Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Full Moon Fiasco XII true-up

---Click the spoke card to see some pix---

“The thing I hate about this bell is that it doesn’t work in the fucking rain.” -Martin Hazard.
Yes, it rained. It rained a cold, cold rain. It also started in earnest before we started, once we were snug in Gannon’s nursing brews and looking out on our glistening bikes. The original plan was to take a circuitous route that would’ve afforded great views of the moon. This was 86’d in favor of a direct route down Lincoln and Wellington to the Parrot Bar. Go directly to the Parrot Bar, do not pass Go.

Despite the weather we had a lively ride and made our way down the ramp to the bar before anyone was thoroughly soaked. A fresh batch of popcorn started popping, bills slid into the jukebox and all was well with the world despite a short ride. We also had a good number of folks come out to enjoy a good wet winter ride. 20 or so including a few newbs. I got to meet Doobie, the dude best known for taking photos of people in the “viva la bike” (or whatever) pose. I’d post a link, but can’t find his site. Vince also logged his first fiasco on a recumbent sporting a bowler. Nice.

Shortly after the shot of Malort my recollections become a bit distorted. Thanks, Matt B. What I do know is that Sol, Darin and I were the remaining FBCers closing down the Parrot Bar. So we did what any good dumbass does on a school night, go to a late night bar.

In other news: If this doesn’t perk up your fleece cap and toe booties, I don’t know what will: the next Full Moon Fiasco falls on NEW YEAR’S EVE. Yes, you read that correctly. Start time will be an hour earlier, meet up at 7, ride at 8. Other details are not yet chiseled on the tablet.

In still other news, the host of the FBC pictures,, has now censored the ass shot from that website. Now that the site has so many members, the admins have decided to run a nice clean ship with no full moons on it. So going forward, for all your ass needs refer to this site.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Full Moon Fiasco XI true-up

---Click the spoke card for pix---

We proved for the second time in a row the scientific theory that the best way to make the night of a bartender in an empty bar is to fill said bar with thirsty cyclists. Aside from Dilcia the bartender and the barback, Jarheads was empty.

Meet up was at Gannon's as per usual. We even were name checked by the Shelia owner on the chalk board out on the sidewalk. I intended to take a picture of this kickass gesture, but had a few beers and forgot. As for the theme, we did have about 6 zombies stagger in. Ironically, someone was killed in a hit and run accross the street from Gannon's a few days prior. Quite a shock to the regulars and the barstaff when bloody folks came walking in from the sidewalk.

Anyway, PJ lead a good route northwards. Winnemac park was a good pee break for all the morons who didn't go before we left, and we continued our northerly cranking till we got to Jarheads.

Now, Jarheads...what can I say? A small dive with cheap beer, pool table and a taco joint next door. What could be more perfect for the FBC? The posters of marine fighter planes on the ceiling even inspired mach 3 cycling. Carolyn and Aaron dropped a few quarters in the latin jukebox (songs chosen by virtue of cover-art) which in turn sparked some salsa dancing and butt groovin during games of pool.

The Red Line near the metra tracks was extra credit for us dumbshits who wanted to ensure hangovers. PJ was herded away from the door and towards home and all returned to normal until the next full moon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Full Moon Fiasco XI true-up

---Click the spoke card to see Bernie's pix---

Gannon's lived up to it's new label as the home of the FBC once again. Everyone give a big round of applause to the bartenders. Yeah, they got me good and drunk.
As it turns out, one of the regulars at our destination, J&M Tavern, just happens to be the brother of the owner of Gannon's. Cool, eh?
At J&M the hijinks continued. Thanks to Nick, a Madison FBCer (I didn't know there was one there) we were introduced to the inebriated art of "elking". Come to the next ride for a demo of interested.

Well, in the interest of brevity, that's all. A picture says a thousand words, so:

Thanks to all for sticking around and singing the loudest, most obnoxious rendition of "Happy Birthday" for Darin.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Full Moon Fiasco IX true-up

---Click the spoke card on the left for some pix, or HERE for LeeRoy's pix, for still more click HERE for Bernie's pix---
The new meet up bar fits us like a well-greased suit. Thankfully the FBC attracts the kind of folks sharp enough to pick up on my tons of emails and other notices that the launch pad has changed location. Gannon’s is the place from here on out. The springboard to debauched thrill rides, the starting line for beer-soaked tomfoolery, the airplane door of the drunken leap of faith. Yeah, all that.

