Monday, March 26, 2012

The Bike Lebowski and "I dub thee the Fireball Bridge"

Just a quiet night at home.  Mary and I settled with The Big Lebowski on Netflix.  Netflix is all great at first then like any other rental place or kiosk you gotta drill deeper to find gold.  Mary insisted that had viewed the film before.  I have no memory of it, just images from television commercials pimping it.  But she was willing to watch it with me, God bless her. 

I had just opened a bottle of Rock Rabbit sweet red California wine.  Sweet reds can be such a gamble, some tasting like shit and need to be mixed like the bottle Leeper brought to the Safety Shack back in November.  Others are tasty such as Barefoot's and Jasper Winery's Bedhead Red.  Rock Rabbit was a $3.99 bottle in the clearance booze cart at Windsor Heights Hy Vee.  If it was bad Mary would not finish it and I'd have more.  The bottle said "chill out, chill your glass and change your life."  Heavy words for a $4 bottle of vino.  It tasted more of a cab than a cheap table wine which was alright and Mary approved.

Barely two sips into it and the phone rang.  Brad O.  Normally we just text.  Texting is leisurely.  Texting does not demand one's complete attention.  Phone calls disturb.  Most bad news comes from phone calls.  One does not need to turn the music down to text.

My Giant Via Raw, now stolen

"Dude, what you doing?"
"Enjoying cheap wine and Netflix, what about you?"
"At the High Life.  Your bike is here.  Your stolen bike."
"Is there a scratch on the right fork?"
"Yeah, it's scratched there, just one."

That was alot to take in.  The Giant Via Raw has surfaced!  Purchased on St Patrick's Day and stolen about the anniversary of my father's death.

"I'll be right there."


Profile shot of the thief waltzing in before stealing my bike, fucker.  Hoodie down.

OK, get dressed for being outside after 8pm on a warm March day.  Locate the owner's manual.  It contains the receipt with the serial number of the bike nicely stapled on the inside of the front cover.  I distinctly remember Steve or Justin from Bike World Urbandale telling me that and when the fooker was swiped I remembered it again.  But where the fuck is it?  Supposed to be in the red folder on my dresser.  And where are the police reports and contact info?  Does not matter if I match the serial numbers.  Mary found the folder.  The police info and case number were in it.  Clean the torn up room later.  Looks like a twister hit.

 Bike lock, cellphone, safety vest.  Flasher for the 520.  Leave guns at home, only an asshole dies over a bike.  Hoodies are unarmed, right?  Let the DMPD handle this one as I got all the evidence. 

Heart rate greatly increased.  Out the door.  Back inside and grab the computer for the 520.  What the fuck, these will be important miles.  Off I go. 

Plan?  No plan.  Get there and pray the bike is still there.  Is this a 911 situation or a police non-emergency phone call?  And if it is the latter, are they answering phones this late.  Just get there and if it is my bike lock it up and get cops somehow.  Damn, the non-emergency DMPD number was 3 phones ago.  Crap.

Ride toward Mullets and get on pedestrian bridge.  Mullets is hopping pretty good.  Quin is still at work.  No time to say hello.  Cross the bridge and a zig zag action to cross MLK and take first left.  High Life in sight.  Brad has a table outside on the upper deck area.  He points to the Giant locked alone on a rack. 

The shape is right but the rack is gone.  Easy modification.  Bike World's stolen white Giant has been spotted many times sans the front basket.  Fenders added.  Nice touch.  But the closer I got the more I realized it was not mine.  Too big.  Mine is the small frame.  This one is the medium or the large.  The dead give away was the distance between the top of the bottle cage and the top tube.  Mine had very little room which is why I installed an cage that the bottle enters and exits through the side.  This one had a normal bottle holder.  Yep, same scratch on the fork.  Must be a trait.  I calmed down and my heart sank.  So close.

"All these changes are easy to do."
"It is a different size."
'Yeah, maybe a frame stretcher."
"No, even the tires are original.  Remember when I got that used one from you?"
"I have never seen another one besides yours."
"Neither have I except at the shop."
"Let's get a beer."

The thief riding away on my bike.  Notice the hoodie is up?

