Friday, January 30, 2009

An Open Letter to Jimmy Carter

Photo: Beebe

Dear Mr. President,

Due to the infinite powers of synchronicity our paths crossed just a minute or 2 before 0830hrs this morning at the 200 block of South Brevard Street in Charlotte North Carolina where I have been honestly employed as a bicycle messenger since July 3, 1998. This morning I picked up US Mail for 2 of my clients which has been the daily routine for 8 of the last 10 years that I have done this job. As I rode towards the One Wachovia Building to deliver the first of the 2 drops I realized that I was perhaps 10 minutes ahead of my normal schedule but could not figure out exactly why. I pedaled west on East Trade Street passing the taller than life Mahatma Gandhi statue who sees me most mornings and I acknowledge his presence with a happy yell. Up a few blocks just as I was making my left onto South Brevard the first of the 3 black and tinted SUVs in your motorcade travelling East on Trade was making it's right onto South Brevard. As I straightened out then came the second dark SUV, which wound up immediately to my right as we both occupied separate lanes of the 2 lane one way street. I looked into the back seat of the big suburban which was being dramatically illuminated by a low rising sun from left to right across my frontage and in through your window. From 3 meters away at about 18 to 20 forward miles per hour I saw your spectral form sitting almost in the middle but more behind the front passenger. Just as I recognized your human form you glanced over your left shoulder in my direction but I am truly not sure if you ever saw me. At that instant the SUV directly behind you came fast hard left to intercept me while putting itself between you and I. Still rolling the secret service agent with light eyes had the window down and was all over me with degrading language that honestly made me feel marginalized and in his emotional vice. I became defensive as I looked right into his eyes and yelled, "Sorry, this is my job I do it every day!" Less than 18 inches to my right moving forward his verbal barrage continued as did my response. Your SUV had just crossed 4th Street when agent angry swerved across my front wheel and off ahead to catch up with you. Then the 2nd sedan of the 3 behind the SUVs which appeared to be being operated by perhaps a high ranking Georgia State Highway Patrolman came across the lane right for me at a high rate of speed with window down on my right to give me more loud aggressive verbiage about what I am supposed to be doing. Within seconds of him hearing my profane response he too accelerated off to the front to catch up with your group. Mr. Carter I realize that you are indeed the 39th President of this fine country in which we dwell but please let your guys know that anger is not something that should be perpetuated. They made me scared for my life and that immediately put me in endangered instinctual mode which once someone goes there it is hard to come back. I felt extraordinarily shocky for the rest of my day through the now. Your presence and our fleeting shoulder to should meeting has given me transfer on a new level and I am compelled to let you know that I too hope for peace in the Middle East. I am aware of what is going on there and I know that the only way my 9 year old daughter has a chance on this globe is for it to stop and really change. You were here promoting that new book of yours which I respect but hope that you can convey to your Secret Service agents to open their eyes and be careful how they address humans out in the world for to have hope in peace anywhere, peace must me initiated.

Honestly and Respectfully,

Billy Fehr

Vicky is Not So Secret

This true story happens every once in awhile when you are me. Every morning I pick up the mail for 2 firms at the US Main Post Office in town. As it so happens there is usually 2 tubs sometimes more, they are each nested inside each other. I make a quick call for a fellow ambassador to meet me at the side door of One Wachovia in 4mins and then roll out to make the drop to them leaving me with the other tub on the bars to deliver 4.5 blocks away. Yesterday after dropping that first one I looked down to see the latest Victoria's Secret Catalogue cover model who I immediately thought was Liz staring right at me. At first I thought Liz said with a smooth tan skinned giggle, "Wow Billy, you are soooo hot!" but then I realized that I was day dreaming in traffic. Pull it together Billy, get out the camera and your newly refurbished mega shutter button, your blog readers need to see this really happens and it does not happen often so document. Then as I continue down the ave the wind blows into the tub, the pages lift turning rapidly creating more distractions for now they are moving and changing as if they are coming to life on the paper before my eyes. Eeek gads, watch out for that jack ass car driver looking at me as if I am not paying attention....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Interview with Boots

