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.