We walked back to his table at the High Life.  Ian was there and Clayton too.  A few minutes later Steve, the young Steve, from Bike World arrived on a classic radioactive yellow Trek 830 from the early 90s.  Great frame but sub-mid level components that could always be replaced.  The frame is the soul of a bike.  Robert Prunty has one too.

Damn, I thought, the guy I bought the bike from is here.  And Ian makes a third witness, he has seen the bike before.  Everyone is here, everything in place--witnesses and evidence, but the bike is not.

After a half dozen pitchers and a few shots we decided to leave.  I suggested a bridge.  I had to run home and grab something.  Ian said he'd pick up some beer.  I grabbed some of the extra Busch Lights from the SPERM ride and we all gathered on the green bridge.  Craig L would have been so proud.  I don't remember how long we stayed there.  Ian produced a bottle of Fireball and I knew we'd be there a while.  Eventually Sam A rolled up.  Guys night out.

I went to fetch two BLs from the 520, setting one on the railing and it fell over into the river landing on a sand bar.  Unopened can.  A sacrifice to the river deity.  We laughed.  I could clearly see it on the sand but in the morning when mary and I met Craig there it was missing.  No foot prints.  Vanished.  Maybe a skilled fisherman or an aquatic bird.

We managed to kill the Fireball.  Ian would place a photo of it on FB.  I walked to the 520 and threw a leg over it.  It was late.  I had reached that point.  Getting up at 415 am limits my ability to hang all night.  I just rolled off to home giving the remaining fellas a nod.  Great night to be with you all.  Did not get my bike back but nice to have friends willing to give me a call when something turns up.  We all would be hung over and some of us had to work and those that did not had to be productive or had to train.  Gonna be sorrow try to wake up tomorrow Bowie sang in Diamond Dogs.

I won't bore you with the details of our morning/afternoon ride to Saints in Beaverdale accept to say do not go there if you are absolutely starving.  You may perish.  Our waitress sucked or was overwhelmed.  But when she did come around to take food orders she skipped Craig.  He was in stealth mode, a bright red Hawaiian shirt.  I really was not impressed with the tenderloin I ordered and probably was still hungry when I left.  Brad and Calli, Jennifer and Chad were there as well as Kelly B and LadyG Hoegarden.  Mary and I left before BV Heather and Abby arrived.

Many hours later Mary suggested an evening ride.  My sweet tooth was bothering me so I suggested a DQ or a DQ clone.  Having gone north on the way to Saints once today we decided to ride west to Windsor Heights.  Near Pal Joeys we encountered the usually suspects, our Saints crowd, heading to Mullets.  Craig said we'd meet up.  screw WH there's a DQ across the street from Charlies on Grand.  I had a root beer float.

It was dark when we caught up with Craig under the Fleur Viaduct.  Venus, Jupiter and the moon were lining up.  Under a bridge.  We knew we'd end up on a bridge.  And after LDs (formerly LC's Corner Bar) and Mullets the rampage of bikers met on the green bridge, the sight of the previous night's crime.   Craig purchased an 18 pack of Busch Light, standard beer for bicycling and Jon Cox produced an unopened bottle of Fireball.  The potential coup de grace was Brad's bottle of Jager.  Shit, they keep dragging me back!

Well we killed the Fireball.  Took some time but mission accomplished.  We danced and enjoyed ourselves.  I bet if there is a wedding dance for Brad and Calli it will be the greatest thing ever.  No one got hurt.  The people fishing probably were amused.  We were too short and/or not sober enough to place the empty bottle next to Ian's but we found another place and photos were taken.

The changing color heart shaped thingie of the Miracle Field.

Jon pulled a box of Thin Mints out of is panniers.  He did this once before.  This usually signals the closing of the night.  We ravaged them quickly and started leaving for home or elsewhere.  After most everyone left I convinced the remaining people to accompany me to the Miracle Field so I could photograph the Heart arch colorful thingie.  But it was locked up so I did not get the best shots.  Four of us with the last beers sat on the sidewalk and finished the night here on the river.  Then we parted.  Craig and Abby made it to GTs.  Glad I had an easy ride home.

Ian would see the FB photo the next day and comment, "I dub thee The Fireball Bridge!"

Dance of the FireBall

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