May 13, 2008
Well, it's been awhile since I've posted here, but life got in the way. Since my last posting, a lot has happened in my life, both on the bike side of things and elsewhere. One of my goals for 2008 was to compete in a bike race, which is something I have never done before. So on April 25th, I entered my first alleycat race. The race was held in connection with the bike riders ball of 2008 in Victoria, or the Bike Prom. The race took the competitors from downtown Victoria, to the upscale neighborhood of Oak Bay, some ten minutes away, where we had to find the answers to 28 clues outlined on the back of a map that we all got. The clues were difficult and in obscure places as the race director grew up in this area and new all the cool alleyways and hidden places. My strategy was to do the course backwards and I hammered straight up the hill on my Cannondale ghetto-singlespeed machine. I was off to a flying start, and until the third clue I was doing good I thought. The third clue turned out to be a tricky one though: "Under the light post awaits a friend, who is he?" This was a clue that I don't think anyone got. Apparently, with the right set of eyes, a tree below a light post was shaped like a Giraffe. This escaped me. I rode around in circles for a good 20 min looking for this damn clue but could not find it. A gentleman named Phil made fun of me and gave my some encouragements in the form of a shot of whiskey every time I passed him on my frantic circle around the city block looking for the elusive Giraffe. On my third trip around I thought that the question must be a trick one, and that this likable character with the whiskey flask was in fact the answer to the question. The race directors would probably have given me the right answer for that one. This giving gentleman it turned out, was Rev. Phil Sano who was responsible for bringing The Pornography of the Bicycle to Victoria. Bike Porn is a collection of shorts on the rather racy subject and would be screened later that evening, and below you can see him engaged in the fine game of bike polo the day after, sporting colorful underwear. Anyway after finally giving up on the giraffe I mashed the pedals through the rest of the course alone since everyone else was stuck on the Giraffe at the other end of the race. I answered the last clue and hammered back to the Project thinking I was going to be on the receiving end of the questionable "Dead Fucking Last" award. Turned out I was in 11th place out of about 25 riders, which would not have been so bad if it wasn't for the fact that a group of riders gave up on the competition part of the race and went to the pub instead. But the race was an absolute blast. There was a good after party as well, since this was the prom weekend in Victoria organized by the Bike Prom crowd. There was a show on bicycle related art as well as the aforementioned screening of Movies. Also there was some beer, and later, when the beer was all gone, there was some red whine. In other news I've just undertaken a quantum leap in the Bicycle world, simultaneously discovering full suspension mountain biking, disc brakes, cycling shoes and clipless pedals. More on that next time. The crosswords await, and the dreamworld. Lame? Yes I know, my lameness is infinite.