Category Archives: fixie

Piers and Beers II (last week!) not to be confused with two weeks ago or tonight! (ha! all that was written over a week ago, so 2 is three and stuff)

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Pollard and I flashing the K W, a hand gesture popular with the fixie gangs of the island. Word life.

I almost decided not to write a post, but only a really, really long title; but alas, I cannot insert photos into the title area; and what would a KWVelo post without photos be like? I’ll tell you. It’d be like a post with no run-on sentences or blurry photos that is written well. That shall not happen tonight; its late, I’m weeks behind on writing, its raining, I need to shower (which will be fun in the rain), I am tired and don’t feel like writing a whole lot. Here’s some pictures:

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We’ll start with Mike’s underwear. Yep, this blog has sunk to new levels of WTFness. This seemed funny at the time. Hopefully it”ll be funny tomorrow morning.

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Pollard has grown a tradition of doing a crazy trackstand at every ride. There’s another shot of him on the Simonton Pier a few posts back and I would hyperlink it if I wasn’t concerned with making this an exceptionally crappy post unto itself!

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The Western Union and the Moon. Can you guess which is in dry dock and which is a celestial object? I knew you couldn’t!

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Horray for Republic Underwear! Well done Mike! I hope, no… I expect and endorse, that someday this image becomes as iconic as The Kramer. This photo facinates me into realms of mispellings. The cigarette, the socks, the look of a disgruntled factory worker toiling away 12-16 hours a day; this should be on the freakin’ cover of Life. Well, if it still exists!?!? Does it? Are those shorts. short pants, coulottes or Gauchos?

Well, all the above was written a weeks ago and here I am now; hours away from tonights’ ride. Last week was St. Patty’s Day and my birthday and the two year anniversary of Fixed Gears and no ride. There’s a bunch of sweet photos from other rides I need to post…and will….on island time. Manana. or next week. wheneva. Anyways, we’re riding at 10pm, come on down to the shop 945ish for air and lube. or buy shit and make the bossman proud of me. or not. lets just ride and await pollards trackstandstarness for the night.

score!

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I spotted a healthy stack of low sided plastic crates curbside on trash night a few weeks ago and scooped them up with an awed quickness. Why did someone toss these out!?!?! And how has nobody taken them yet!? Lucky timing for me. These are my favorite style and they work really well mounted to a rack over the rear wheel. All I had on me for fixin’s was a bungee cord which kinda helped get my booty home, but still made for an awkward and somewhat sketchy ride on the fixie. All in a night’s work. I have already given 5 away. Three went to someone for use composting, its a really great design for keeping air circulating and stuff doing things.

John and Amber

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I barely caught this cute couple as they passed the shop riding together on a fixie. I wish I had a whole lot more interesting things to write….but i do not…but I really like this photo…so look at it again and quit reading this mindless drivel. thank you, carry on…

I have a foam sword and its pretty much the greatest thing ever

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Well, until today. Tonight I took off the basket and riser bar and replaced them with a simple bullhorn and removed my rear fender. I have been rocking the sword for weeks now. Its great deterrent to stumbling drunk tourists in the middle of the street and really nice for spanking! The basket shall soon return, but until that near future station wagon day, I got me a roadster!

sunday night pier tour

Four fixies decided to go for a nice Sunday night ride. Actually, there were to be six of us, but the Patricks were a no show. boooooo! They did join us afterward for beer and noshes at the midnight happy hour at Finnegan’s Wake. mmmm….wings with wasabi dipping sauce! The night began at Fixed Gears where we tightened chains, lubed links and topped off tires. Amy suggested a pier tour so we headed to Simonton Beach. It seemed like three of us were out to pop a tire that night with flagrantly flashy skidding. There’s a wonderful slickness to many streets when its wet here, making for some fun slalom skidding around obstacles and around corners.

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John decided trackstanding on the narrow Simonton Beach Pier wasn’t enough of a challenge, so here’s a pic of him doing it one handed. wooo-haaa! I opted for a backwards circle at the Duval/South Beach Pier.  Actually, the full, real name is Emma Carrero Cates Pier. She was a Key West City Commissioner for 18 years, helped preserve many beaches in Monroe County as well as being a large part of the creation of South Beach. Thanks Emma!

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Beware of Jumping Sharks!

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Never a dull moment in Key West, even if this pic looks totally casual; nothing exciting, just another day in the Conch Republic. Damn i love living here! Although, not a pier, we stopped at that little park thingee near Casa Marina, rode by lots of fishermen at the White Street Pier and ended the tour with a nice rest at the sanctuary pier. Well, i guess its a boardwalk through a tiny remaining wetland area, and it ends on a tiny beach; but we like to think of it as a pier; it is Key Wierd!

Sunday Funday…..Meeeooow!

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Just another day in Key West. Cats riding zebras. purrrrrrr…….

