The Shredded Schrader

July 16, 2010

Oh, wait…

Filed under: Misadventures — Danimal @ 8:55 pm

They only accept cash. And it was a bit farther away than I imagined.

On the bright side, the laundry is only 57 (not 60) and will only require 3 trips.



May 10, 2010

The Cage has Bars of Paranoia

Filed under: Misadventures,Parasites — Danimal @ 11:27 am

I was riding down Mass Ave., driving legally and considerately, and (of course) getting beeped at and yelled at by motorists. Usually this isn’t a problem as I ride my peppy LeMond and for the most part keep up, but this time I was on a chopper (MegaSeth’s Stardust).

My usual battle cry is an iteration of the law; “I’m a vehicle. Two abreast or one per lane.” I’m not sure it’s effective, but… whatever. It’s better than calling them a turd monkey [citation needed]. And such was the case when a motorist, right on my ass, let out his horn.

“I wasn’t beeping at you jackass!!!! Get off the fucking rode, you fucking moron.”

In fairness, his position understandably cause confusion. Furthermore, it was fucking loud! But whatever, I was bothered enough to need to pull to the side of the road to gather my wits.

There is no friend anywhere, there is no enemy anywhere, there is no friend anywhere, there is no enemy anywhere…

What. The. Fuck.

Am I really riding that close to the edge? This bothers me immensely.

Then I had an idea. Something that would not risk taking innocent bystanders and wouldn’t escalate, but instead would act to confuse and then only later to sting and drive the point home.

Keep your eyes open for it. Keep watching.

Everyones a friend and everyone is an enemy. Everyone is watching. Especially THEM.

Later I noticed that my belt was unbuckled and my pants were partially opened in the front. I chuckled as I mused over the possibility that it was my embarrassing state that caused the other cars to beep and complain. I stopped and wished it was true.

One big union (of cyclists),
A slightly anxious and mentally disturbed Danimal.

March 27, 2010

I go down cackling

Filed under: Misadventures — Danimal @ 2:42 pm

It’s true; the laughter begins before I hit the ground and the smile doesn’t leave until long after that. My levity is not always shared by everyone in these cases, unfortunately. Such was the case when I stumbled up to the head of my department, dirty and bleeding. Some time in the sink, a trip to the first aid kit, and some scotch tape (freshly stolen from Yossi’s desk, thank you) later and I’m blogging about how truly awesome Bike Path Cyclo-Cross is.

My damage:
The back of my wrist was scraped up.
2.5 knuckles were bleeding.
2 cuts between my fingers were bleeding
My teeth hurt
A large chunk of my right palm was shredded and bleeding.
I tore my pants
My right knee is scuffed up.
General aches and pains
Subsequent problems with breathing.
A plenty of dirt lodged into my wounds.
The horrified looks of several witnesses.

Kallisti’s damage:
Chain fell off its rocker
The right hood (remember this is a road bike) is bent far inwards now
Negligible damage to the hull
Dirt, dirt, dirt.

I love this stuff. I hope I get into more crashes!

Hail Eris!

February 27, 2010

Bicycle lanes are not for parking, mam.

Filed under: Journalism,Misadventures,Parasites,Vigilantism — Danimal @ 3:03 pm

There is this awful stretch in front of Alewife where motorists rejoice in abusing the bicycle lane. I have gotten into arguments with motorists over this before. Some times the exchange is openly verbal as I wheel up to their open window to have a chat with them about safety, and some… slightly more obscure. My most recent experience leans towards the latter. The crime deserved something special.

I was heading home from work driving Nostrildamus, The Slothful (an abandoned bicycle from the 80s that I recently liberated and restored), when the motorsite in front of me came to a sudden stop in the bike lane, threw on her hazards, and ran into the daycare, pausing momentarily to glance around guiltily. I may have been seen, but I didn’t care.

If this was an emergency, if she was seeking help for problems with her auto-mobile (they are especially susceptible to these) she did the right thing by pulling over in the manner she did. In emergencies, it is entirely acceptable to pull to the side of the foremost right lane. The bike lane is a lane like any other, except with certain restrictions vetoed in certain situations such as these. However, this incident didn’t wasn’t in that sort of situation. As I would soon observe, she was just going into the building to retrieve her snot-nosed kid.

After figuring out what she was up to, I pulled to the side of the road and rummaged through my backpack for pencil and paper. Soon after producing them I had written an informative, albeit potentially hopefully disturbing note. It read as follows…

Bicycle lanes are for bicycles, not for parking.

