spooky bikes

If it looks and sounds like a duck

Posted in Uncategorized by Mickey/SpookyBikes on January 28, 2008

Last week sometime I was sitting in a dive bar that has PBR on tap, listening to the Modern Lovers on the jukebox, catching up with some Chomsky and peripherally watching Beetlejuice on TV. It had been a long day and it was a fight to stay focused.

I’d just taken a phone call relating to discharging capacitors when I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the barmaid had a unicorn tatooed on her breast, and a purse made of prophylactics.

As the Jukebox rolled over to Cat Stevens from Road Runner I noticed a former co-worker from my college bike shop wage-labor days. He works for the railroad now, and for all intents and purposes seems pretty happy. The railroad!

My brain drifted again to the events of the previous morning, where on a rare venture home from the shop on a crisp bluebird winter I day I was transferring some random frames and gear from the attic to the van.

As I stepped out of the front door, visions of Earnest Borgnine’s sugarplums danced in my head. A state police helicopter rose over the ridgeline only a few hundred feet up. Low enough that I could see the FLIR turret searching for something warm. We are right under the flightline for a military base, and a few yards from several large experimental forests and state reservations, so I didn’t think much of it, probably just another product of the 80’s with Airwolf on the mind.

As I pulled frame after frame from the house loaded them into my poorly disguised, slightly un-inspected prison van I began to wonder is there was an infant packed with marijuana lost in the nearby experimental forest.

The longer the helicopter circled overhead the more I began to wonder if I was the object of the grey whirlybird’s surveillance.

As I finished packing the the brightly colored rare and vintage fames into the suspect looking van I took one last wisftull glance over the icey dullness of our alpine tundra back toward the half-frozen pumptrack, frozen dirt mounds shimmering in the morning light like rich gelatto.

I began to wonder if there was a road block waiting for me somewhere between Pelham and Easthampton. What bill had I not paid, what cellphone converstation or IM had Carnivore mis-interpreted?

Was this simple intimidation prompted by some wily statist provocateurs out of some sort of corporato-fascist counter-intelligence operation gone horribly un-covert?

As I let the glow plugs warm the sweet B20 in the van my thoughts turned toward who to call to post bond. As I pulled out of the white driveway that was littered minutes earlier with he lurid hues of my old Ritcheys, Chop-shop Special DH frames, brightly colored Smorgasbord and candy colored Pitbosses and Darksides, and a few dull grey ti frames, I wondered where I would be spending the night. My warm, if impersonal bed, the shop, drooling on my desk or a holding cell somewhere awaiting extraordinary rendition. As I moved down Pelham road I kept close watch on the rear view. I saw the glint of light off the glossy black blades and realized I still had a trail. My fate was sealed.

What was is that Foucault wrote about public torture being more human than private prison? How did I feel, flayed body or captive mind. Which one found the truth? Which one was the real punishment? Which would I beg for before the ball gag went in?

As I rolled across the Amherst town line the coffee must have kicked in, the helicopter was gone, and my mind almost instantly moved toward the more exciting topic of preferable butt transition lengths in air hardening steel top tubes.

Another stop at Amherst Coffee (the domain of Spooky xc pro Mukunda Feldman) allayed all the other thoughts and fears of trails from unexplainable state aircraft…

It got me thinking about this quote from a Soviet soldier in Artoym Borovik’s great book about the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

I once watched a man drop a pill of dry alcohol and five spoonfuls of instant coffee into a glass that contained some sort of yellowish liquid. After finishing his cocktail he looked at me and said:

” Vodka is water, alcohol is fuel. The same thing happens to a man’s head during wartime as a woman’s body during an abortion- all logical links are severed… would you like a drink?”

I like coffee, too much, I know, but this whole concept comes full circle, back to that night at the bar.

Earlier that day I had been excoriated by a a fellow internet mountain biker as a pretentious, provocative, paranoid hipster douchebag…. Well, sure, he is sort of right, I make no pretense about that but…

Just then, my cell phone rang again. Mr Pair, another of the Spooky Pro racer/Barista phalanx had news. Megadoo had confirmed that I was indeed the subject of real surveillance, by a bike riding, jodhpurs wearing, badge carrying airborne peace officer in blue and gray.

My brightly colored bikes stoud out against the New England winter landscape like convivial conversation in Ethan Frome.

I’d captured the interests of an agent of social control, a supposed steward of our false democracy. With goods. Shiny goods.

The fact that it was just a normal guy checking out some sweet bikes in a way hugely humanized the situation, and terrified me. Cop, if you’re reading this, come by sometime and let’s chat about bikes, maybe even go for a ride…

That revelation from Jimbo left me feeling kind of smug. Maybe I’m not just an elitist ivory tower jerkoff, just another guy toiling and thinking critically about the world around me.

And cool stuff, with the motor of distraction that is consumer capitalist society, can make a difference. Why else would the Carlyle Group own Dunkin Donuts?

And on that note…

I give you Special Patrol Group.spgblurb.gif

The nicest track frame I can think to make, just because it fits into a niche, doesn’t mean the people who ride them can be put into one.

Made by Americans with Machines

In all the same hideous ano colors that Sugino makes their trendy stuff in.

Made to win races on the track.

What the hell else can you do with a fixed gear anyway?

Call us if you want some. They are going to leave our hands fast, and deposits are a good idea.


One Response

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  1. mtbdee said, on January 30, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Christ Mickey, you’re nuerotic. I suppose it takes one to know one though…

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