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Rusty Conch Cruisers or crazy fixies…this is a bicycling town! I really liked the furry handcuffs, very important to prevent chaffing and scratching the paint job.

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The Amycat got a flat after breakfast of catnip and mimosas but we got her purrring again soon!

Key West Hardcore recap

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Its August, its hot, the sun is intense…lets have an alleycat! Awesome idea!
Many thanks to Paradise Tattoo, Help Yourself, Fixed Gears, Bad Boy Burritos and Conch Traders for helping out with prizes and checkpoints. Also special thanks to Don’s Place, the last checkpoint/afterparty for the hook-ups!

DSC09773The race began at the White Street Pier.

DSC09776“Get ink at Paradise Tattoo 627 Duval” and Bucco was the guest artist!

DSC09778“drink the fresh, organic goodness they give you at 829 Fleming Street” which, of course is Help Yourself. Tampa Joe chugging a shot of almost frozen organic juice as Charlie and Robbie watch.

DSC09783“have fun under the Palm Avenue Bridge” Nobody knew which side of the bridge Ray was waiting at with his sharpee.

DSC09784Goodfellow stopped in the middle of the bridge, over the water, to check to see where the checkpoint was and then carried his freakin’ bike down the side rather than ride all the way around and saved some precious time.

DSC09793Brielle was not only first, not only on a mountain bike, not only riding on knobbies, but was almost 5 minutes ahead of 2ed place! She won new cruiser tires and a floor pump.

DSC09789Everyone post race showing off their tatoos from the checkpoint at Paradise Tattoo. Thanks again to don’s place for hooking us up and showing love.

more photos and shenanigans after the jump…click below!

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The Space Shuttle is in Town! and other wierdness

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Last Friday I caught a glimpse of what seemed to be the Space Shuttle driving down Duval Street. The spacecraft was a little smaller than expected; but the tail fin and color scheme is pretty dang recognizable. It must have been it, but I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough; that thing is a freakin’ rocket ya know. A few hours later I took the above picture, catching the ship moments after it safely stopped at a stop sign and continued along down South Street. I did see the Space Shuttle…

I did! I did!

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Houston, we have contact! I saw the Space Shuttle again, at 12:00, heading straight for me with nothing more than a mere double yellow line separating us from a deadly head-on collision! I quickly pulled over and parked my pedicab and snapped a few photos as the ship slowed and stopped next to me. The pilot said he saw me snapping photos earlier and asked if I wanted a postcard. Hells yeah! Nice people.

I learned that the Shuttlevan hangers in Texas and was built to celebrate 25 years of flight. There’s even a 1,700 watt fog production machine! Check the website!

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Six or Seven years ago I was riding my bicycle down Greene Street and strangely heard a piano approaching me from behind. I turned to see a man in the middle of the street alternately pushing a piano on wheels from behind and then playing it from the side as it rolled. I took a quick photo and have never forgotten the sight. I have no idea of the what and the why. A few days ago I saw what must be the same guy and the same piano on Duval! He wasn’t playing it this time, only pushing it down the street. I love this town.

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I saw these two Konas with crazy camo tires one night after sloppyhour. Pretty sweet.

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Another wonderful night at the parrot. John’s singlespeed and my fixie. Let the revolution begin!

Want more photos? More bicycles? Want to see the newest fixie on the island, built just days ago? And welcome a new Surly to the neighborhood, a sweet Traveler’s Check?   Continue reading

A Rollerskating Jam Called Saturday

Saturday, Saturday, it’s a Saturday.

5 whole days of work and one whole day to play

De La Soul knew what was up, but my pedicab shift on Saturday was the farthest thing from work and yet I got Paid in Full. The line between work and fun is completely blurred, perhaps even eradicated, on days like this.

I was craving sausage gravy and biscuits even before getting on the saddle and pulling out of Perfect Pedicab and onto Whitehead Street. A short ride across Old Town to my other job, at Turtle Kraals, ensured I was well fed thanks to my employee discount. Thrifty and tastey, yeah, that’s how I’m rollin’. Luann, the morning bartender, asked me to take her visiting parents on a tour later and paid me in advance. Sweeet. I hooked her up with a deal and left feeling good; not even 11AM yet and I already made bike rent. ahhhh, a great way to start the day.

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It was a super slow morning spent mostly at the South end of Duval on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. This is a wonderful spot to chill, relax and wait for a fare. Lots of people walk the full mile and half or so all the way down Duval, to see the Southernmost Point buoy; and then feel all lazy about walking back. A ride in a pedicab, especially with cocktail in hand, is a wonderful way to get back to Mallory Square, Sloppy Joe’s or wherever you want to be next back in Old Town. Some say Duval Street is the longest mainstreet in the world as it streaches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean!

