me to say that, but it’s sort of like someone gave you a vintage Porsche and you asked, ‘what’s a Porsche?'”.

“This is that kind of good,” he shook his head again and, “enjoy the riding.”

Oh.

Man.

Did.

I.

Ever.

That bike was like when I realized I was not having orgasms when I was having sex.

I used to think, what is all the fuss about?

Then I found out.

That Pogliaghi was like that.

I felt like I was flying on silken wings, I had never ridden steel before, I had never ridden a one speed before, it was like someone handed me a Hitachi Magic Wand and said, “have fun kid.”

I smiled for days.

I could not wait to get on that bike.

Then I got hit by a car that turned right on 16th from Valencia without using a turn signal and bye-bye bike.

“You might be able to salvage it,” Clancy at Pedal Rev said, shaking his head sadly, “but, the frame is bent and it’s not safe, it could break at any point, you are going to take a huge risk anytime you sit in the saddle.”

I sighed.

“Take it, have it, I donate it to the shop, strip what you can use, and thanks for being honest with me,” I said.

“No.  Are you sure?”  Clancy pushed back his messenger hat and rubbed a hand through his red hair, “it’s still a really beautiful bike.”

“Yeah, but I can’t ride it, it’s yours.”  I walked out, borrowed a bike, walked, took the bus, and got around.  I managed until I got the Felt 35 road bike that I used for the Aidslifecycle, which I eventually sold to my co-worker at Mission Bicycle after I designed my current whip.

“How much did you pay,” he asked me admiring the rims.

“I did not pay retail, I used to work at the shop, I don’t even know what price to put on it, I was a kid in a candy store, I got to pick whatever I wanted, I mean, I have glitter paint, and an Italian saddle, hard to price that,” I said, but leaned in and whispered under my breath what I paid at cost.

“Holy shit, lucky you.” He smiled.

Then I was at Fruitvale and, disembarking, getting ready to ride down the three-day weekend busy streets with side shows happening here, and hookers hanging here, and crack a lack a lack happening there.

“I might have a room,” he said on the message.

“It’s in the Bayview.”

I live in East Oakland, that’s a step up.

I’m down.

When can I move in?

I already know how to get to Rainbow from your house.

Fixed Gear Fan

April 14, 2012

Well, it happened.

Once again, a never say never sort of moment, I said once, “people who ride fixed gears are idiots, you can’t ride fixed gears in SF, do you want to die?”

Also–

“I will never ride fixed gear.”

Never say never.

You would think that I would have remembered this vital rule by now.  As I also embark upon another path (I am about to go Vegan, more on that later), and recall saying that there was no way in hell I ever would do that.

I took on the fixed gear challenge after meeting a guy who works at Marin Bikes in Sausalito and he gave me shit about having a flip-flop hub and not riding in fixed gear.

I may have just lost 2/3rds of my readership with that sentence.

Here’s the definition ala Wikipedia:

fixed-gear bicycle (or fixed-wheel bicycle, sometimes known as a fixie) is a bicycle that has no freewheel, meaning it cannot coast, as the pedals are always in motion when the bicycle is moving.

Huh?

You are always in motion and if you are not used to always being in motion, ie, you have been riding a bike that coasts, most do, then you will get a little unpleasant surprise when your leg just naturally wants to coast as that’s what the muscle is used to doing.

It will kick.

Double huh?

The first time I tried to coast, muscle memory, I got kicked.  I felt like I was about to be launched out of my saddle.  It was a really unpleasant experience and I almost turned around and headed back to the mechanic who had flipped my hub to but it back.

A flip-flop is a cog on the rear wheel which can accommodate both a fixed gear ratio and coasting.  You can take off the back wheel and flip it over and it will have a cog, that thing in the center that the chain runs around, that will allow you to either ride in a fixed gear or in coast, ie free wheel.

Did I lose anyone?

Because, I tell you, I’ve been officially working at the bike shop for five months now and I am only now beginning to understand it.

I also got to witness how I compromised myself because I wanted to impress people with the fact that I rode fixed gear.  I also am vain.

Riding in fixed a works your legs more, as they are always in motion and you use your legs to brake rather than reaching for the brake lever.  I wanted more exercise, and you can tell what fixed gear legs look like and frankly, they are hella sexy.

I want to be hella sexy.

Duh.

And yes, I do ride with a brake.  I don’t want to say I’ll never ride without  a brake, but I really don’t think I will ever ride without a break.  The popular misconception–one in which I shared–is that when you ride fixed gear you ride without a brake.

There are those who do.  It is possible to stop the bike completely without a brake, you can control how fast or slow you go by using your legs to slow down.  Or speed up.

