Category Archives: rides

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.

Piers and Beers

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There’s a jolly group of us who frequently embark upon late night rides we call “pier tours.” We tend to ride to a bunch of piers, beaches, lanes and generally have some fun just pedaling around with lose goals of where to go. A few weeks ago we decided to make it kind of official and invite people and call it Piers and Beers. Six showed up, all on fixies; which was not planned; but certainly was fun!

The Wednesday game plan is arrive at Fixed Gears @ 421 Simonton between 930pm and 10pm for air and chain lube, leaving at 10. We try to finish up at Finnegans’s Wake at midnight to catch the late night happy hour and 1/2 price veggie menu…which is hella bangin’. Its been all fixies so far, which we all like, but freewheels won’t be turned away…just harassed. We ride pretty fast so cruisers and mountain bikes would not be too much fun! And really hard to ride backwards. Other, more inclusive rides are being planned, so don’t hate…just get a fixie!

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We keep changing and adding rules and ideas about where to ride. Presently, there’s a deck of badly handdrawn cards of locations to ride to and we all pick one at the start of the ride and also pick the first spot to go. At the first stop someone “plays” their card (all are secret) for the next place. At the next spot, someone else plays their card and we go there. Sounds confusing? Well, that’s because A. its a constantly changing thing and we are confused ourselves and B. I did a shitty job trying to explain it.

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White Street Pier is closed, but we still ride to it and dream of riding out on it again soon. Actually, i am not sure anyone dreams about it, but we all agree that “Rip Rap Repair Job” is funny.

Anyways, grab your fixie, come on down to Fixed Gears for free air and chain lube and enjoy a few hours of pedaling with no particular place to go.

The Soilder Ride

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A large group of cyclists from the Soldier Ride passed through Key West a few weeks ago. Max and I put a note on the door, locked up the shop and walked down the block to Eaton Street to greet and cheer everyone arriving on quite an array of two and three wheeled cycles. The Soldier Ride is a rehabilitative cycling event organized with the Wounded Warrior Project, who are working to ensure quality healthcare is accessible throughout the transition from active duty service member to veteran status and continues for the duration of the warrior’s life.

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This particular trip, January 13th to 17th, began in Miami and traveled through the scenic keys. There are rides all over the United States with 9 multi-day trips planned for next year. These are the only photos I took as I was working and couldn’t make it to the closing ceremony at the USS Mohawk, but the Soldier Ride Blog has much more information and better photos!

Great ride y’all, good on ya!

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!

Smart Ride 6!

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229 cyclists left Miami last Friday morning enroute to a wet, cold and blistery Key West to raise money for AIDS related charities in Florida. 100% of all money raised goes to a variety of organizations to help many, many people. 100%! Please check out the Smart Ride website for much more information about the ride. Hundreds more volunteers helped make the ride successful and wonderful. I have heard so many great stories from people involved and was lucky enough to attend the closing ceremonies; that my heart is super warm. Great job everyone! The above photo shows the amount of money raised at the time; it is now thousands more thanks to many donors and volunteers continuing to bring in the money. This post barely scrapes the surface of the 2010 Smart Ride. I cannot do it justice. Patrick closed down Fixed Gears so Max and I could attend the ceramonies. He had also been gone for the last few days as a volunteer mechanic and helped many people with their bicycles along the two day, 165 mile ride. Please also check out the Conch Republic Cyclist who rode the ride and will have a much better post and inside view!

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There was a tent to keep the bicycles out of the nasty weather. The loop around the island was canceled and the closing ceremony at the AIDS Memorial at the White Street Pier was moved to the HOV School auditorium.

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Crici Stroy-Martin, crew manager and ride committee member, addressing the emotional crowd.

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A riderless bike was walked though the crowd as a song was played to pay respect to those who could not ride today. A very emotional moment for many.

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Rosie’s Bar and Grill was presented the Founder’s Award for contintiued service. They have helped with every smartride, helping and feeding many riders and crew. I heard many amazing things about their Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast this year.

Continue reading

Holiday Lights Bicycle Tour

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Luckily this massive Santa in the Meadows was friendly!

The Bicycle Action Committee of Key West sponsored two tours and I made it out to the second tour on December 23rd and had a great time. I was running late and the dang thing started on time so i caught everyone just as they were leaving. I had my mini-boombox but didn’t have time to load the same mix of mostly punk and reggae Christmas cover songs onto the mini ipod as I used in a past Holiday Ride in a land much, much farther north and cold, so the best i could do was a tropical mix.

We started off with at least 60 or 70 people, many of which were dressed up or had decorated bicycles…awesome! We rode around Old Town and volunteers helped cork intersections when red lights threatened to separate the group; much like a smooth running critical mass ride. There was lots of laughter, caroling, libations and general shenanigans. I look forward to next year’s rides!

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Not Mr. Hanky, but the other Christmas Pooh!

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The obligatory group shot when we stopped at Bayview Park. Unfortunately, we lost over half the group here when it was announced the ride would continue into New Town for another hour and a half. WHAT!?! This announcement should have helped grow the group as there was plenty of time to still join us! Ohh well, the remaining riders continued on and had a great time. 

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The owners of this house ran out as we passed by singing and dinging our bike bells. I gave them a candy cane.

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As promised, blurry and out of focus! Sorry Clinton, but thanks for leading the ride!

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Doggys are often along for the ride here in Key West.

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Why stop with lights only on the house? Might as well decorate your boat too! Well done!

Please check out the website Conch Republic Cyclist for more photos and information from the ride and cycling on the island!

a chopper, a pennyfarthing and a fixie walk into a bar

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This has been a common sight the last few days. Scott rides the chopper he built. Dave has been rocking the pennyfarthing everywhere; which is cool, because it makes a great bike rack when not moving! I have the boring fixie with a basket and Christmas lights.