Posted by: fullandbye | April 17, 2008

this night belongs to the living

Macabre : Mechanique : Absurd

Three important things:

Thing the First (macabre): On my way back from Seattle Poetry Slam last night, I was riding along the Burke Gilman Trail around midnight when I came across a dark police cruiser and a truck from the Medical Examiner’s Office. As I approached a turn in the trail under the Aurora Bridge, someone told me to go around the far side of the cruiser, and as I passed I saw a crumpled body under a white sheet between the vehicles. Someone jumped from the bridge above and landed on a spot of asphalt where I had passed just a few hours earlier. I did not stop, but could not keep from gasping out an “oh shit!” as I passed. I rode slowly for a hundred meters or so, and then felt the need to sprint, so I sprinted through the night all the way to my house.

The night belongs to the living.

I drank the springtime night air in great gulping swallows. I grew drunk on the smell of blossoms and felt the exhilaration of speed as I rode down the far side of The Ave no handed. I felt the heat of blood pounding through my veins and felt as sweat poured from me and mixed with the pollen and darkness. I arrived home trembling. Wound up. Feeling alive. Did not want to sleep (too close to death) so I stayed up in the garage and worked on bikes while I waited for Sara to come home.

One of those intense moments. Not easily forgotten.

Thing the Second (mechanique): Sara got a bike! It is a classic Bianchi, about the same vintage as my beloved (and currently naked) Charlotte; all old Japanese lugged steel, friction shifting, and a sweet wheelset. She needs a good scrubbing and a few new components, but not much. The fork might be replaced by Bianchi because of this weird bit of history but Bianchi has so far indicated a willingness to abide by an 18 year old offer. If indeed Bianchi comes through with a replacement fork, they will instantly top my awesome list and I will forgive them for selling all their damn pistas to hipsters all over the place.

Thing the Last (absurd): Break out your crash helmets and body armor, consult your attorneys, and mark your calendars: The third annual Seattle Idiotarod is just around the corner. We need to confirm participation of a few more bars, but it looks like June 7th will be the Day of Glory. While the Idiotarod will still be a race, we are diversifying the scoring system so that swiftness of cart is just one of the factors upon which people will be judged. The Idiotarod is a competition and will always be a competition, but showmanship counts for something and this year the event will be more of competitive parade and less of a Mad-Max style dash through the city. We also want this year’s event to be leave-no-trace (esp. after last year) and non violent. Stay tuned. It will be awesome.

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Responses

  1. You’re thinking during the day of the 7th, correct? Not that evening?

  2. Daytime event.

  3. bianca is an old school japanese lugged bianchi!! but she’s a campione so i hope her fork is ok … shop will be operational ASAP! i promise!

  4. The Randonneur is the only model where they recalled the fork.
    Your Bianchi is nice. During the 80’s they reserved the Celeste color for their racing line only.

  5. Last December as I rode along 34th headed to a .83 Thursday I saw ahead of me a cop car in the street. I assumed someone pulled over, of course. A traffic violation.
    As I got closer something seemed out of the ordinary. The police vehicle was blocking the side of the road headed east. I couldn’t see what was going on, no other vehicle pulled over. No citations being written. But in the road… similarly, a crumpled yellow sheet pulled over a body recently gone lifeless. Desperately lifeless.
    I had the same experience. A sudden realization of how very alive I was. How very sad it was to feel so unalive and how fucking unfair those goddamn bridge jumpers are. How cruel it is to take your own life.
    It affected me for weeks. I still affects me now. We’re lucky to feel so alive and to cherish what we have.


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