Just beneath the surface

April 27, 2018 § 3 Comments

Team Lizard Collectors is a pretty big outfit. It has about three hundred members, most of whom I’ve never met. There’s another contingent who I kind of know by sight but have never ridden with, or I’ve ridden with them briefly and talked to them briefly-er. Especially there’s a dude who sometimes shows up at Telo and rides around in a TLC jersey and a floppy black pair of shorts.

Last night I was at the Team Lizard Collectors Prayer Circle, which was being held in the Chapel of Beer at Strand Brewing Co. One of the dudes there was Floppy Black Shorts Dude. He was normally attired. As I nursed my craft water we started talking and exchanging the pleasantries that bike riders always do. “How’s the riding going?” “Got any carbon?” “Are we friends on the Stravver?” and etc.

It started out pretty normal but then took a hard left turn.

“I’m going pretty well,” he said. “Upgraded to Cat 4 and I’m pretty pleased with that.”

“You should be,” I said. “It’s hard to be that deranged and that old all at the same time.”

He laughed. “Well, I’ve come a long way.”

“We all have,” I agreed. “I came from Texas. I bet you haven’t come that far.”

He laughed good-naturedly. “Thirteen years ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d ever come out of the ICU.”

“Really? What happened?”

“I was at work one day in my boss’s office and I felt something go pop in my head, then I felt kind of light headed, and then I sprawled across his desk, cleared it off like a broom, and collapsed on the floor.”

“Dang. I bet he was surprised. Most people just say, ‘Can I have a raise, sir?'”

“Right. I lay there and fortunately he was ex-military and in a few minutes EMS was there and the next thing I knew I was in the ICU.”

“Not the best ending to a Monday.”

“Or any day. Because I had something called an arteriovenous malformation, or an AVM.”

“I’m no doctor, but anything with ten syllables or more sounds real fuckin’ bad.”

“Yeah, it is. It’s basically a malformed network of blood vessels in the brain, and if it’s your unlucky day, a vessel breaks and you stroke out.”

“Dogdamn. I guess you lucked out then?”

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“You didn’t have a stroke. I mean, you look fine and everything.”

“I totally stroked out. When I woke up I couldn’t move the left half of my body. The docs said I’d never walk again.”

“How long ago was this?”

“About thirteen years.”

“Then what?”

“I said ‘fuck that’ to the prognosis and decided I’d come back, even if I had to learn everything over again, which is what I did. First day of rehab they put a ball in my hand and I couldn’t even move my fingers. It took hours and days, man, just to be able to close my fingers around a ball, and once that happened, I had to learn the other thing.”

“What other thing?”

“How to let it go.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“I’m not. It was like that with everything. Standing, walking, using the left half of my face to talk, every possible use of my fingers, arm, hand, leg, foot.”

“How long did it take?”

“Years.”

“But I saw you out at Telo the other day, hammering like a madman. You look great.”

“I’ll never be 100% on my left side. My ankle is all messed up and never really recovered, so I have a bit of a limp and can’t run anymore. But I don’t care. I can walk. I can ride. I got my life back.”

I looked at him for a second. He had this incredible smile on his face, the smile of someone who has been where you never have, and returned from it alive. Someone whose toughness and fortitude go out to the very limits of human endeavor. Someone who appreciates the simple act of breathing in and breathing out, the true gift.

“You know the best part?” he asked.

“What?” I said.

“I work for the government, so in order to really get up into higher management, some degree of significant brain damage is mandatory.”

“Promotion!”

“You know it!” he grinned.

After a few minutes the Prayer Circle started and we all began praying to the deity of Leibert. But Floppy Shorts Dude, I’m pretty sure, was praying to something else.

END

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The Armenian way

April 19, 2018 § 35 Comments

It was 1980. The young immigrant stared with envy at the two riders and their shiny new Colnagos in Central Park. He’d been in the U.S. for two months and was riding to work every day on his beater bike to the body shop that paid him $80 a week. “Look at those bikes,” he said.

