faithful as any dog
1. single front handlebar (from a wheelchair)
2. front brake
4. handlebar stump (for curb-jumping)
5. braided hair-extension
7. amtrak tag
8. air-horn air-bottle
9. hironymus bosch sun ra album cover (for transport of dispatches)
10. rear brake handle
Advantages to a One-handled Bike:
a Can see better, because you ride high and back
b Can be seen better
d Can comfortably ride very slow - improved balance
e More fun, rhythmic, with wider turns, slalom action
f Extra hand free
g More relaxed posture
h Tighter u-turns
i Identical posture to no-hands, so easy to switch back and forth
j Can stand up and coast - fast
k The gentle dismount
l Compliments, conversation
m Easy to push when walking
n looks hard to ride - less likely to be stolen
o memorable appearance - if stolen, more likely to come back (see appendix below)
b Sidewind gusts
c Not so fast
d Can't stand up to ride uphill
e Elevated posture not so conducive to a full-on workout
my bike's been stolen twice, once in the fall of 2002, then just now, spring of '03.
the first time - out of pure, conscious perversity - i left it unlocked in front of the 'title wave'
used bookstore, under the impulse of thinking, "why lock it? i always lock it. and who would try to steal it?
i'll only be 2 minutes." of course i was 12 minutes, and it was very gone.
two weeks later, i'm getting used to something more normal, and sara notices and out of her own pure perversity
(she admits that she didn't personally believe it) remarks that i shouldn't give up on it turning up.
if it had been locked, that would be different - professional thieves - no hope.
but since it was unlocked, it was kids, joyriders - it might be in the bushes
and someone will spot it as yours. later that day, she was at the bike-shop
and a gentleman comes in and mimes the handle-bar setup, says he found it in the bushes
and he remembered seeing it at the bike-summer party at the bike shop last summer.
johnny morse. my personal hero.
last week, out of sheer absent-minded sloth, i left it leaning on our outside front steel bannister
while i ran in the house for a moment that turned into an hour or two. it was way gone.
the first day, i rode the yellow huffy i bought as a partial reward for mr. morse but had
procrastinated delivering to him til now, weeks after the rains have slacked off.
the second day i rode crystal's limping (cranks loose) schwinn.
the afternoon of the second day, i came home to a policeman's business card
with a note on it saying my bike was at the title wave,
where officer barrios has seen it many times. he'd found some
kids taking turns with it about 2 miles away, and although he'd never matched it to my face
he knew it wasn't theirs. they ran away when he pulled up.
officer dave barrios. my personal hero.
a final bit of symmetry. i was already well familiar with one feature of officer barrios' tenure on the force:
his resistance to chief kroeker's insistence that he remove his long narrow braid in the name of "grooming".
this bike also has a long narrow braid. i'd found a hair extension on the street a year ago, and fixed it to the
curb-jumping handle-bar stub. the first time the bike turned up after disappearing, the braid was gone. a week later,
i found another lost or discarded hair-extension on the street, and reattached it on the spot. this time, it survived,
just as officer barrios' braid managed to survive the PPD's dress-code.
here's to long-haired policemen and long-haired bikes.
a woman in a giant new suv is exiting the gas station, looking to her right for a gap in the traffic
she will not have time to turn her head to look and see if she is cutting someone off
so i dismount for safety and am reaching over to drum on her hood with my fingers
and she guns it right then. i am able to leap back, but my bike, my beloved, is crushed beneath her mammoth wheel