Kiko Meets Mike IV

dscn6463-small.jpgThe Hipster Antidote, Eccentric Gear

When we went to Staten Island there was a race jumping off. It was one of those post modern messenger races, that of course, because it is full of young well organized, well equipped and, yes, white people, gets lots of press. As Scott and I got off of the ferry we noted all of the tattooed hipsters on fresh track bikes, and Scott said to me, “there’s some sort of a messenger race happening here.” It reminds me of when we used to hang out in Washington Sq. Park in ’80 or ’81 and it was apoint of honor not to wear your messenger bag (“no, I’m not working”), which also helped to avoid criminal justice attention, because messengers in the village often got sussed. They had beautiful new track bikes in really good shape. I doubt that any of them were used for deliveries 40 hours a week. I didn’t see many helmets, though there were a fair amount of pork-pie hats (Sigh, I’m a hater: how the mighty have fallen.)

I wrote to cynematic

Yeah, the funny thing about that race was that Scott and I got off the
ferry at the same time as alla them young’uns with our kids for a
flashback birthday party. I was going to post on the blog about it, but
I am swamped.

We saw some of them on the way back to “Manhattoes,” and were waxing
nostalgic for our days before the wheel. But there we were with our
five kids amped on sugar and a ferry ride, and you know, I’m just glad I
survived (the party and track bike messengering in the 1980s).

I gave the whole track bike messenger thing all I had, but you can’t
stay cool for ever. Hell, I’m just glad tattoos and piercings are a late
addition to the whole messengering thing, because the last thing I need
is a saggy tattoo of a track bike on my tuckus.

But, in fairness, I have to say that this was in the Times, about recycling (or re[cycle]cycling), which gives me hope. Not everybody runs out and buys the new new thing, some people -my heroes- try to reduce, reuse, recycle (and I do love the thrift store stylings). My favorite track bike was a chrome-steel metro track bike with straight bars and no brakes. I doubt I have a picture of it, but it often lived outside and worked flawlessly for a year or so, ’til my life caught up with me.


Holla at me. Here Kiko continues to re-meet Mike, which is how things start to happen in a linear way again. I want to speed up the pace. And of course, if you want to start from the beginning, go here.

Kiko told Mike where he worked, and gave him a menu bungee-chorded in the basket, thinking no more of Mike’s proposition than the Salvadoreño borracho who opens the door to the Pastilleria Colombiana on Sutphin Boulevard.

At four that day Kiko was shocked when, upon returning from a delivery, Señora Choi called him over to the register and gave him a phone message from “Mike on Bridge.”

Kiko immediately knew who it was and was now suspicious of the thin guy on the skinny bike. Was he un maricón, because Kiko knew he had no money to take compared to the man on the thin bike with a matching skin-tight outfit. He was also suspicious of Juan Valdez, the cartoon campesino on his back. Was Kiko some sort of noble experiment to this white guy with a fake wetback on his back? He thought long and hard whether he would call the guy on the bridge before dawn. Before he through out the number peremptorily, three things ran through his mind.

First was Key-Vin, the Chinese guy who asked him about racing bikes, and helped him to appreciate how much better a well maintained bike would ride. He had describes the clothes that Bridge Mike wore: “Tight-bright-picture-writing-clothes! Funny clothes!” He wondered why anybody would wear suck skimpy clothes in New York, a city that prized appearances, not understanding the aesthetics of boutique sports.


5 responses to “Kiko Meets Mike IV

  1. S,
    did you paint that picture? because it’s beautiful.


  2. Yeah C,

    Not a good photo, I was at my Mom’s house where she collects the best of my youth. The actual date is probably 1985 or ’86, after I returned from Maui.

    I used to paint all the time. Oil on construction paper.

  3. But white, obnoxious though it can be (like one or two other types), can sometimes be good, too. We gotta get past this sometime.

  4. FJ,

    You are right, and I kinda tipped my helmet to it when I wrote “(Sigh, I’m a hater: how the mighty have fallen).” However, this was not clear enough, and I’ve got to find a better way of describing the privileged appropriation of working class culture (Now I sound like a grad-school-marxist).

  5. The computer is sick. I will not be able to post any photos or updates for a while. GRRR! But you can styill keep my spirits up by dropping me a line here. HOLLA @ ME.

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