You endanger the safety of cyclists.

You have been reported.

I slipped it under her wind-shield wiper and hid behind a pole, awaiting her return. After all, I could not categorize this post as Journalism if I bailed before I had the whole story! Even if I was the one making the news…..

After a considerable stretch of time she returned to the car with her kid. On her way to her side of the care she froze as her eyes met the note. As she picked it up I declared victory and road away in search of another adventure. (As a side note, I found it. I can’t write about it here, so ask me in person).

What sort of example is that for your kid? Jeez.

I wrote down her license plate number for my personal records. I struggled with myself a great deal over whether or not I should share it. At last I decided against it, choosing instead to file it away in a database somewhere. I will keep an eye out for her to see if she becomes a repeat offender. Picking up her kid from daycare is probably a regular event. Next week I will see if her antics are also a regular event.

Solidarity my fellow cyclists! Bike on.
~ Danimal ~

For the sake of your amusement I should note that the notice was printed on the back of a recycled article on the environmental sustainability of beer production. Coincidentally, my environmentalism has also been satisfied. Hail Eris!

February 18, 2010

Three fourths of a century…

Filed under: Misadventures — Danimal @ 3:49 pm

Every Thursday night a group of my friends get together for a night of geeky wonderment. Unfortunately, they gather on Cape Cod, hereto blacking me from partaking except on rare occasions. And on those rare occasions I’ve had to rely on wasteful forms of transportation.  Well, I will have not of that! I am embracing Biketarianism and driving there on my bike.

The problem is that I am miserably out of shape and will have to aright that before I continue… I plan to start going home “the long way” from work. As long a way as I can stomach.

Wish me luck in my training!

View the map…

December 23, 2009


Filed under: Misadventures — Danimal @ 8:53 pm

One morning I return to my company’s bike locker to discover that the front tire of my bike is flat. In a stroke of genius, I decide that I will detach the tire and bring it by the bike shop on my way home.


After three grueling weeks of pissing away my time and money riding the T,  I reunite my tire and bike. Excited to once again be on the road, I hurry back to work without caring that it’s 9 degrees outside.


Well, after about two minutes past the point of no return, I started caring. Apparently a lack of gloves, winter jacket, and anything else warm is a problem when this far below freezing. Next thing I know I’ve lost feeling in my hands.

Lesson: Riding without handlebars is especially useful if you do it with your hands in your pants.

A half of an hour later and I was warming myself over a bottle of rum with my coworkers in the lunchroom.

See you on the roads!

October 19, 2009


Filed under: Misadventures — Danimal @ 2:05 pm

On my way to work each day, I often weave through the posts at the end of the bike trail at Alewife. Today was no different, I leaned right, I leaned left, I…. Slid sideways? My entire bike slipped from underneath me and slid sideways. Yet somehow, SOMEHOW, I didn’t spill.

I’m actually quite good at that. Abrupt stops, sharp turns, and last minute recoveries as the former two fail come natural. There are two reasons for this. The first is that I’m an absolute clumsy spaz and over the years have had to either adjust or…  get eaten by a lion. The second is that, in addition to falling over during daily activities, I seek out doing crazy stuff.  And one particular manifestation is… inner office riding.

It’s like mountain biking, but when you only have a road bike and an office place you can sneak into at night. It’s actually a lot of fun. Speeding around the parameter, avoiding late night employees, and navigating through cubicles. And, uh… slamming into a wall. But only once!!!

And that’s my life. Falling sideways, able to appreciate both up and down just if they were right and left. I couldn’t think of a better way to live.

October 3, 2009

The Poor Presta…

Filed under: Misadventures — Danimal @ 9:47 pm

So, Friday night I was tweaking out in my room (continuing progress on the whole losing my mind thing I’ve been working on lately) when I finally tipped the scale and needed to get out of the house. It seems that lately, any time I get anxious I simultaneously crave going for a ride. As it seems healthier than drinking or working, I’ve been humouring this new coping mechanism.  I jumped on my bike and started to ride… And, as expected, I soon began to unwind.

Navigating between cars in my work’s parking lot (without hands of course),  I suddenly noticed that my front tire was a little low on air. So I whipped out my pump… and let me tell you, nothing finishes a long relaxing ride like a flat front tire and a presta with the valve tip snapped off. I called a fellow cyclist to come bail me out.

After digging around for awhile, we located the snapped off piece. Then, in shorter time than it took us to find it, we lost it again. All I could say was… Hail Eris! We laughed, pulled crazy shit in the parking lot and retreated home laughing.