Anyway, we were under way late as usual and took a sweet ride twisting through the park, downtown under the el, across the Kedzie bridge for a cool view of downtown and pulled up to Richard’s Bar. What I expected to be a quiet dive bar was packed ass to forehead w/ so much drunk douchebaggery that I almost suggested making a move to yet another bar. BUT, as luck would have it, a room in the back was quickly vacated when all us dirty bikers filed in. Cheap beer abounded all around and the famed ASS SHOT took place before everyone dispersed.
Good to see so many familiar mugs, and great to meet all the newbs. Rider count was 44 or so, our largest yet. Nice work.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

---Click the spoke card above for pix---OR---click HERE for Lee Roy's pix---

Beer and bicycling could be one of the best combos since beer and tacos or beer and pizza. Even since beer and more beer.

It was a crowded meet up at the Gingerman since the Decembrists were playing next door at the Metro. But, all 30 Fucking Bike Clubbers managed to gravitate to the window with beers in hand to get the Full Moon Fiasco cooking for the evening. Consider this an early warning: there may be a new meet up spot going forward.

Carolyn chost the destination and more or less led the route up the lakefront path and through Edgewater to Rogers Park. The ride was of a good distance…it was a good two-High Life ride. After an uneventful and super pleasant cruise, we arrived at Duke’s Hideaway.

Neil, the owner, surprised us all by offering garage space to all of us to park our rides for the night. Super Cool. A reception like this would be kickass every week. The beer was cheap and Ryan entertained us with some intoxicated musical stylings after the band finished up.

We snapped a good Full Moon shot (sans representation from the Ass Committee) and shortly after set out on our way South. This month’s extra curriculars included PJ and I drunk-sprinting on a kiddie track and some intoxicated playground tomfoolery. That is, until the Five-O chased us off with a flurry of expletives.

All in all a great ride. Lots of new faces, always great to see. We even had Laura, a St. Louis FBC veteran join our ranks. Now, don't for a moment think I'm playing loose and fancy with my approval stamp, but this one deserves one:

PS, anyone want to wager how many more months I can post a shot of 20+ asses on Chainlink before Leah or Howard give me a call to tell me to knock it off?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Full Moon Fiasco VII true-up

---Click the spoke card to see the pix---

Crankus, god of bicycling and all that is groovy, granted the Full Moon Fiasco pleasing weather conditions for the very first time. It’s also the first time since I’ve known him that Pierogi John has been gainfully employed. So, we toasted his good fortune at the Gingerman. Good Crankus was smiling upon us and our ales.

I was pleased to see so many new faces. There were at least 12 first timers (probably more) but Scott, Jessica, Brad, Maggie, Lauren (remarkably has never ridden a Fiasco) and Melissa were the only newbs that dared ride with us. They rock. The others ducked out with excuses of varying degrees of lameness. There was also one dude with an injury, so he was literally lame, therefore exempt from my finger wagging.

But, we were underway after downing our suds and bombed down Clark Street amidst the Cubs Game hustle. After a brief and fruitless attempt to extract The Hazard from Performance Bikes and give Lauren a quick air up, we continued South by Southwest cheesegratering across the Chicago River on Webster with a sweet view of the skyline. We annoyed a few hipsters in Wicker Park and finally cruised into Phyllis’ Musical Inn.

Lee Roy and I promptly kicked some ass in a game of HORSE in the beer garden with a ball with less air than…well…a thing that doesn’t have very much air in it. OR: …with a ball flatter than…one of those really flat things. OR: with a ball more limp and leathery than…

After drinking Phyllis’ dry of High Life, the Ass Committee co-Captain, Marcus arrived. We promptly snapped a good full moon photo of the remaining asses and headed off for Schubas to finish off any lingering effects of sober brain cells. All in all, this one gets a stamp of approval:


Spoke Card design………………………………Garth
Point man for ride……………………...……….Darin
Ass Captain………………………...……..………Marcus
Full Moon over Division Photographer…Melissa
Token Tall Guy…….………………………....…Lee Roy
Fancy bike……………………………...…..……..Ed
Most Surly...................................Maggie

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Full Moon Fiasco VI true-up

---click the spoke card on the left for pix---
Six Fiascos, and not a single one in fair weather. The law of averages insists that number seven will be sublime. Despite the cold and impending rain, we numbered about a dozen, including newbs Tim, Lee and PJ’s sister Lisa.