Along time ago early on in my career as professional bike messenger in the QC a crazy fellow rolled up to me on his fixed geared machine(up until that day I had not really seen one) wanting to know why in the hell I had a bag on my back yet I was free wheeling(if you are out of the loop that means coasting). Enter into my life Chandler Snyder who turned out to be Boots before long. Back then Chandler had previously worked the streets of Denver Colorado and had come back home to Charlotte to get a job here working for Mercury Messengers as well as bust all of our balls and get us rolling the way we should. After his stint here and tolerating the stash as long as he could he moved back to the mile high shitty, got married, had a kid that smiles with his entire body and has recently started being a courier all over again. I had the chance a couple of years ago to do a 4 day road ride out in Colorado and Wyoming, on the way home from Denver I got stranded flying Non-Rev so Boots let me crash at his place and buy him dinner. Every time he comes back east to see his family he stops by to say hello. It is sort of top secret but I have just given you all clearance, Boots is on the way back to the Jar to help drive sales for one of the best local bike courier services in town. In this faltering economy the messenger which has been around for over 6,000 years or the time of the Greek Gods is about to flourish. I warn you all now his second coming is going to change all of your lives forever, get ready Boots is back and he has some major support.

here is a recent email interview I did with my friend Boots.
1. What is your favorite salsa?
Well William, I like that question, cause I need to know if you're referring to store bought or restaurant style. For store bought it has to be Religious Experience Medium! Its so yummy! Im not sure you have it out there, but it may make it down that way soon. Quite chunky and the medium would be considered Hot for your part of the country. As for restaurant, im pretty much a fan of most salsa that is served at any number of wonderful Mexican places we have in Denver. Im going to have to find some places in Charlotte after we move, because I've become a fan of Green Chili here. Gotta find a great place to have a "smothered green chili burrito"!
2. Tell us about your messengering career from rookie status to vet status back to rookie status all over again and in two major cities.
Hmmmm...its a bit strange to be talking about my "career". You know im not going to touch the "rookie" status "all over again" part of your question. Once you've earned your "stripes" you never go back to being a rookie. A seasoned vet in a new city is worth 5 rookies who grew up there any day of the week.
Now, my start. I moved to Denver on a whim after graduating from UNC-Wilmington in the 2000. An old college friend had moved out here a couple years before me and kept saying how awesome Colorado was and how there were bikes everywhere and no humidity. My parents bought a ticket for me as a graduation present. I came to Denver, and in the first week here I was humping packages for a local company named Speedy(aka "Bleedy" due to the size of the paychecks for the amount of work you do). It didn't go well. I quit after 2 weeks due to getting into it with my dispatcher because he thought my knowledge of the city sucked. The irony of that situation was that he was fired a week later for running off every new rider they hired, and had been for weeks.
I managed to meet a few heads and got in good enough with a group who worked for a company named Velocity couriers. This was in September of 2000. The company was pretty new, and was located inside a repro-graphics company's office downtown. The graphics company...CTS...had partly funded the start up costs and as part of the contract with Velocity, we had to do all their courier work...both car and bike work. I knew I wasn't in "Kansas anymore" on the first day when I walked in, and the now defunct owner Johnny Gaitan said its "work WHITTIE day"! Well, Johnny held up his end of that statement real quick. Myself and the other "white" guy, Winston, were somehow always doing the grunt share of CTS work, which for the most part were construction drawings that for the most part weighed anywhere from 10-40lbs! it wasn't uncommon to roll out the door with multiple rolls on my back. At that time in Denver, there were lots of messengers, over a 100 id have to say, and plenty of companies around. After proving myself through the winter, which was a pretty nasty one if memory serves, I started getting some gravy runs(runs that tended to be easier and paid a helluva lot more). Back then, you did have to prove yourself. There were always fair weather kids who thought being a messenger was cool, but didn't realize that it meant showing up no matter what the outside conditions were, and no matter what your internal conditions were from the night before. Yeah, we partied hard back then!
After working for Velocity for a while, I moved back over to Speedy, as my friend Byron who was a rider got bumped up to dispatcher. I got pretty sweet runs and got paid fairly well. Keep in mind that the amount of work out there was huge! An average day with Speedy, or with anyone at that time, was around 60-70 runs a day, and as far as I know I still have the second most tags on a day record at 89, right behind my buddy Winston who worked out a whopping 95 in a day. These were real runs, not the kind where you walk into a building and pick 20 tags from one company. These were one by one, from different companies around town.
I swapped around to a couple more companies, before in 2003, I moved back to Charlotte for a year after going through a divorce with my first wife. I ran into you guys back then. Ill let you give that story...I think your version will be better. Of course I will say that I thought I was rolling up on some kids from the country side when I met you in downtown Charlotte that day a the fountain by the library! I know you remember that!
