March 27, 2009

The first day is always the hardest . . .

. . . I hope. So I get up at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, excited for the big day. It’s the day I get to ride the first Rickshaw home from the Racer’s Edge. I decide to ride my bike down to the shop so I won't have to leave my car down there. I put together a route to and from the shop, avoiding all major roads through Brooklyn and Queens. It’s just shy of 10 miles one way. After eating some bacon and eggs, I get my gear together and head out for the shop.
It's a nice morning, around 55 degrees outside, and I am loving the ride. Not too much traffic, sun’s a shining, and I’m going to pick up my baby. I show up to Racer’s Edge at about 10:30 a.m. and get to it. I start doing as much as I can on my own because I know the shop is going to be a mad house today, and Gerald has already called in a couple more guys to come in and help out. Three guys are in the back working nonstop on all the bikes that keep coming in. Gerald and his dad are busy working up front on the floor with Gerald coming in the back to help out his guys and answer my questions. I had been hoping when I showed up to be out of there and on the road by 1 p.m., and when 3 p.m. rolls around I have to really get Gerald to stop what he's doing and get the last little bit done that I need his help with. It takes all my self control (which isn't much) to keep myself from telling off his customers, who look all upset having to wait a half hour to get a flat fixed when I have been waiting for a month to get this thing out the door and on the road.
So we set up the new handle bars and put the gears together, and he checks over my work. After we move the thing out the door, I take it around the block a couple of times to make sure its riding okay. Then I go inside and tell everyone later, and I’m on the road. I’m so excited when I pull up to the first traffic light. It turns green and I roll out into traffic. I’m picking up speed, changing gears and getting comfortable in the seat. I hear people on the front steps and on the side walk yelling out, laughing and screaming, and mostly saying, “What the hell is that thing?” I stop and talk to people and let them know what it is. I ride the frame home because we didn’t get a chance to put the seat and cover on it.
After about six miles something is wrong with my pedal, so I pull over to the side and take a look at it. The arm that is on the crank is slightly bent. This is one of the parts we didn't replace. Well, now we need to. It’s not too bad, so I take off and get about half a block away when I realize I have a flat tire. GREAT! So now I am walking with this giant “Big Wheels” through Queens. It’s starting to get dark and I’ve lost my directions, which serves as preparation since we won’t have directions during most of the trip, just a general direction of where we need to go.
The terrain through Brooklyn is pretty flat, so I’m able to cruise through the streets, but walking through Queens seems to be all uphill. I just keep walking and pushing this 100-pound-plus beast all through Queens. I even see a guy dump car coolant into the street, so I call the cops on him. This isn’t something I usually do, but when I see some ignorant fool pour toxic waste in the street, then screw him. He deserves to have the cops knock on his door and mess with him. Enough said.
The whole way home, when I would get to the top of the hills I would get on the Rick and lean away from the flat, riding it down on two wheels. My first ride and I’m already doing tricks on this beauty. After walking for about two hours I get home, and my calves are on fire from pushing the Rick around. But as I walk it into the garage I have a huge smile on my face, because those first six miles were great, and the the last three weren’t that bad either. Only like 20,000 more to go!

1 comment:

Curtis Chorizali said...

hola! its Vas.
met you and your beastbike at Racers Edge on friday - i will be following this :) keep us all updated.