Move over Portland….Philly is coming

I dont think that Philly will ever surpass Portland in how pervasive the bike culture is, but with the day I had yesterday….It sure felt like it.

The morning started out with a ride on the bike I have been building up for a few weeks. Some other stuff got in the way of finishing this build, but I more or less got it buttoned up on Saturday night so that I could go out for a ride on Sunday.

I had some time to get my ride in, and I wanted to make sure that I maximized the time, as I am sure I was going to love this new bike. I had to adjust the seat and bars about 5 blocks in, but I sort of expected that to happen. I ended up taking a shortcut to the bike trail because the tradional way that most people would get to the river trail is kind of a roundabout way of getting to where I was going. I was riding on a busy, but sort of sketchy main drag in Philly. Besides the rough neigborhoods that it cuts through, the entire route has trolly tracks waiting to take you down. I JRA (just riding along) and I noticed that I was working really hard to get anywhere on this bike and this is a street that I ride often, and even though there is small gradient, it is nothing to slow me this much.

I found a sort of safe area to pull over and check it out. It ended up being my front brake that was out of allignment to the left and rubbing the rim. I fixed it and decided to stay off of it till I got somewhere safer. I rode along and passed the Philly zoo, which was bursting at the seams with people and traffic, then dropped down to the MLK drive trail. I rode for a bit and noticed that I was still having the issue and needed to make a repair. I stopped at the Philadelphia Disabled rowers association boat house to do some light repair.
As I was pulling my bike off, someone going the other way gave out a big Hey Fatty solute. I was wearing my FatCyclist jersey, he was not just looking at my arse. It took me a second but I gave him a hey back. Who ever that was…thanks!
When I looked down to adjust the brake, I realized that the front wheel was not totally in the drop out! Who is the lucky guy that almost died because of his own rookie mistake? This guy! I have no idea if it came undone, or what, but the entire wheel was hanging out about 4-5mm. There are no lawyer tabs on this fork either, so that was in just on pressure alone. I could not even imagine the horror of pulling up to find that your wheel did not come with the rest of the bike. I made the repairs I needed to make and I was back on my way. The entire ride was just adjusting little things along the way. I have to fix a few things on it. I think my cranks are on too tight, since I felt like I was working against them all day. I need a new/longer chain since I am pushing it in some of the gear ratios. I also need to order some new rubber. The tires on there are like 28cc, which is wider than the normal 25cc I usually ride on the road, and I can feel it, but I do not need such wide tires so there will be some new Armadillo Elite tires in my future. . There are some other things I want to do like put a Pink Chris King headset in it, so it matches the hubs. A thompson seatpost, because I have seen enough broken seatposts in my time and none have ever been a thompson. I also want a white saddle because my current one is killing me and it is pretty old at this point. Thank God for shop discounts because even with all of this, money is going to be falling out of my pockets in the next few weeks, but I want this thing ready for the Austin LiveStrong ride. Here are a few pics of the new ride.
Indy Fab 1
I really felt like the bike was still dragging, but maybe it was a combination of my big gut and and the wind. We will see what the changes to the bike bring.
I was rushing home to go out with the lady later in the day, but I had a small window of time to head over to the Hardcourt Polo World Championships. Thanks to the organizers who scheduled them to go down across the street from my house. That was so nice of you! I walked over to shoot some pictures and hang out for a bit.
There were two courts that were a few blocks from each other, so folks were riding back and forth all day in a neighborhood that does not have any bikers besides the drug dealers and kids riding wheelies down the street.
When I got to the court, I got what I expected which was a bunch of bike courier, or courier types hanging around drinking beers and having a good time. What was totally unexpected was the locals who were sitting around having a good time. I can not say that my neighborhood is known for it’s progressive thoughts or actions, and to be honest, I thought there would be problems because of all of the “outsiders” coming here. I guess some beer, blood, and sport are enough to unite these two groups.
Excited Local
One conversation I overheard was between a guy with a thick Spanish accent and a local about couriers, sport, life, and just about everything. Generally the local would never talk to “one of those people”, and this crazy sport brought them together. Pretty cool stuff.More locals