In Jan of 2004 I moved back to the mile high shitty. After dealing with emotions and out of control ways of living from my divorce the previous year, I decided to give Denver a second shot. It was a different city to come back to, even just a year later. The effects of 9-11-01 were being fully felt in the courier world here. Most of the courts had gone to a mandatory "e-file" system, and increased security kept us out of some business we'd been doing work for for years. Companies were downsizing the courier numbers and some courier companies had folded. Humping for a living meant doing about 20-30 runs a day, and then were the "new kids on the block"...aka the Hipsters...aka the Pozengers. Now for those of you reading who ARE NOT messengers and ride around looking like you are, on your cool single speed, or fixy, with the bag, the pants rolled up, the super tight pants, which for some unknown reason to me is cool to have your junk stuffed up there like Silence of The Lambs guy, yes this is going to hurt a bit. If you want to be a courier...GET A JOB!!! Quit running red lights, yelling at cars, running from cops, riding on sidewalks...and my list could go on...why??? BECAUSE WE GET THE HEAT FOR IT!!!! Seriously, its happened 3 times in the past month here in Denver. Cops come up to us hanging out and start telling us about "one of your buddies on the whatever color bike that we're looking for him". We look at them and say "um, he's not a courier". The cop then looks at us and says, but he had "one of those bikes and a bag on"! So...if you want to emulate us, cool, but have a brain about it and realize that your actions DO HAVE consequences.
So, back to my "history". In 2005, I decided to try leaving the "brotherhood" that is messengering. I went to work for a couple of high end bike shops in the area and had a great time doing it. Unfortunately I always got itchy feet after a few months of doing this work. I missed being outside in all the madness that is couriering. So, when I was recently hit the string of bad luck that has helped turn my family's decision to move back east, I turned to the streets again. Currently Im working in Denver for peanuts a day. The company Im working for is quite corrupt from the top down, and I struggle daily to tell myself Im doing this out of good karma deposits that I will one day reap.
I think that is just about covers it. Its a brief history, and there's plenty of stuff to add but, i think more direct and pinpoint questioning on your part William will help bring that out.
3. Some people say being a bike messenger is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, do you think so and why?
Yes/No! ya like me now?! I think its rewarding for the right person. Just like there are people suited to do every job out there, there are people who are suited to be messengers. In the true sense of the word, yes it can be rewarding as hell. I get to see the world move and change around me, from the weather and the physical world of nature, to the steel and man made environment that is created and destroyed daily, weekly, monthly, yearly....forever and ever. Watching the myriads of people, cars, cranes, animals, etc moving around and us moving in between them, at time seemingly like the speed of light, and at other times like the slow crawl of a tortoise racing its hare, its a rewarding job to be sure.
Then there's the physical aspect personally. I can feel when my body gets stale and rusty with non-use and slackness. So, knowing I will be going out in weather that others would cringe at...say -19 degrees F with 3 feet of snow on the ground, to 105 degrees watching my tires melt on the asphalt, is an experience I can never share with anyone else except my messenger brothers and sisters. Feeling my bike gain 10 extra pounds from snow and ice, and watching my body dissipate in the summer as I sweat all my extra weight off, are freeing and life giving experiences.
4. Have you ever ran into a car?
On other words...have you ever been fucked up by a car? Well, the simple answer is NO! The complex and "real" answer is YES!! hahaha. In my first 5 years of messengering I had a shattered Patella(knee cap) and now have 2 titanium screws in it. Had 2 broken wrists...actually have an old photo of me in a cast working....i had the caster at the hospital mold it so I could ride my fixy. Ive had 4 cracked ribs and a possible cracked collar bone.
All of those were done while avoiding being hit by the car. Id rather take a broken bone, than to lose my life....period.
I have been aimed at by cars, by buses, by taxis, had stuff thrown at me, been chased by police(which im 2-0 at so far), been chased by pedestrians, knocked off my bike by pedestrians, fallen in slush and snow and slid half a block, yelled at to get off the sidewalk, yelled at the get off the streets, spit on, laughed at, whistled at, and im sure other things I cant remember.
5. What about those Denver cops and Federal Marshalls, do they bust balls?
Denver Cops...fuckem! They stop us all that time. Back in the 90's J-Bone actually got cases taken to court and to the Mayor for harassment issues from the cops on messengers. He won...period. We get hassled for any number of offenses. Hell, we even get ticketed for riding on the sidewalk on the same block we're delivering to! Those cases have gotten laughed out of court by the judges lately....which is pretty sweet.
Federal Marshalls...gotta lovem! They are the coolest security type people out here. They know they have bigger fish to fry.
Bottom line either way get back what you put out. If you go into a court house or get pulled by the cops and give them attitude, you're asking for trouble. You have to pick your battles and realize that to a certain extent you have to work within the system to buck the system.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jar Snaps