In fact, one of the joys of riding fixed, yes I said joys, joy does figure into this, else I would not be doing it any longer, is that control.  I get to experience stopping without using a brake.  I am not proficient at it.  I rely heavily on my brake, but I can see myself getting a lot better.

And it’s fun.

At first, it was not fun.  It was disconcerting.  I fell over once.

In front of work.

Oops.

I was really scared as well, I can admit it, now that it has passed, the first couple of times I went down 24th street from the top of Diamond.  I thought I was going to die.  I felt out of control and I relied a lot on my brake.

I was really, really, really slow.

I went really, really, really slow, until yesterday.

It feels like last week, but I realized when I was talking to a co-worker who had a customer out on his first fixed gear ride, that it was just yesterday.

Another popular misconception that I get to labor under, literally, is that all we sell are fixed geared bikes.

Nope.

Carlos asked me to extol the virtues of being a recent convert to the fixed gear ride and why I made the decision.

I got to be totally honest with the customer and I let him know I was uncomfortable at first, that I almost went back to riding free, that I wanted to coast again.  Then the shift happened, it happened, oh no shocker here, yesterday when I was riding through Noe Valley and down 24th street to work after meeting with Carolyn.

Yes, the same day, I told that lovely lady to please use your turn signal, friend.

Noe Valley was busy with delivery trucks, nannies, shoppers, parallel parkers, and not one, but two fire engines.  The traffic was constantly stop and go.  I was constantly stop and go.  It wasn’t until I was already headed down the hill that I realized I wasn’t nervous and it was the most divine, exhilarating ride.

Yeah, I still used my brake, but I also used my legs to control my speed and when the lights were turning just so and I was in complete control of the bike, I did this absurdly delicate and fast left turn onto Valencia to go to work and for a moment I felt like a VeloDrome racer.

I don’t know how old I was, but I had seen track racing in a Velodrome when I was seven, or eight, maybe nine, on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

Remember, the ‘agony of defeat’.  I loved that show.

And there they were, this track racers on a velodrome and they were doing track stands and I was simply fascinated.

I said, I am going to grow up and do that!

I also said at one point I would grow up to be a nun, the president of the United States, and an Iron Man triathelete (there was that one movie, I saw about the same time as I saw the track race and the biking part just really fascinated me.  Running, not so much, thanks).

And look, here I am, a ‘grown up’ and I am riding one of those bikes.

Just another way of seeing that I have been taken care of, loved, and heard, despite my protestations to the contrary.  I get to do something I dreamed about doing as a child.

By the way, I just made that correlation.

My life rocks!

The joy, the pure, unadulterated joy of taking that turn, that was what finally sold me.

I am used to the fixed gear now and my legs appear to have lost the memory of the coasting free wheel, they just naturally do the movement without me thinking about it.     And now, I am getting to see some of the nuanced ways of riding.

I also notice really fast if someone is riding in fixed and I watch how they work their bodies.  It’s really quite cool.

And not hipster cool, rather in my own vernacular, it’s neat-o.

Then I rode my fixed gear home tonight from Church and Market and I got my thrilling ride down the 17th street corridor and took my turn onto Folsom with the spectacular timing of the lights, I hit the right hand turn and pedaled through it and onto Folsom.

Joy riding high in my chest as my body and bike were one mechanism.

I achieved flight.

Can I Get Off The Ride Now?

April 8, 2012

Holy crow.

Today was crazy. Crazy, I tell you.

I suspected that it was going to be nut buckets, but I had no clue.  I mean, I made it and all, but I still feel like I am on the ride.

I would like to decline another spin of the merry-go-round and just slow it down.

Whoa.

I walked into work and Kristin was already in the store, thank God with the door shut,   selling a bike to a customer.  It was not even eleven a.m. and the fun house had begun.

We did not sell the most bikes ever in one day, that would be ten, but we sold the second highest number of bikes in one day, eight.

I sold four bikes today and did the estimate on one that will be coming in tomorrow.

We could have perhaps done ten.  There was a couple that came in right at 7 p.m. to design a bike.  I just did not have it in me.

Two of us sold eight bikes.  Eight.

It’s a process.  The fastest I have ever walked a client through a bike build is 40 minutes.  Most bike designs take about an hour and a half.  That’s average.  Some are faster, some are slower.  Some happen over the course of a few days, they will come in, get some information, skitter out the door, play on their computer at home, then come back, get more information, and do the same thing.

I actually did a bike build and finalization on a bike that this guy has been working on for a year–he could not decide what he wanted.

That sounds funny, but actually, having had the same thing happen to me, I get it.

It is a big investment for most people.