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Jason and Pollard getting some needed rest. Friday was a looong night. The pictures in the background are by Bob. He spends the morning and afternoon painting as his artwork hangs behind him on the fence in the great gallery of the island shoreline. Dozens of people pass by every five minutes speaking in all sorts of accents and languages. The cool ocean breeze always compliments the contrasting rays of the strong tropical sun. There’s usually a few of us here reading, resting or entertaining ourselves and the tourists.

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Jeff’s secret to success…

the pig helmet cover!

So today is Thursday and I am trying to remember the details that made Saturday so amazing to finally finish this post. But I can’t remember the specific things, it was just a really great day. Sunny with a nice, cool breeze. Occassional white, fluffy clouds provided brief patches of wonderful shade. It began slow, but as it progressed, I got a lot of rides that were fun and tipped well. I had a great time bugging out and chillin’ with the other riders. Everything and everyone was just on the One.

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Kapsis the grinder giving his sweetie a ride home. These two are waaay too cute and in love. He’s always blowing kisses from his pedicab to her as she works at a restaurant’s outdoor patio. The Ohio boys and I passed them enroute to happy hour. Yep, most places here do happy hour seven days a week. And the bars are open to four. But’s that’s a whole other post.

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Happy Hour at Kelly’s. This certainly helped keep the great vibe going after work. Forget the fact it’s the original Pan-Am headquarters. Forget it’s owned by Maverick’s love intrest in Top Gun. Happy Hour is bangin’! $4 gets you a half dozen of some of the best wings on the island. $3 gets you a massive margarita. We had a lot of both.

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This is how I got my new printer home to Bahama Village from New Town without using my van.

A bungee cord held it in place. I could steer holding just the box, but that was kinda scary and i didn’t do it again. Ok, i did a few more times, and it was still scary! But, after living here since the first week week of January, I have only driven my van four times, three to go kayaking and once when I moved from Brian’s couch to my apartment.

Gettin’ Paid to Ride!

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Its official! People hand me monies to to pedal a giant tricycle and talk to them. I am a licensed and working pedicab driver…errr rider…make that pedaler! So far… it seems like pretty much a really super duper awesome job. I am working for Perfect Pedicab, which as glorious fate would have it, sits directly across the street from The Green Parrot, my favorite bar in the world (think Sully’s of Hartford, but in the tropics). For the last three days, I have been riding up and down Duval Street picking up people and pedaling them around while talking about the shitty weather back home and sharing crazy stories of Key West. At their destination, I drop off the passengers and they give me cash money! Money! For riding a bike and talking about interesting shit. I love this job!

Friday, being my first day, started with Kim training me on the trikes and reviewing the rules of the city pertaining to how to park, how to ride, where not to go and other rules and safety type stuff. I also got a playful warning not to hit any parked cars!! (yep, its been done before) Then they let me loose on the streets of Key West. Woooo-haaaa!

My first fare was a mom and daughter from Chicago, who needed to make a stop to shop enroute to their hotel near the Southernmost Point. Another was a couple from Kentucky wanting to stay longer. Three 20somethings working on the Pearl, a rerouted cruise ship, were loving their unexpected trip to the island. Colorado, Australia, Bosnia, France, NYC, people from all over were excited for the ride and really enjoyed themselves. It felt great. I am getting paid to pedal, meet people from all over the world and tell stories. Sweeet! Well, except for the lack of insurance, no medical benefits and the pillaging I am doing to my bank account when grocery shopping. And slow days can really suck because each day starts in the red and only getting enough fares will get you into the black, and hopefully far enough to survive. But still, seemingly a super sweet gig for me, and I am absolutely, totally enjoying it.

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“Coco frio!” Saturday’s highlight was meeting Manny, the coconut man. Towards the end of the work day, several of us were hanging out on Whitehead Street behind a pick-up truck full of coconuts and their delicious water. Manny was chopping one end, leaving a quarter-sized hole, perfect for drinking with a provided straw, or just straight up as we were…au natural. mmmm……. sooo fresh and sooo good. He’s a pretty freakin’ funny character. Tourists were all smiles with a well spent $3. Go check him out while in town. Manny, thanks for the hook up, I got you when you need that ride! “Only three coconuts left!”

Sunday. Day three. I now know where all the hills are on Duval, Fleming and Southard Streets. If you’ve been here, you prolly think of it as flat. Shit! The highest point on the island is only 18 feet. But trust me, when pedaling three passengers, you will suddenly notice even the slightest slopes. Now it seems so obvious. Even with 21 speeds, I tend to stay in the middle chainring; occasionally using the large ring if I want some speed with an empty cab. But not today. Nope.

Sunday was super slow. So slow, that the bored strippers ladies from the Key West Entertainment Club, were in front of their building, on the sidewalk, with signs reading, “free hugs.”

I love this town! My apologies for the lack of a photo…

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