It was quite reassuring to have my camera back in my bag yesterday while I rolled around doing my job. For those of you who have not been in the Jar for let's say the past 6 months or so I have put together this little document of some of the new construction under way and some recently finished.

Lets start with this 100 Block of N College Street view looking up. From left to right these 2 new pedestrian bridges cross from the back side of the BOA corp Center at Flounders(that's right Flounders) Hall to the new BOA Conference Center and Hotel Complex. Every morning I ride directly under these new monstrosities and consider the future when they will be jammed with Buckets marching to and fro.....this BOA construction project is well worth the million a day they must be spending, good times ahead. here we are now one block south on College to the newly opened Charlotte Epicentre which has been built on top of the site where the old Charlotte Convention Center was. During this hard economic time for our country a combined humanitarian project between the city and private business has offered sanctuary with a new facility called Mez(like dez) where your broke ass can come and as adverted eat, stay and play. Life is Good in the Jar. This place should be jammin!
right around from Mez is this corridor of intelligent design where you can walk down the faux cobbles and shop in the quaint Euro Market or dine and drink in celebration of what a great life you have here in America. You must understand that as authentic as this new old street appears it is not. I had to really get in there shoulder to shoulder with all the real people to make this picture, the crowd enjoying this new section of town was overwhelming.
Another pedestrian bridge and a reverse angle view of Mez where you can eat-stay-play. Notice the newly installed Black Finn Tuna dining facility where regular Americans with or without a job can dine for about 50 American In False God We Trust Units a pop. Life is Good while we go through these tough times as a Nation together.
My personal Fav-The soon to be open 50million Dollar project that is at least 20 million over budget of city tax payer monies that I did not vote for....Ladies and Gentlemen I present the now and future NASCAR Whore-o-Fame. That's right more money well spent so that everyone except me and you can have their hands in it. This place when open will offer tons of diesel transported meat from birth to the grinder and on your plate as well as plenty of styro waste to fill the dumpster on the daily all for the low, low price of whatever you have in your wallet and soul. I cannot wait for this one to open for if it is still holding together I plan to bring you photos of real Americans living the real American dream. The huge hotel behind the Whore-o-Fame is there to support the masses as they venture from prolly around the globe to come and see authentic NASCAR artifacts......

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Charlotte is Bike Friendly

This will be the last photo essay from the past for awhile but a goody indeed. I shot this series of dedicated bicycle riders on Commonwealth in front of the Rue de Grit near the corner of Cool and Cool in March of 08. I was on my way east towards the house in the early part of my commute when I ran into this band of dedicated riders who were out earning their merit badges to become part of a new local bike club. Everyone knows being part of a bike club is one of the only ways that one can actually ride a bike, unless of course you are someone with an identity.
Check them out, smooth transition on to their steeds with matching attire.... in my book anyone with a spoke card has to be hard core.....
I'm not sure but one of you may be......
Who brought the tools and how far from home are we?
Wait up you guys I am falling OTB, what does OTB mean again?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Still Burning

Allegedly my camera has been fixed and is on it's way back to me with a tracking number from UPS. Maybe I will see it today. The above image is one that I made back on the 15th of August one week to the day after Russia invaded Georgia with tanks and fired missiles into the apartments of the living on the same day(8-8-08) that the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing(the capital of the Corporate Plan of Aggression) were taking place to the oohs and ahhs of a world needing something other than what is really happening to talk about while both GW and V Putin stood shoulder to shoulder in a sky box waving plastic renditions of their country's flags with huge cold calculating smiles on their faces. Clouds like human emotions are very different in constant motion and power.
Weekend Report:
Mountain rides both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday-full dog pace lap with Warrior in Training(WIT) at Poplar Tent. As always it was very refreshing to ride on the Andrews' Property. The trails were in fine condition and the forest seemed noisy with the sounds of dried leaves chattering like the teeth of a hypothermic skeleton in the wind as they sporadically clung to the limbs of their hard wood hosts.