The irony that while my blog is called the Shredded Schrader, I ended up shredding my presta… only hits me now.


September 23, 2009

Good Ol’ Rusty!

Filed under: Misadventures — Danimal @ 5:38 pm


Not too long ago I was having a conversation with my father about getting a new bicycle. I was explaining what I was looking for; anything with a coaster break that I didn’t have to empty my hypothetical savings account for. Well, my father (being my father) happened to be snooping around a junk yard a few days later. When he laid eyes on the beauty at the right, he knew full well it was what I was dreaming of (or at least what I would soon claim that I had been dreaming of). He haggled them down to $15 and then called me to report the news. I headed there immediately to take a look for myself.

The bike was mostly in working order. We picked up new tubes and new tires and then scavenged a pair of bearings, and then my bike was on the road! Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Bike wheel of Ol' Rusty

Back wheel of Ol' Rusty

Pretty soon I was riding around for the first time in years (pitiful, I know, but Marx was a bourgeoisie, so…!). At first  there were some minor setbacks, but nothing that could not be fixed with wire ties. However, soon to come was a major setback: out of necessity I moved to a bike-unfriendly place in East Cambridge.

So in my partner’s basement it sat, lonely and (I’m sure) depressed that it had been abandoned… and then… it somehow wandered outside. I can only guess it was an ill conceieved attempt at suicide. Either that or negligence on behalf of the keepers, it’s all the same really. In any case, outside once again it began to rust (despite its protective layer of rust, which (I hypothesize) is the source of its sentience). All was not well in Somerville. Especially not for the bike.

I will now fast forward a bit. Some dude gets stabbed in my apartment, I break up with my partner (an event perhaps orchestrated by the bike as an act of revenge), I become homeless, I accidentally OD on a medication I was allergic too (a one-two punch), and I eventually reclaim my (now sentient) bike, get a new apartment, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Well, almost. In the interim my ex partner (who was miraculousness once again my partner), accidentally popped the back tube… and then proceeded to ride on the rims for a couple miles. My bike, using its super powers, broke us up again in protest. And I was stuck cleaning up the mess.

At this point, however, I had begun falling under its control. I could hear its whispers in my sleep, invading my dreams. I would wake up in the middle of the night covered in rust and biketoplasm. I knew I had to take immediate action and dispose of this Class 6 Ectohazard, but I didn’t have the will power! I needed help.

His eyes seem to follow you as you walk past...

As you move, his eyes seem to follow.

The next day I received a terrifying call from my father. He had discovered that the aforementioned junk yard was built as a huge super-conductive antenna, designed and built expressly for the purpose of pulling in and concentrating spiritual turbulence. The architect, Ivo Shandor, was the leader of a secret society of Gozer worshipers who had come to the obvious conclusion that society was too sick to survive. Shandor, also a bike mechanic, had performed a lot of unnecessary “repairs” to bikes he had worked on. My new rusty supreme overlord was one of those bikes.

In desperation I turned to my roommate (whose parents, coincidentally, were killed by ectocyclists), knowing that she would be immune to its powers. She quickly devised a plan. She would research alchemy and concoct a magical potion to spread on the bolts, allowing us to dismantle its tires and thus disable its ability to make decisions. We had to act fast. You see, there is a small window of time between 10 and 11pm when evil bikes are at their weakest.

10pm struck and the time had come. My roommate sneaked up behind the bike with a bowl of potion. But suddenly lightning bolts shot out in all directions sending us nearly spiraling into the streets of Boston (which is especially impressive when you take into consideration that we live in Somerville).

This did not phase my roommate. To give some background, she had trained for years in the mountains of Belize under the strict tutelage of Nacon, the Maya God of war. More importantly, she works in a Harvard museum restoring ancient artifacts. That is to say, she deals with this sort of thing on a regular basis.

Without skipping a beat, she grabbed a discarded tooth brush, quickly dipping it into the bowl and then flinging the rust/evil dissolving goo at the bike. Then lunging forward, she recovered the tooth brush, dipped it, and once again threw. The bike wailed in pain and, at last, was silent.

The blurriness is caused by the dissolving evil.

The blurriness is caused by the dissolving evil.

At last the enemy had been vanquished! We quickly dissembled the now subdued bike.

W to the double O T

See? No more blurriness

We had tea and called it a day.

Hail Gozer!

The whole building is a huge super-conductive antenna that was designed and built expressly for the
     purpose of pulling in and concentrating spiritual turbulence

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