One on OneBFFRide Your Bicycle

Stupor Bowl, Continued

Sufficiently liquored up and subsequently chilled to the bone, we pile into Hurl’s house and I for one am absolutely blown away. I suppose I shouldn’t make assumptions, but the last thing I expect to find is a clean, modest sized, tastefully decorated home. Sure, I didn’t expect pools of vomit in the living room, but I did rather expect to find myself sleeping next to some bike parts at the foot of a Park stand. I unfurl my Therm-O-Rest in the finished attic and I’m out like a light. I don’t even wake up when Topher yells into the porcelain megaphone during the wee hours of the night.

At the crack of noon we’re roused from bed…to go to the bar. Thankfully the Triple Rock, best known for hosting punk rock shows, also specializes in breakfast. My queasy stomach won’t let me order The Mother Trucker, let alone a Bloody Mary, but our host orders both along with a beer to wash them down. Our next stop is One On One Bicycle Studio—possibly the coolest bike shop ever. The front third is a full-service coffee shop, the middle is a showroom full of drool-worthy bikes and accessories, and the back is home to a full-service bike shop. The main man is another old friend of mine, but Gene O’s busy doing about twelve things and giving a television interview, to boot. I join the growing mob of cyclists in the alley behind One On One and thank myself for having the good sense to eschew contemporary cycling fashion and wear snowboard goggles and a balaclava. As overdressed as I feel, the cold is still nipping at my fingers, toes and the tip of my nose.

Without much ado the crowd takes to the streets en masse and reassembles in what must be the coldest square mile in America. Nearly everyone in sight is jumping or wiggling around to keep warm, and eventually Charlie Browne’s teacher makes some announcement that signifies the start of the race. Excited to start riding to get warm, I mount my bona-fide messenger bike (a salvaged relic from the defunct Triangle Messenger Service) only to find the freehub body has frozen. Lockwood, Brad, Topher and The Polish Hammer disappear as I try in vain to mount and ride my crippled hoopty. My extremities go numb as I hike back to One On One, and for the time being I’m more than happy to huddle over a Café au Lait.

I’m rejoined by Hurl, Lockwood Topher and Brad soon enough, and the One On One mechanic has my bike fixed way before I’m ready to venture back into the cold. I soak up one last bit of heat while Lockwood swills his fifth beer of the afternoon, and once again the ice-cold wind is in my face as I struggle to keep Hurl in sight.