Sunday-2.5hrs at Sherman alone, one way forward twice around the RC chasing bright red cardinals taunting me down the trail and then around backwards to the awkward stares of the masses. Funny how people need to say things even if I am a meter off the trail, yes I saw you way before you saw me. Speaking of seeing. I saw Cranberry looking resplendent indeed in the Maillot Jaune of Mercury Messengers. We chatted for a few about big wheels vs. the little ones and then we each went on our way in opposite directions. Towards the end of my 2nd in the RC I ran into Clint and Eric so I turned around and rode with them back to the bridge before heading out. I appreciate the gift that was left on my windshield, thanks Eric.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Charlotte Toonday!

and you thought you were a bike geek, check out this fellow cyclist's cable actuated brake flaps that roll forward off the bars to scrub off 33 percent of his speed...... I am not sure how or why this fits in except I figured someone out west may see the syncro yet again.....
The third base coach is stealing home, can you find the cyclist in this crowd of street crossing pedestrians?
this guy is all business, nothing but dedication to the 2 wheeled path....
hey buddy, the US Brown Water Center is the other Jar in the Toon, not this Jar in the Toon. Wait a minute maybe that should read that the USBWC is the other toon in the Jar, not this toon in the Jar. Anyways what else is happening toonday?
our model Josh is a sure thing when it comes down to being Cool in the Toon, just look at this kid's radiance and esprit de corps, nothing says I am loving life like a ride along the Charlotte Light Rail corridor, condo sprawl infested with bucket heads is just an added toon bonus.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Found: Lost Crank

photo: B Fehr I found this semi pro level crank and pedal assembly at the 8800 block of East Albermarle Rd along the Albermarlean Traverse in the gutter early one morning not too long ago. The crank is made by an obscure Sardinian Manufacturer who is located relatively close to Italy compared to say Taiwan. If you or anyone you know is missing their custom Sardinian crank and Pedal please contact me and I will ship anywhere in the world even though the cost of shipping will be 10 times the actual worth of the crank. Also please keep an eye out for any cyclist riding around with only one crank arm on. Odds are this crank belongs to him or her and he or she should be then notified about and directed to this blog post immediately. Thank you for your concern.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Apparent In Action

photo: Ken Beebe This past Friday later in afternoon on my way back from the deep South End to pick up the very powerful heel healin' mud from the Dead Sea in Israel I was riding through the Jar's main Ave North on Tryon. One of my concerned viewers contacted me with the Dead Sea mud solution(DSMS) and his wife was willing to share some extra with me all I had to do was go get it. More on the heel healin' mud later, for now back to the story. Technically I was still working as signified by the courier hot line still on and holstered to my bag strap. Just as I entered the 3rd Street intersection I saw none other than professional photographer and mentor to many aspiring visual artists Ken Beebe(Krugler Studio) behind the lens a half block up standing on the right hand side curb leaning out into the on coming traffic. Random coincidence turned syncro indeed for in a fraction of a second I realized that if I maneuver to the right spot he can take a documentary photo of me being a courier. This image rarely gets the chance to be made so I went for the back right corner of the CATS bus which was traveling in the same direction as I was. As I got closer to his position I heard the shutter and went flying past with a yell, "Ken!" Later that Night I called him up and asked for the picture which he gladly shared. Thanks for taking the picture Ken, I rarely get to see what I naturally look like in that realm and you have given me the perspective of my place in time in the now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Sathyam means Truth in the ancient language of Sanskrit. It is snowing here in Dooleyville and has been since around about midnight. There are a few crunchy inches stacked up on the ground and the trees appear painted in fine New England fashion. The sky is dark and gray, the sun not up yet but with all the white refracting what light there is one can still see. I look forward to this morning Stay Alive commute, it should be a quiet one in a back drop I rarely see. During the time my camera is gone I will occasionally reflect back to some images I have yet to share with you my lovely audience. In this case we roll the blog back to early October and the opening of a Gandhi statue that was commissioned by 'Mr. B' here in the Jar all the way from an artist in India. The statue traveled to the Jar in a wooden box and was put in place under a wrap the week before the Grand Unveiling. I present Exhibit Gandhi:

This was the initial cover that went over Gandhi, it is so half assed that I am guessing a city worker was the one responsible.
kind of creepy
then some of the artist's men arrived to create a tent around him, they brought their own seat
I chatted with these fellows a few times before the unveiling, they were camped out for 5 days keeping an eye on the subject
they were very kind and allowed me a sneak peek under the tent
under the shroud Gandhi appeared alive
I only used the film cameras on the actual day of the ceremony and then came back early in the morning Monday to take these:

Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK Every Day

a message and mullet to be heard and seen.