Hell, I would not be on one of our bikes except that I work at the store.  My bike at retail would have cost $2300.  Without tax.

No way in hell.  I have never even paid that much for a car.

Then I realized that even at my costs, I still paid more for my bike than any other single purchase I have ever made–except my tattoos.

I have invested more in my art than my bike.

I once also bought a painting for eleven hundred.  But I am in the process of selling back to the artist as his wife has become attached and he’s had it in “storage” at his house since I moved to San Francisco.

So, I’m selling it back.

But, yeah, I get it, its an expensive endeavor.

Some people need to think it over.  Some people need to save up their pennies.

I still had to wait to build my bike to coincide with getting my taxes back.  I could have probably just afforded it with what was left over from my moves and damage deposits, but I would have no money in savings.  None.

Plus, there are all the colors.

My God.  Some times that is the worst.

I want to get a bike but I don’t know what colors.

You have to have an idea of the colors because every component, every one of them has a color option.  The paints for the frame, well there’s a few, just over two hundred, plus effects–glitter, metallics, glossies, matte, so over two hundred fifty options.  Then each component has color options–some not so much, white silver, black.  Some, like your grip color or chain color–you have ten options, twelve.

It’s a lot to think about.

A person can suck up so much time on a bike build if they are waffling on colors.  I want blue, but not sky blue, kind of powder blue, but with a gray edge to it.

PICK ONE!

Please.

Today I sold one bike in Bone, one in Safety Orange, one in Powder Blue, one in Matte Black, and one in Candy Apple Red transparent.

The Bone bike was the prettiest for my money, subtle and classic.  Silver and chrome components, little splashes of white, topped with Brooks leather bar tape and a Brooks Honey Saddle.  Gorgeous.

The Powder Blue is also going to look extremely cool, black rims, black spokes, silver hubs, silver and white components.

The Safety Orange is going to be drop dead gorgeous for one week, then it will look like ass.

The guy designed a really super pretty bike with all white components.  I mean all white.  White wheels, white rims, white seat, white handle bars, white grip tape.

It will pop out like nobody’s business, as the Safety Orange, think reflective orange vest traffic monitor, with all white, hella sexy.

Put it on a wall, it’s art, gorgeous.

Ride it one week and it’s going to be Safety Orange with gray wheels and gray bar tape and a gray seat.  White, just ends up going gray.  It looks so pretty, but unless you plan on washing it down every time you ride, and who does that?  You will end up with a dirty gray bike.

Not sexy.

The Candy Apple Red will look like an either really garish or super, sleek, sophisticated,  French depending on what components he decides to finalize with, it could go either way.

Candy Apple Red was my one estimate.  He’s totally going to pull the trigger, and he better after all the attention I gave him, but he’s sitting on what rims and what colors he wants.  Garish and overdone, or edited, restrained, but with a deep candy apple red with a metallic transparency overlay to give it snap and sizzle.

The black matte was a pretty standard build and fortunately I did not have to do a lot of work with it, it was an online sale.  I count this as a bike sale though because despite having the majority of components sitting in the order box, the bike builder on the website over looks things, so I had to get on the phone with him and go over what he had designed.  The phone call was then followed up by four e-mails.

Some times online orders take just as long as you have a lot of back and forth or if they change their mind about a component.

People change their minds a lot.

We made a few changes and his bike is going to be really quite sleek–flat matte black with gold components and an upgraded Velocity B43 rim in the rear, which is dead sexy.

I went from one bike build to the other to the other.  At one point Kristin and I had every single computer running a build, three laptops, the kiosk monitor, where the builds are supposed to all take place, and I had one running on the Ipad (officially popped my cherry and designed an entire bike on an Ipad–the powder blue) plus the store full of people, in the dressing room, trying on helmets, buying locks, and people out on test rides.  I never had a hot cup of tea as I never got a chance to drink the damn thing before it got cold.

I reheated it three times then just gave it up.

I think I managed to go to the bathroom once in the melee.

The kicker?

The GM back from vacation, walked in, thank god, during a lull, with his suitcases from the airport.

I love you man, but go home.

It was great timing though, had he come in during the fray it would have been a mess. Sometimes when you got the groove, you got the groove.  Kristin and I were in the groove.  Two of us, two girls, did the second highest number of bikes.

Just two.

We also left the store clean, organized, tidy.  There was no extraneous paper work floating about, all orders were put in the build box, all transactions ran, all monies processed.

I love the boys, but I have walked in on a Monday after a busy weekend and it is a disaster.  We left it organized and ship-shape.

And I know, I checked, thank you, that we also had the highest sales since I have worked there.

Two of us.

Girls rock.