The route was sweet: Clark Street, Lakefront, the North Ave Beach Ped Bridge. There was a quick stop for some illicit activity in the Park, then we hit the Underground Wonderbar ready to drink. Lisa hooked us up with a massively discounted cover and we settled in for some Red Stripes and Reggae music.

The Pink Sash of Shame debuted with a half-assed awarding to John. The main reason he ended up the first recipient was because he walked by PJ and I when we were talking about the idea a few weeks prior. Several variations on how to rock the Sash were demonstrated, most disturbingly by Marcus. The true purpose will be to adorn the rider that leaves a ride early for what is deemed "wussy" reasons.

Speaking of Marcus, he has volunteered to co-captain the ass committee. Two ass captains are better than one in my estimation. Marcus quickly fulfilled his duties by organizing the Full Moon over Walton Ave.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Full Moon Fiasco V true-up

Our safety record stays clean (barely), there were tons of new faces, a committee is formed and as a result the FBC gets some ass (again).

Seconds after hanging up my phone, hearing that he was only a few blocks away and about to join up with us, The Hazard called back to let me know he’d just been hit by a car. The look on the driver’s face was one of shock when 20 bicyclists flew into the parking lot two minutes later to check on him. Thankfully Martin escaped the event with some soreness and a wobbly front wheel and the Fiasco was on.

There were too many new faces Saturday for me to name check them all but I do want to shout a big WELCOME TO CHICAGO and slap on the back to Andrew and his fancy black track rig. Good to see so many people Saturday.

The plan for this Fiasco was to celebrate spring under the full moon by hitting one of the best beer gardens in town at Moody’s Pub. A Springtime Arctic Blast common in Chicago thwarted this and kept us on the medieval interior of the joint. The factor I did not foresee was the restraint-setup of the place which lamely kept us all sitting at one long table—making it hard to drift about.

Last, certainly not least, the Ass Committee was formed Saturday night to organize the ever-elusive ass photo. The Ass Committee is really comprised of one person, so Ammo is more along the lines of our very first Ass Captain. An honor for sure. After a couple of assless months, a number of brave and prideless FBCers lined up at about midnight to moon the moon. A glorious thing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Biking in Amsterdam

When people asked me what my plans were for Amsterdam, I replied, not entirely joking that I was going to:
A.) Rent a bike
B.) Get higher than Jesus
C.) Cruise around town on said bike sipping some local beer and enjoy the sights.
Knowing that Amsterdam is a bike-oriented city, this seemed the perfect plan. What could be wrong with it? Seems to be a pretty laid-back relaxed place right?
Wrong. Upon leaving the train station with a slightly off-kilter, hungover gait, Darin and I were nearly dismembered maimed or nearly separated from life by: three trams, one bus, four cars and about 37 bicycles. This was in a span of 45 seconds. Safe at last in the hotel room, I collapsed.
Despite the deadly madness of Amsterdam streets, we did end up renting bikes. Imagine a ginormous sharp-angled cruiser geared like a track bike and thrown off a cliff. That's what we were issued. The Amsterdam standard.
At this point stoned-riding was out of the question and Darin and I learned the hard way the previous day that drinking on the streets of Amsterdam does not have the same legal protection as say, Germany, Italy, New Orleans. (Ironically enough, we were taught this lesson by cops on bikes.) Sober was the only way to navigate. Well, mostly sober.
The fast and light riding most of us are accustomed to in Chicago is certainly a product of our environment. A lack of, or ignored bike lanes with drivers hurtling their cars heedlessly down pot-holed streets makes us essentially fighter-pilots on the streets. Amsterdam bikers are more like...critical mass every day. But, imagine a critical mass in which if you stop paying attention for a split second, a Fiat and tram car will slice you in half.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Full Moon Fiasco IV true-up

(Click the spoke card to see the pix.)