U2 live Dortmund Germany 1984

Sunday, January 18, 2009


LinkBike Blogs sent me a note saying they added me as their daily blog for the 17th. In addition to posting my link on their left hand side bar under Miscellaneous Blogs they have posted a picture of half of my mountain bike(take a peek of the entire photo)on East 10th in front of the Jar that I took a few months ago. I have added this entity, I keep saying they but it could be he or she or they or it for that matter to the top spot of my little friends side bar. ABBS=BIKEBLOGS

Thanks to some help I have made an important editorial update to this previous award winning blog post.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Stay Alive Chill like15F

this is an image I made back in March08 from just North and East of the Jar. Flash back. No matter what time time the clock says on the bottom of this post it is around 0700hrs and I am a few minutes from jumping out on my Jar bound Stay Alive. The temp according to the Barn Thermometer is around 15F, not a big deal but definitely irregular here in the Piedmont. Sorry I have no images of such said thermometer but the camera is in Texas and should be worked on very soon and then returned to me. When it does I will surely take some pictures and put them up.

I realized recently that my 10mile commute is not something I strive to do so that I can say I do it. My daily double Stay Alive these days is just what it is, my commute to and fro the best job I have ever had. I do every once in awhile I jump on the bus(emergency bus pass is always in my bag) or drive the UN Montero if my parenting services are required or in that rare case I am sick, however do to my religious pursuit of my Stay Alive my immune system rarely allows me time to be ill. What I am trying to convey is that there are no goals to commute more by bike for I have intrinsically excepted my daily routine by bike as my existence. After the first few years of transfer into the physical manifestation of commuting by bike the daily effort just came to be a natural occurrence. When commuting by bike dot com is excepted wholly in one's life no effort is required to plan or figure out all the little logistics that seem to remain barriers for the masses which prevent them from not only not allowing their bikes to be their mode of transport but at the same time stifles their own internal strength potential.

Rotation Perpetual and Cyclic.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

CMA-2008 Rookie of the Year

Goes to this proud dedicated Rookie John Stewart with the new Tattoo on his arm to Prove it. JS is seen here doing a Star Bucks run which he paid for out of pocket with promises of cash in return when he delivered to the client. Thinking like it would be at the least entertaining the CMA acting like a business client called in this fake job to John who had no idea until he went to deliver to the recipient Patty Cupcake at 111 Wrongway Ave. Needless to say he was only slightly disappointed so he sat down and had the beverages and muffins all to himself. Runner up in the closest vote in a century Paschal
Big Congrats to the 2008 Charlotte Messenger Association's Rookie of the Year John Stewart and the runner up Paschal. The CMA is extending full apologies to all involved for such a delay in releasing this year's, ooops, I mean last year's King Rookie. The vote was so close that our manual ballot tally system had to recount all 7 of them constantly to come to a fair democratic decision. Since the vote was officially tabulated both of these fine rookies have been delivered(no pun intended) some grim news from their boss the mustache. Apparently the global economic situation has even affected the local corporate courier Company dubbed THE Q, formally City(Shitty) Sprint, a subsidiary of A-Courier which was once City Bike. The bosstache has let them both know recently that one of their co-workers(Skiddaladophy center with 1 glove off)has been let go and that both of their hours will have to be cut back in an effort to save the company some money and/or position themselves for some of that jail term bail out. For that matter perhaps it could be strategic corpocracy posturing for a way to ease out of the courier market as the private sector slips further into the abyss. On the bright side they will still be able to ride their bikes around town with bags on and at least appear as if they are couriers. The CMA wishes both John and Paschal luck in their future endeavors.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Losers!

