Our boy Response is back on tour and livin’ the vida loca. Whatever the hell that means.
My bike is my armorWell, my bike was stolen here in China. It was $60 usd new. So no major loss. Or so I thought.
I had ridden a few miles off the beaten track to the fair grounds to see the 60th anniversary of Chinese Communism festivities. My bike was swiped while I was walking around inside the fair.
Nothing to do but walk home. Evening had set in and the hazy autumn sun sunk slowly into Guangzhou. I noticed that the streets seemed strange and different. Somehow the buildings, houses and vacant lots that I had breezed by on my bike, now seemed unfriendly and sinister. There was none of the usual “hello” being cast in my direction by locals testing their one or two words of English. People had time to study me as I inched through the dense neighborhoods. The local tough guys looked a lot tougher now I am moving at brisk 4 mph and standing 6 inches shorter than when mounted on my bike. After my bro recently got his gold chain snatched in broad daylight, I knew that these guys can be Kung Fu fast and have balls of steel.
I realized at that point, my bicycle is my armor. It protects me from harm and speeds me to safety. (If I was as tough as old pistol pete, it could be used as a weapon as well). My bike hardens my muscles, puts calluses on my hands and stretches my lungs, amplifying my strength and forcing life into my body. My bike sharpens my senses and reflexes, testing my limits, making me tougher and more secure.
My bike is my translator. It sends a message of good will and trust to all who observe my gentle passage. It tells a story of my interest in the community and desire to keep the environment clean and my carbon footprint small. It shows my willingness to adopt the local ways and my respect for the common man.
My bike is my friend. It tells me stories of adventure and romance. It carries beautiful women on its padded rear rack and charms them with its confidence, imparting a sense of freedom with its smooth effortless movements. It wakes me up in the middle of the night to tell me jokes so I laugh myself back to sleep. My bike always wants to hang out after work, go for a cruise or even hang out in the garage, listen to music, drink a few beers and play with tools. On rainy days, we go and play in the puddles and try not to drink the gutter water.
My bike is my business partner. It carries my tools and sundries for work. Also, my bike shows the local vendors that I am CHEAP, too cheap (and practical) to own a car and too cheap to pay full price for their goods. My bike has a strong work ethic and seldom calls in sick for work.
My bike must be replaced immediately! I smiled and changed my course to the nearest reputable bike shop…
I hope the new owner of my stolen bike lives to be 110 and their whole family becomes rich…
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