Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Robocop Vs. Terminator Vs. Paul Revere Vs. Jack Black

This is going to be a speed blog, so please excuse typos, left out words, and trains of thought that go off the rails, fall into gorges hundreds of feet below, and burst into flames. I've thrown some images up here...I'm going to talk about them, and then I'm going to get the hell out of there and do lots of stuff. Real cool stuff. 

One of the cool things I'm doing today is starting work with Roll It Forward. I went down to Boston City Hall for my first meeting with the RIF guys Monday. I like that acronym — RIF...sounds a lot like RAF. And that's a cool acronym. Not like LOL, I hate that acronym. If I worked for a company with a name that broke down into that acronym, I would wake up in the morning and try as hard as I could to jam my head into the garbage disposal. I will not be applying for a job at Landscaping Of Leominster any time soon. 

My job at RAF is Bicycle Mechanic/Operations Coordinator (I think). I'll be managing a massive fleet of donation bikes. And hey, you know what's awesome? On my way down to City Hall Monday, I'm rolling up to an intersection on my Schwinn Varsity, which has had zero maintenance done to it ever (we're talking years and years here), and POP! my front brake cable snaps. The bike is a fixed gear but it has flat pedals, not exactly the best set up for leg-locking to a stop. I stood up and awkwardly arrested the motion of the bicycle, thankful that I hadn't been rolling down a hill at 20mph, and thought to myself "oh this is why people think that fixed gears wreck your knees...because they do (if you don't have a brake)."

At that point I though of ditching the bike and getting on the T, but I didn't have enough time, and besides, I thought, if the sweet fixie kids can do it, so can I. Even if I didn't have toe clips and straps. I also thought of Ted Riederer, one of the oldest school Boston bike messengers (now retired) and how he would roll on a brakeless fixed gear with flat pedals, he just went really, really SLOW. So I went for it, riding into downtown Boston brakeless. I can't say that it wasn't incredibly sketchy, but I made it. Of course when I got out of the meeting and it was snraining (snow/rain) and I had to get over to Central Square, I used the fact that my cable was busted to wuss out and take the train. "That wouldn't be safe" my wuss-brain said, and I complied. 

And I'm the guy who's managing a fleet of bikes, the guy whose bike can't make it from Somerville to Boston in one piece. 

 And then this happened yesterday. Out for a ride with M, I'm wailing down a gravelly descent, playing the "I have no brakes" game, and when I got to the bottom it wasn't a game anymore. The pivot on my brake lever had ejected. Fucker.

Oh ya, it was on my T ride home from City Hall that I noticed this:

Paul Revere bears a striking resemblance to...

Jack Black!

Has anyone noticed this? Does Jack Black know this? Well, now I do, and you do too, we've both learned something. Aren't you glad you came down here today?

OK, I gotta go be late for some appointments, you can stay here, hang out, get high, and eat all the cookies in the house while you watch this a-freakin-mazing video of a Senegalese dude absolutely ripping it up on a bike that any douche bag in my neighborhood would leave on the curb.

Jesus Christ! I almost forgot...

The photo at the top of the post — when I saw that I was like "Sweet! Robocop Vs. Terminator, now that is a movie I will watch!" But no, it's Robocop WITH Terminator. I think it's a musical or a rom-com and I am still going to go see it.


CB2 said...

Back when I was a kid and we learned on horn books the acronym R.I.F. stood for reading is fundamental.

mandy said...

that Avid pivot brake thing happened to me twice, in the woods. Now i have Hayes.

pvb said...

Jack Black is a history buff. I think I was telling you about drunk history at that bar in Northampton. It probably got meta - drunken re-telling of drunk history. It might have even come out sober after being passed through two drunken filters.

the original big ring said...

same thing happened to me with same brakes while in the woods - broke off a branch and stuck it in the hole and laa-dee-daa i had brakes again . . . i'm smrt like that. S-M-R-T . . . I am so smart.

North Carolina in 9 days - you coming?