Thanks to John, we have a true up this month, and to Aaron for the pix, which I have the pleasure of uploading and linking, respectively, from Venice. (Ain't the internet swell?)

Fiasco #4 held true to the founding principle of "visible moon, no visible ass." Michael made his debut at the Gingerman as a new Fiasco rider; Martin regaled the uninformed with the always terrifying "Tale of the Phantom Shitter." Fried things from across the street were consumed while Darin distributed the always coveted spoke cards.
From there, we stopped at the Hungry Brain, for a dark, jazzy mid-ride interlude. Some were lured by the vintage Galaga game, others by cheap beer and the sight of hipsters on couches. Carolyn and Fernando joined up en route.
The climax of the evening was at Weegee's Lounge, after Martin baffled a couple of officers in a squad car along the way. The photo booth stuffing record was achieved (trashing the first set of photos due to ass-blockage of the flash), the bar cat was petted heavily and Brett realized his u-lock had fallen out of his bag when leaving the Hungry Brain. He tore up the pavement racing back, retrieved the lock and returned to Weegee's in triumph. Eventually the vintage tunes were interrupted by last call being announced, and we reluctantly left to brave the blue light cameras and empty streets for the ride home.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

FIASCO IV is coming!!!

Good news is that it's almost time for this craziness again. Bad news is, I won't be able to attend. Trust me, it's for good reason...I wouldn't even consider missing it if it were otherwise. BUT, there's still a route planned and there will be some rockin spoke cards.

So here's the scoop: Gingerman at 8, as per usual. Heading to Weegee's via the Hungry Brain at 9.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Full Moon Fiasco III true-up

(Click the Spoke card to see the pix--they're on my facebook until Chainlink fixes the album feature.)
On the Full Moon Fiasco, viewing the actual moon seems to be inversely porportionate to the viewing of moons of the bare ass variety. This was the first Fiasco with skies clear enough to see the moon in it's shining splendor. (Matt H had good route intel that we could see it over the Graceland Cemetary on Clark.) But sadly, there was not a critical mass of shining white ass later in the eve. Sadly, there will be no full moon photo this month.

So speaking of ass, it was cool to see some new faces on the ride. Matt, McKelvie and Brett were our honored newbs on Wednesday. The hazing process involved allowing them unmolested access to the bar to drink beer as they felt necessary.
On the ride, we did take a beer break at O'Shaugnessey's, as was the tentative plan, to celbrate Irishness. I had a pretty goddam delicious Three Floyd's Alpha King Pale. It is a beautiful thing to behold.

The plan to ride up Damen to demonstrate to motorists how cool we look was thwarted by whoever was riding point, who decided to roll straight up Ravenswood. Ravenswood is awesome for all practical purposes because so few drivers are on it, but not nearly as adventurous when riding en masse. Well, whatever, we got to Fireside in a relaxed manner and drank more beer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nortside Crit Mass and the Bike Winter Art Show

So, the first Northside Critical Mass was last week. Good turnout, over 20. I guess name recognition goes a long way. The route was short and in my opinion, one should follow Garth's lead and make your flask standard operating equipment for this ride.

The ride came to an abrupt halt after about 5 miles with the organizers waving goodbye. The FBCers present immediately took over and led the pack to the next open bar. Once the wheels of culture and conversation were well lubed, on we ventured to the Flat Iron in Wicker Park for some art and shit.

For such an event, it is best to be at least marginally conversant in Hipster. It is a tongue that I am not accustomed to using in most of my conversational adventures. Well anyway, I think I looked at some art (saw a good pic of Ammo and her boyfriend) and drank a good share of the available PBRs. I am going to get back to the show to do what I was supposed to: look at the art.

Once the beer and Garth's flask were exhausted, the remaing Crit Massers gathered up and headed back north for more beers. Having consumed the greater part of his flask, we herded Garth and his Steel Bitch up to Gannon's where we closed out the evening. I'm quite positive I was about to end my evening with some enchiladas around 11, but grabbed Tank-Ridin Ryan by the sternum and bought him and myself a drink. I think that was the first of my 7 "last drinks." Next thing I knew it was last call.