The matches were insane. I have watched a few of these matches on Tuesday night near the river park, but these guys were the real deal. There were some amazing passes, blocks, bike handeling, and good times. I was a bit jealous that I am not playing this sport. I think I would actually be pretty good at it. Maybe I will have to get another excuse to build a bike up! One of the highlights of the day was getting the brief chance to catch up with Cory and talk about his cross country bike ride. Brown HornetI can’t even imagine talking to Cory for that long. He is an interesting guy and can talk about just about anything for hours.
There are a few pictures to follow, but check out the flickr tool on the right to check out some more pictures. bike polo
After watching a few rounds of bike polo, the lady and I were going to take a trip out to the mall to walk around and do some stuff she needed to do. I wanted to stop by Main Line Cycles which is a new shop that opened up near one of the routes that I ride out in the burbs. Besides that, my friend Andy is back from a few year stint out west and is working at this shop. I got to check out the new digs.
main line cycles
and chat with Andy for a bit. andy and JessThey have one of the nicest logos of a local shop and their jerseys are pretty hot as well. main line bicycles
They sell Specialized, Jamis, Niner, and will probably bring other stuff along as well. It is tough to start a shop at the end of summer, but they have good people and are in a sweet location. If you are in Philly, check em out.
We decided to pass on the mall, as we were both kind of tired and thought the mall would be a mad house. We got some Chipotle and headed home.
food On the way out of Chipotle, I got a text from Jamie about heading over to the Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride. I was thinking of going over just to document it in the blog, as this was sort of a history making moment for Philly. Something grassroots that involves cycling that the cops said they were not going to bust up is amazing to begin with, so I wanted to check it out. The initial plan was to just hang around and see some friends then go to some points along to route to cheer them on. I guess the feeling of the whole event just got to us, and we decided to go bare chested through the streets of Philly.
Pat, Charles, Jamie
I was not getting all the way down because the last thing I need is losing my job because of a bike ride. No matter how much the cops said they were going to be good, you never know.
Hanging out at the start line was pretty crazy. There were various states of undress going on there, and it was sort of strange because we were there for so long. It took a long time to get rolling and assemble everyone. The thing was, it was almost normal in a way, because there was nothing really sexual about it. Don’t get me wrong, there were some attractive folks there, but the lack of clothes did not have any effect on their beauty. If you take the sexuality out of nudity, I don’t see why it is not normal. Also if you think a boob or a butt crack is offensive, I hear the Mayflower is sailing back any time now.
There was one guy who was particuallry creepy, creep
but besides him, I thought most folks were well behaved and were there for the “cause”. I did hear some cat calling, but that was mostly from spectators and not the riders.
The ride started off pretty crazy as there were so many people lining the bridges and the path that were cheering us on like it was the Champs Elysees. At the end of the bike path, there was a naked guy looking panicked because he had a flat and nothing to change it with. It made for an interesting time as we supplied him with the tools to fix the tire. The entire time we are there, he is butt naked with his girlfriend standing aside in leapored print lingere. Sort of a strange sight. This photo was not staged at all, just worked out to be work safe.
naked tire changer
With the flat fix, we ended up missing the entire group and were no in a semi nude time trial through the city to find the rest of the naked folks. It took us a few blocks and some hoots and hollers, but we joined back on with the group ironically right where we were before. I have some pictures on my flickr, which now has thousands of hits thanks to people checking out the naked bike riders.
The ride itself was pretty uneventful except for just some funny conversations about bikes and stuff with totally naked folks. I guess the group mentality does have some effect.
Here are some notable pictures from the ride.

Tons of naked folks in the 5th St. Tunnel
5th street
Nude Long board rider
long board
City Hall
city hall
Market St.
market st
If you want to see more, just check the flickr tool at the right.
We made it to the end of the ride where the after party was going on and ended up turning around. It seemed like we already had the party, and I really did not want to be that close to some of those people in “minimum legal required dress”.
The rest of the night involved a Wii tournament back at my place and some photo editing and uploading. Such a good day!
I got a few good pictures today. I am trying to narrow it down to just two of them. I think these make it.
Boots on the ground
boots on the ground
Hanging Out
hanging out
Fast Break
fast break
I also just think this one is amazing!
kid polo


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