And we both ride fixed gear.

Flirt Bucket

February 28, 2012

That would be me.

You know what’s handy about working in a bike shop?

Handing out your business cards to cute guys who work in bike shops too.

I am deliberately not responding to the whistle of my Iphone.

I set it to whistle at me when I have a text message.  I have a text message.  I am assuming it is from the gentleman who I gave my card to yesterday.

We started talking yesterday on the corner of Valencia and 15th.  He had come in for the day from Marin and the next thing you know I am getting the grill about why I don’t ride in fixed gear.

Because I am a big fat sissy.

Because I thought, until today, that riding fixed meant riding without a brake.  And it does not!  I also thought, I like to coast, I like having a free wheel, it’s nice for going down hills.  Except that now being in the Mission I don’t have that many hills to ride down.

Although I have bombed 24th from Diamond to Folsom at a pretty damn quick clip the last two Saturday eves in a row.  It’s delirious fun.  I ride down the middle of the lane.  I am going so fast I figure two things–1. No driver is going down this hill faster than me so they can not bother trying to pass me; and 2. the road has a lot of little mini potholes–best to take it down the center of the lane.

However, after listening to Mister Marin espouse the virtues of fixed, I started to wonder, maybe I am ready to take the fixed plunge.  Then between my General Manager and the Head Mechanic at the shop I became convinced that I should at least try it.

The other thing that Mister Marin mentioned was that it was more exercise, more work.  I am down for that.  I need a little more exercise.  My commute went from 25 minutes to five minutes.  My legs are barely warmed up by the time I get to the shop or home from the shop.  I will gladly ride fixed if it means working out my legs some more.

Down with it.

There is also a smidgen of ego laced into all of this.  I want to do what the cool kids do and they apparently ride fixed.  The GM sold it to me like this, it’s more fun.  He would know.  And he used to ride with a free wheel too until one day when he needed to ride a bike and hopped on one of the fleet that is built up for test rides and it was fixed.

He liked it.  He kept trying it out and kept liking it more and more.  Finally, he just made the switch and has not gone back.  That pretty much sold me.

That and the analogy to driving a stick shift.  It was likened to me that way and I love driving a stick, you have more control and I always feel more connected to the car.  Supposedly that same thing will happen for me with a fixed gear.  I have the flip-flop hub on my rear wheel, I’m going to have the mechanics flip it for me sometime this week.

I will have plenty of time to address it as I am at the beginning of six days on.  I thought I was swapping out tomorrow for this Saturday to help a co-worker and it turns out that no, she needs to work next Tuesday.

Fuck me.

I am working six days straight.  Argh.

Jesus the phone is chirping and whistling.

And the lady is putting the writing first.  I know if I get on the phone with a cute guy I am not going to get off any time soon.  I will not finish the blog or I will and it will be late at night.  My writing is my priority.

My recovery is my first priority and that was already addressed, so I am on track and I will have my little blog post up within the next half hour.  The phone can wait.  Besides, if it’s meant to be, I can’t fuck it up, nor can I manipulate it into happening.  I have tried it both ways.

My year book photo went live today on the website and on Facecrack.  That was interesting.  I am still not the biggest fan of the photo, but apparently my eyes are broke because plenty of other people thought it was just fine.

My perception of myself is definitely skewed.  I know that, but it is a good reminder once in a while to know that other people see me differently than I do.

I also have a not so secret admirer in Panama.  He came into the shop on vacation and I gave him the shirt off my back.

I had on a tank top underneath, thank you very much, and he gave me his.  I have since received a few e-mails from him, have designed him a bag (which he wants me to sign!  What?), and have had an invitation extended to me to stay at his home in the jungle when I come down with friends.

Ok then.

Uh, no thank you, but thank you.

I have never been south of the border, but I am not sure that is the place to start.  I do like his tone better than the crazy tweaker guy that I accidentally smiled at before I realized he was a crazy tweaker guy, who comes in once a week to “see” what’s new in the shop.

He just comes in and stares at my chest.

Psst.  The rack is not new.  I have had it for a while.

Last thought before I go check the voicemail and the text messages–which may be from other folks too–I am treading slightly unfamiliar territory.  Mister Marin has already Facecracked me.  The possibility of him reading this post is fairly high.

Oh well, it’s just flirting, right?

And I write about me.  This is what’s happening in my life.

I’m getting whistled at in my bedroom.  That’s funny.

I do have some recovery! I made it all the way through to the end without once checking my phone.  Rock the hell on.

I promise I won’t twist an ankle rushing off to check my messages either.

I am a flirt who wants to go on a bike ride this weekend.

In fixed gear.

 


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