I was not planning on doing this but seeing I am immersed in an urban culture of 50 percent spectators I must for I have the moral responsibility. The Carolina Panthers better known to folks in this town as WE apparently lost the big game this past Saturday. I know this not because I watched as if my life or any part of it depended on the outcome but because I am an active courier in the town in which the big loss happened. That means that I am surrounded by the emotional outcome of such a negative event for the city. It started Monday and continued yesterday. The chit chat, the boo hoo, that rationalization talk in the elevators regarding the why's and the shoulda, woulda, coulda's. People are actually rationalizing and justifying OUR(not mine) loss as if the outcome of their lives really would change if the over paid meat heads playing on the field that night would have won while the crowd drank distilled beverages, ate useless nutritional food items and pretended they were drunk and having a great time all the while creating tons more non recyclable trash as if the CHANGE was not coming and there was plenty of room far away to stack it. Rationale thought audible, as if they did something wrong and in their minds must justify verbally out loud in open space which they are destroying with their lack of awareness. Yuck, I say. My fav so far was an experience I had in the elevator bank of 227 West Trade the day before yesterday. Lady and I use that term more loose than Clinton's belt steps off the elevator with tie guy in front of me. In a slow shuffle off the box she is telling him how bad the loss has hurt her and that she was really counting on the win so that the second game(if WE won WE had the chance to host yet another something that did not matter called the NFC Championship) coulda came to town which woulda meant SO MUCH money(IN GOD WE TRUST, how about you?) for Charlotte. Really, you and I, We? As I ran into the elevator I looked right at her and said, "Right and plenty of over flowing blue barrels of garbage waste too!"

None of it matters to you the Panthers spectator. Save your disappointment, your anger, your let down, your tears, your emotions, your NFL flair so that you can wear jeans to work that day, save it all for you will truly need it when the change of cultural awareness catches up to you in your cardboard lives.
Not once in the past 19 days have I heard you chit chatting about your tax dollars headed to Gaza via Israel in the form of WMD's that are destroying and horrifying humans right now, the magical instant before us. Life is good, you remember that you sad poor wanna be rich people.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dura Ace Problem Solved & Created

These will be the last new pictures I make/post for awhile, the camera heads to Texas today for a warranty replacement of my broken shutter button. I will miss it and appreciate it's return. look closely and you will see where the c-ring is missing from the million dollar axle
For the past month or just more I have been fighting strange drive train problems in my rear Dura Ace Track Hub, aka my work wheel. It all started with some crunch I was feeling shortly after doing my thrice a year re-pack of grease back in December. I took it apart for the umpteenth time and found complete corrosion on the drive side bearing and cone only. After putting together the half assed fix at the shop I rolled out and waited for the replacement real parts order to come in which did the other day. After work yesterday evening I went out to see the folks at Ultimate Mathews and work on the rebuild of my wheel which included a brand new Dura Ace million dollar track axle stacked with cones, jams and even new track nuts. Matt saw me coming and had the new axle ready to go in by the time I walked in the door. Zula said, "Roe rooo" to everyone which means hello in her language while I immediately took apart the old. Clean hub cups, brand new 1/4" bearings, pro level bearing grease from the barn and cone wrenches(14mm and 18mm[the old was 14mm and 15mm]) were all laid out in front of me on a big rag. For whatever reason, my child like curiosity I suppose I then proceeded to do something that turned out to be really dumb. I stuck the axle with one side cone and jam on through the empty hub just to see in my mind how it would feel WITHOUT bearings. Just slide it in and twisty turny a bit to feel the smoothness. Well with no bearings to roll on the cone just submerged itself in the hub cup and became stuck. Now I was standing there with my wheel in hand and the new million dollar axle awkwardly stuck in the hub without bearings or grease while Matt genuinely concerned about my front hub was working on that not a few feet away. I looked around for someone to tell me it was gonna be okay. Try again I thought just push it out and get to work. So I did but it did not budge. I started to get sweaty as if I were working for a Pedi Cab company or the bank for that matter. "Matt, where is the mallet?", I asked. Third drawer down I found it and tapped, well okay hit the other side of the axle to drive it back out the way I ignorantly put it in. Yikes, two pieces of my new axle came flying out. The Axle unit itself and a small but what appeared to be important little c-ring that was maybe 1.5mm wide that fit nicely around a groove in the top half of the cone race. My original cones did not have that part engineered into it's manufacture so I was not sure what to do or say. When in doubt ignore all problems and continue the rebuild as if no one noticed. Okay so the tiny little c-ring was gone but the rest of the process went text book perfect. Even without the little part my work wheel feels completely new, smooth on the roll with hardly any float, like Buttah. As well Matt's patience wound up helping me for while I was messing with the rear hub he took apart the front and found that I had 11 bearings on one side and 9 on the other when there are supposed to be 10 on each. Apparently one of bearings traveled through the hub along the axle to join his friends on the other side which would explain that annoying popping sound that I have been ignoring for weeks. He also passed a new used saddle to me that had been passed to him by another mutual friend of ours a long time ago and I cannot wait till that mutual friend notices it and gets a laugh. The Old Fizik I had been sitting on was deteriorating badly leaving the horn exposed all the way down to the hard plastic base. Stay Alive cometh with comfort under arse and smooth rolling wheels, did I mention new rope? That's right I also picked up 2 new Sram PC-7x chains , one on and one in the hole.
Once again I pass a genuine thanks to not only Matt but all the guys for there are no gals at Ultimate in Mathews for helping me chase and live the American 2 Wheeled Dream. Without them it would be a way harder to be who I am and I may have given up a long time ago.

