Saturday, August 2, 2014


You Can't Always Get What You Want
Enigmatic lyrics from a different century echo through my mind as I stand here typing at five in the morning. I am home now, home for the first time in twenty five days. August is upon us and that means lots of heavy rain and even heavier heat but what of that? This is Florida. This is what happens here in the last half of summer and if ya don't like it, move to France or Mars or one of those places where everybody else lives. Me, I'm a Trailer Park Cyclist and bad weather and sultry realities are part of what makes up the wild ride I am on and bicycles, too.

What About the Bicycles?
Miss Daisy the Yellow Dog (ever a steadfast companion) is fixated on a chameleon that is driving her mad, changing colors and dashing about the trailer in an effort to escape her stern doggy gaze. This lizard is big and lithe and overfed, an obvious recipient of my open-hearted generosity. There are holes in the screens, you see, and when you abandon a crappy trailer for weeks at a time in the heart of a Florida summer, There Will Be Bugs. I only mention the chameleon in context with the bicycles. Here is what happened. Daisy, banging through the bike shop/living room in pursuit of this slithering lizard ghost, knocked over the recently painted frame of Little Miss Dangerous, my 1981 Schwinn Super LeTour dream machine. Immediately recalcitrant, she bows her head in apology but then thrusts forward yet again, ever in pursuit of this rascally reptile who I know; I know this lizard, it has been hanging out around my writing table for quite awhile now and he is welcome here, in my home. I really don't seem to have a choice in the matter, chameleons come and go at their own discretion and if only I could get my Yellow Dog to grasp that all things not-canine are not necessarily adversaries I think her world and mine would be a far more peaceful place.

Hang In There
But dogs and lizards have their own agendas, as do I: sitting here on the table next to the antique (XP!) Dell 6000 computer that I utilize for my ramblings and ravings, sitting here in spectacular black leather glory is a Brooks B-17 Imperial bicycle saddle. I have the wrench and the kooks at Brooks also included some red white and blue lacing tied to the rails. I don't know what these lacings are for or if Brooks does this for every customer but for now I will imagine that it was done just for me.

Home Again
It all ties together, this bicycle seat and the knocked-over frame, the chameleon and the all ties together. Stripped of parts, Little Miss has spent the last three weeks baking in an un-air conditioned trailer. Her new paint, a silver and black metal-flake rattle-can job applied by a pro (me) is really cool and a a diametric opposite of the flat black of two years ago. The flat black was sweet and murdered-hip, but it was also soft and easily scratched and this will be, probably, the last rebuild for Little Miss. So she gets a snappy-shiny paint job and about ten coats of clear gloss spray and she gets all-new drive parts; here on my bench is a new crankset and chain and derailleur and tires and everything. Everything. This bicycle has changed my life. I owe her a lot, really. The first post of this Booger, Coyote Brings Me A Bicycle (Project), tells all about the way I found a new path and new friends and in many ways a new reality.

And Again
Meanwhile, the fat chameleon has sneaked around and sits here now, inches away, glaring at me. I am his friend, but he doesn't know that yet. The Yellow Dog is outside on the porch, greeting the new day. Me? I'm out of rum and beer at sunrise; a new day is dawning and I am without beer and rum but I am ready. I am ready and Little Miss will soon enough be decked out in her new array and it will be a good last half of this year, this future-time, this 2014.

Of this I am certain.

Yer pal, tj
Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Reptile Refuge

August 1, 2014