So, my years of art school didn't garner me any tattoos or the physique of a herioin addict, but as the evening's end showed, I can pee my name in the snow. Without those last 7 drinks, it might have even turned out legible.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Somewhere between the automatic weapons and the free shots of bourbon, I knew it this ride was destined for greatness. We started at the G’Man once again. Had a few new members, a few of whom I met on a Midnight Marauders ride and there was one noob that found out about us through chainlink, I think. I never made an official count, but I ran out of spoke cards and didn’t get one myself. That means we had at least 13. Let’s call that the official number. Up three from last month! At this rate, we’ll have a thousand sometime in the year 2035. Check out the pix by clicking on the lovely spoke card.

At any rate, since the freezing rain stopped, we took a somewhat circuitous route to the Twisted Spoke, including a turn through the Finkl Steel Plant at Southport and Cortland. Cortland was cordoned off by Chicago police carrying fully automatic weapons. They declined a photo op with the Fucking Bike Club, but I did manage to snap one weak shot before we cranked off on our way. You can see the cop w/ the rifle in the background. Apparently they were melting down confiscated weapons. How fucking cool.

We made it to the Twisted Spoke, where I was informed that at least one person had come and gone to meet us, but gave up. Note to all, we are never on time. At some point, a tray of free bourbon shots came around. Thanks, Spoke! Though this combined with the 100 PBRs I consumed eliminated any memory of riding from there to Delilah’s a little while later.

Overall, a great ride. Weather was cold and perfect. Great to see some new faces along with the old. Smiles and drunkenness abounded. See you next lunar month!

Friday, February 6, 2009


The first one was so awesome that we'll do it again. (Who am I kidding, I'd ride it myself if I had to.) The start: Gingerman at 3740 Clark at 8. Ride at 9 to the Twisted Spoke at 501 Ogden.

Ride 'em Cowfolk!


The first was so awesome that there will be another. (Who am I kidding, I'd ride it myself if it came to it.) The start spot will be the same: The Gingerman at 3740 Clark. Destination: The Twisted Spoke at 501 Ogden.

Ride 'em Cowfolks!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Critical Mass and the Best Beer Run Ever

CM started cold and didn't get any warmer until an Old Style was firmly in my grasp at Lincoln Lanes. John the Pierogi was there along with roughly 100 brave and/or stupid pairs of frozen feet.

Riding up Michigan en mass was a thrill for sure. I was fortunate to be able to snap a few shots even with my hand pillows on that I think look pretty ok.
The one unique thing I noticed was the overall good cheer displayed by both the riders and more surprisingly, the motorists. Usually I peel off about an hour into the ride when dickheads on our side start picking fights with the shakingly furious drivers. This time, all the drivers were smiling and honking the cheery kind of honk. I chalk this up to respect this time around. Got to hand it to a 100 folks freezing their asses off on bikes together. Hell yeah.

Darin peeled off about an hour in. He was wearing warm up pants, dress socks and thin leather shoes. The previous day's balmy weather duped him. I'm surprised he made it as far as he did. Also, I can only grasp the extent of his suffering by imagination only.

The pace picked up as the icy blast seeped closer to our bones. The beers at the LL were well deserved and delicious.

At 9AM the next day, the call from Darin to ride rattled my brain into what could've been mistaken for conciousness. The key to these Saturday or Sunday AM rides is to strike while the iron is still drunk. Considering the two of us closed Tai's til 4 that morning we were still well soaked. The idea was to pick up a 12 pack of craft beers that Darin's girlfriend ordered for him as a gift. (Beers of the month or something.) The thing was, the beer was sitting at the FedEx facility 2 miles SW of Midway. We live in Wrigleyville. Thankfully, the wind was at our backs for the return. With a pie and pints of Dysfunctionale from PIECE in Wicker Park on our minds, we made the rerturn trip in record time. We were drinking victory beers and eating pizza about 2.5 hours after launch. Best Beer Run Ever.

Monday, January 26, 2009

RIP Red Five

Red Five, you were a good bike. I never really called you by name since that happy day years ago when I finished building you the first time. Named after Luke Skywalker's radio handle during the attack on the Death Star, you weren't even red then but silver with red tires.