Monday, January 12, 2009

4.2hr Walk in Pisgah

Yesterday morning just before sunrise in the light gray darkness my kid's head appeared in my blurred visual cortex with a funny smile. I thought to myself, is that really her as she spoke, "Dad I wanna go climb a mountain with you today." Am I dreaming, the thoughts bouncing around in my head as if I were in the place between consciousness and unconsciousness. Really? Okay let's get ready then and within 30 minutes my back pack was loaded with enough essentials and Ms. Arcen, Mary, Zula and I were rolling west and north in the UN Montero for the N. Mills entrance into the Pisgah National forest. The drive was predictably uneventful except for one bizarre occurrence in the low lands just before Shelby NC when a fog bank around 5 miles wide took over and reduced visibility on HWY74 to less than 15 meters. The sun was trying to come through but I had to slow to under 40mph to make sense of what I was seeing/not seeing. I am very familiar with this road but where I was, was well, not recognizable for the thickness of the low cloud on the ground. A traffic light snuck up on me but thanks to my reduced speed there was no problem in remaining safe.
Anyways we rolled in on fire road 1206 and parked at the Slate Rock/Pilot Cove trail head and started our upwards walk for the Cairns trail. Morale was super high as the conditions albeit cloudy were not too cold or wet. The jaunt continued meandering around the low ridges and creek crossings in the bends. Up a step of land and into a little valley that the trail went straight through, the hardwoods were young and sparsely placed, up ahead another rise and the trail tightened in once again. Time passed, questions went both answered and not. A break or 3 happened before we went right at the low left hand creek and started up the steep lowers of the Cairns. At the top before the intersection of Laurel Mtn Trail we stopped for our turn around break and watched Zula wrestle an Apple core as if her life or a million treats were at stake. More time passes in the woods with my kid, density surrounds us and we decide to head on down off the mountain which took just over half the minutes it did to get up. Descending an inside foot bridge creek crossing we ran into two bike riders going up for Laurel then Pilot Rock. We also met Blond pony tail guy with a shovel and his 2 dahhhgs, Malikye(MAL-i-Kigh) and no name. Zula freaked at the attention Malikye was giving and although comfortable around the big ones she has come to know at home panicked and became very scared, almost as if her life was threatened. Something strange happened to her energy which was very hard to pull back. Once Dr. Blond clipped Malikye in the situation calmed and our downward walk continued. Back to the Montero in just over 4 hours and the drive back to the Jar commenced. Mountain transfer day was just what I needed and what the kid wanted.

Zula searching for squirrel poop while the kid poses in full Hollywood style
Creek along the trail up after the first step
questions about the water fall
pan right
the Rhodos were drooping as if it were cold, maybe in the high 30's but it felt warmer, I guess from the effort
one of the steeps on the Cairns
trail up high, creek down low
Zula says, "Look salamander poop, yum!"

Friday, January 9, 2009

Image of the Week(Times 2)

I shot these pictures after rolling by on the start of the inbound climb up Commonwealth Ave early yesterday morning January 8, 2009. After passing this scene and looking down I noticed Barack was laying on the ground in close proximity to the gutter with other miscellaneous trash. It was a picture that was made for me to take so I turned around and went to work trying to capture the real CHANGE that is coming which is connected to the end of a linear idea here in this fine nation in which we dwell. Nothing was altered or moved from it's original position for me to create the composition which I edited last night.