Friday, April 30, 2010

To Live and Train in L.A. #17

I have to admit that things are improving here at the Mag’s Sentence compound despite the picture above, which illustrates the aftermath of an amusing front-brake-cable-snap incident on the cross bike Tuesday afternoon, the sort of mechanical disaster that I totally knew was coming: right brake lever felt mushy for a few days (on all my bikes, the right lever activates the front brake) and I kept reminding myself to take a look at the brake situation but I guess I didn’t and the goddam cable snapped and there I was, like Sonny Corleone’s worst fears come true, Mikey coming out of that bathroom with just his dick in his hands. My attitude has been horseshit lately, worse than horseshit, and I should have thrown a tantrum, mooned the passersby, pissed on the roadway in disgust or whatever, but instead, when this cable snapped, something really beautiful snapped inside me. If a part on your bike breaks, this means the rider has been riding the bike; therefore, boy and girls, I can conclude that I have been riding my bike! And I had a party to celebrate this!

So after the sudsy period of whoop-whoop, or whatever the kids say when they party these days, I regained a form of consciousness the next afternoon, on my road bike, on the L.A. River Bike Path (where else?), during a rousing session of hunter-seeker intervals. The idea for this kind of interval is to spin really easy on the bikeway and enjoy the view and the sounds and the smells, and when some jackass blasts by on his single speed without saying “On your left,” then I ramp it up, catch the wheel, announce my presence, and counter-attack. On Wednesday when this happened, when a dipshit on his single speed blew by, I had about 4 miles to go till the turnaround on Victory Boulevard and I followed procedure, caught the guy, announced my presence, and of course the guy didn’t acknowledge me whatsoever because obviously once a person’s riding a bike a person has to act like an asshole, right? I mean, does this make any goddam sense whatsoever? Fuck no, it doesn’t. We should ride bikes so we don’t act like assholes, but I guess bicycle civilization has a long way to go before we reach peace and love and understanding and so forth. So the guy on the single speed was clearly a dick; and I was clearly a dick because I wanted to prove to him he’s a dick; and the only solution to this? I didn’t get out of the saddle when I attacked him. I merely said, “Coming around on your left” and kept my hands on the handlebar tops and lowered my head and picked it up. And I kept picking it up and kept picking it up till I thought I was going to puke and I had tears streaming down my face and I was having waking hallucinations about having sex with Mother Theresa and eating New York Strips with Mahatma Gandhi and discussing full-suspension mountain bike options with Henry David Thoreau and setting up a cyclocross course on the White House Lawn because wouldn’t that be the answer to world peace, to set up cyclocross courses in the front yards of every head of state in the whole world? Ah, you get the picture. I was putting in a rather hard effort. At the turnaround, at Victory Boulevard, I couldn’t see the single speed guy, which didn’t surprise me at all, and I resumed pedaling easily back from whence I came. Eight minutes later, I finally saw the single speed guy pedaling toward me at the same exact rate he was rolling when he rudely blew by me. I wanted to say, “In the future, Weenie Boy, why don’t you try being more polite to your superiors?” But instead I smiled and waved. He didn’t look up. I hadn’t achieved world peace with him.

I came home a while later and watched Traffic and wrote some poems by hand. They were bad. But Traffic was really good. My old buddy the Chief will be in L.A. this weekend. We’re going out for a spinner and maybe, just maybe, we’ll find the answer to world peace. If anybody can do it, we can.


  1. nice post. nice pics. nice kit. and thank whichever diety you subscribe to (is there a bicycle or writing diety? hmmmm. there ought to be - we should create one) that you buried that piece of crap on the ss.

  2. Dick intervals, I love it! Make sure Chief gets his inspiration!

  3. You know you were hallucinating, because Thoreau would ride a fixie he welded himself. That other could happen. Hope you had a great ride.


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