In your first incarnation, you were a great fixie, and I thank you endlessly for carrying me injury-free through the streets of Chicago with no brakes. Your cold steel was smarter than me.

After your first tussle with a car, I had to replace your frame. It was exactly the same size, make and model, but this time a very sexy red. You looked good. You went to freewheel and got a front brake then too, I remember. You didn't even complain about the downgrade in hipness.

You were there for two collisions with cars, two broken hands, one girlfriend came and went (but you stayed), three broken ribs, internal bleeding and a few days in the hospital, three stolen wheels, thousands of miles taking me to and happily FROM my day job, the very first FBC ride, and thousands of blissfull deraileur-free crusing miles.

But, due to massive frame failure on Thursday, January 15, I have to put you to rest. You were a good bike. A cool-looking, tough and reliable bike. You will be missed.

I'll be humming taps as you pass to that great velodrome in the sky.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What else has been going on?

The Midnight Marauders struck hard on Saturday, 1/17. I got drunker than hell. The five miles between bars in 15 degree temps fooled my brain into thinking it was sober, so of course chugging ensued upon arrival at each new bar. But, 'twas good times, and met some new folks.

Then there was the Winter Bike To Work Day today. I did not get drunk for this one. There didn't seem to be very many drunk folks in Daley Plaza either. It was though, great to see so many commuters out on a cloudy, cold snowyass day. Lauren, whom I met on the Marauders ride was there handing out Bike Winter Balaclavas. I declined one, but it did remind me that I've been neglecting the Bike Winter stickers I was supposed to stick around town. It seems when I find a dry surface on which one would stick, and I'm thinking about it, I don't have them along. Anyway, I'm going to try to post a few pix below:

The sad news is that the elements finally won over on my Motobecane frame. Last Thusday the seat tube broke clean from the bottom bracket. The net result is me cranking out miles on my backup commuter, my beloved yet breaking-down mountain bike. Another result of this tragedy is the decision to graduate from vintage 1970s road frames of which I've been so fond, but keep destroying one way or another. My brand spankin new frame is on the way to me via an internet purchase, and I am looking forward to her first photo shoot, which I will certainly share with all of you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Full Moon Fiasco 1 true-up

Ah the sweet sensation of success! It’s like a pair of undies from the fridge on a hot day. Though it was anything but a hot day, the first ever Fiasco in Chicago turned out even better than expected. Some inroads through and helped get the good word out. The final count was 10 helmets, all frozen. Click the spoke card above to see the pix.

The Gingerman turned out to be a good meeting place, not only because they have Rogue Dead Guy Ale, but we had plenty of room to get our pre ride drink on by the front window. At launch time, it was about 20 degrees with little wind. The backstreets we took to get going were a little treacherous and showed the theory that skinny road tires may indeed be superior to fatties in snow and ice conditions. My “ice skates are better than beach balls” theory was not proven true per se, but the evidence sure made me feel smart.

Data collected:
Total spills: 1 (knobby mountain tires)
Total near spills: quite a few (balloon tires)
Total number of big heads for his theory seeming true: 1 (road tires)

The plan was originally to spread some stickers along the way, but staying in motion trumped all as our fingers slowly turned to frozen sausages and snotcicles began forming from the tips of our noses. All the major streets were nice and clear (and it’s not even an election year) all the way to Riccochet’s in Lincoln Square. Smooth.

Riccochet’s brought discussion of themes for future rides, how to get more people involved and the usual banter associated with pitcher after pitcher of PBR. The PBR also inspired the Full Moon over Lincoln Ave photo as a double entendre. I’ve got to tip my helmet to Ammo for that idea.

So, not many bikewinter stickers got stuck, but good times were had by all. Thanks to all who braced against the weather and joined. See y’all next lunar month!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


The time has come. FBC Chicago joins the ranks of the St. Lou and Spokane chapters by launching our first Full Moon Fiasco. Monkey see, monkey do I guess. The plan is to meet up at the Gingerman where Racine and Clark Street meet (next to the Metro) for a few beers around 8. Then we ride at 9. Destination will likely be Riccochet's in Lincoln Square.

So, don your warm apparel and lube that chain. Let us roll.