(disclaimer – this posting was written some time ago and not posted so it may sound a little out of sequence in the space time continuum but please ignore the obvious warp in time)
So, I am having a weekend in Midtown, Sacramento, and it’s a little weird.
First, I dropped my bicycle off at a bike shop for a tune-up. It was needed since the back tire was wobbling a bit.
From there, I walk over to the Rubicon Brewery. I love their IPA. Did I say love, I meant LOVE. Now I am sitting at a narrow bar, not THE bar but a narrow seating area cleverly designed to increase the seating capacity of the bar. A couple, yuppie to their socks, and another couple, not sure if they’re committed, dating, or whatever, are sitting with the yuppie couple. I’ll call them a dating couple, the male is a slightly older guy with RAPIDLY thinning pate, the yuppie couple is eating like refugees from plates of wings, burgers and fries. The guy reads a finance rag like it’s a bottle of water in the hands of a man who just crossed the Sahara on his knees, the only survivor of a plane crash in the dead-GPS-middle-of-nowhere.
The dating couple guy with thinning hair (I’m above him on my stool where it’s so obvious why he dates short women) is talking so fast I swear he’s on crack, crank, meth, coke…whatever. The yuppie guy couldn’t give a sxxt obviously from his more than slightly disengaged I don’t give a flying fxxk attitude beneath his Boston Red Socks Cap – to his constant engagement with his cell phone and paper and food. The phone is an oddity of young life I have yet to reconcile with reality in my world.
Oh yeah– and bicycle GEEKS
So, I decide since my back wheel is wobbling slightly and I have neither tools nor interest in working on a bike, to take it to the local bike shop for a tune-up which I’ve been threatening in my mind for two years now but have avoided since there has been no obvious defect in the bike’s operation until now.
So I ride the bike over having no interest in walking the bike over there, and I wheel it into the store avoiding an infant teetering on two feet while proud papa stays close to keep him from falling and injuring himself. I wait at the back as bike mechanics work feverishly on a bike for a man in a skin-tight Sierra Nevada Brewery uniform’s bike, clamped into a vice, a guy greasing a brand new cable, and all the while the rider (I presume owner) of the bike is waltzing around in his lycra tights, emerald green in Sierra Nevada fashion deluxe) and his friend comes out with great fanfare when he sees me waiting there with my average mountain bike. He greets me heartily, as only someone can who hasn’t ridden a single quarter mile all day, and asks me with all sincerity what’s wrong with the bike assuring me that he does not work there BUT through the magnificence of his influence on the mechanics that he can relay the gist of the problem to them and have me out in a jiffy. I am impressed, and hopeful that I can drop the stupid bike off quickly and go on my way. He wears black lycra is at least my age and has an apparently gel-infused but pad that could keep one free of bicycle-induced hemorrhoids until the century mark. He’s also clicking around in those little shoes that snap into the stirrups and ensure road rash of the first degree.
So I explain to this angel of bicycle mercy what my dilemma is and he assures me that he will translate my dilemma, intercede with the mechanic on my behalf like a sort of midtown bike-consular general (in bike-eze, I am certain).
This is all of course the fault of Lance Armstrong. Much in the way that Roger DeCoster created a bunch of little motocross geeks back in the 1970’s, Lance has created a bunch of middle-aged bicycle geeks in the first decade of the new century. Guys who admire lycra, thin lithe figures cranking out mile-after-mile on a bike. Not sure what that’s all about but there’s a market and it sells.
One of the interesting things about Midtown is that there are a lot of college students. The main way to identify a college student in Midtown Sacramento is when you see them guiding their parents along the sidewalk, or sitting in a restaurant with them drinking ice tea (instead of a beer) and pretending behind their tattoos and piercings that they are still the quiet, reserved, conservative, church-going kid they were before they left home. And when a local like me passes them, as I frequently do, they glare at me as if to say – “IF YOU TALK TO MY PARENTS (who are bank-rolling my midtown lifestyle) AND TELL THEM HOW I ACT WHEN THEY AREN’T HERE YOU WILL DIE.” At least that’s how I interpret their glare, maybe they’re just PO’d at moping along with their parents all afternoon.