“You should go talk to them,” said his friend.

“I don’t speak English.”

“Bicycle,” his friend said. “You can say bicycle.”

The Armenian actually knew two English phrases. A relative had told him before he left his home in Yerevan, “In New York if they look at you friendly, say ‘Thank you.’ If they look at you bad, say ‘Fuck you.'”

He walked over to the two riders. “Thank you,” he said hesitantly. “I’m a bicycle.”

The two riders laughed. “What?”

“I’m a bicycle. A Russian bicycle.”

The two riders kept smiling. “What?”

The young Armenian, eighteen years old and a former member of the USSR’s national  junior road team, pointed to his thighs. “I’m a bicycle. Russian bicycle.”

The two racers conferred for a minute. One of them pulled out a slip of paper and dug a pen out of his saddle bag. “Call this number,” he said. Then they rode off.

The godfather of New York cycling

The young Armenian took the note over to his friend. “We gotta call this number.”

The two boys got back home and explained what had happened. The next day the friend dialed the number. “Hello?” answered an older man.

“I have friend, racing Russian team. Bicycle team. He got number Central Park.”

“Russian? Okay. Send him over then. I live at 72nd and Hudson.”

“What is your name, sir?”

“Mengoni. Fred Mengoni.”

The young Armenian showed up and rang the door. An elderly Italian gentleman dressed in silk pajamas answered the door. “Russian, eh?”

“Armenian,” said the boy’s friend. “We are Armenian. He rode Russian team, road bicycle racing.”

“That right?” Fred reached over and gave the young man’s thigh a hard squeeze. “Okay. Come on in.”

They went into the millionaire developer’s home and into his garage. “This is about right for you.” It was a 56 cm Benotto. “And these, too.” He handed the young man a pair of shorts and a jersey that said “G.S. Mengoni,” adorned with a pink collar signifying the Giro. “There’s a race in two weeks in Central Park. See you there.”

The young Armenian and his friend stood out in the street, wondering what had happened. Some stranger had given him a pro bike and a racing uniform and hadn’t even asked his name. Was this even real?

Big day

The Armenian, whose name was Hrach Gevrikyan, showed up on race day. It was a national class race, stacked with U.S. national team members. Hayman, Nitz, and a host of other legends rolled up to the line. With two weeks’ training on his legs, Hrach knew it was going to be a hard race; he suffered through to thirtieth place.

Afterwards, Mengoni came up to him. “You are terrible!” the old man said. “Thirtieth place? You’re no good at all.”

Hrach’s friend translated and the young man’s face fell. “Come over here,” he told his friend. “You translate every word I say. Every word.”

“Sir,” said Hrach. “You are a very kind man. You gave me a bicycle and a uniform and you gave me a chance to race for you. Thank you very much for your kindness. Here is your bicycle back. I will give you the uniform later, after I wash it.”

Mengoni stared, unmoved.

“But I have to tell you something, sir.” Hrach paused while everyone watched. “You don’t know shit about bike racing! You don’t know shit! Not even one tiny little piece of shit! I have two weeks training on my legs and I got thirtieth in this national race, with your best U.S. racers? You don’t know shit! I tell you this, old man, I didn’t get thirtieth. I got first! You understand that? First place!”

Silence reigned as the friend translated. Mengoni’s face never changed. “Are you finished?” he asked.

Hrach nodded.

The old man exploded. “You little motherfucker! No one ever talks to me like that! You little bastard! Who do you think you are?”

Hrach eyed him back. “I’m Hrach. And I know how to race a bicycle.”

Mengoni eyed him, suddenly calm again. “Nobody ever talks to me like that. I like you, boy. You can keep the bike and the jersey. There’s another race next week. Let’s see how you do.”

Paying for coffee

The following week’s race was also in Central Park but it was a local race. Hrach attacked early, rode the break, and made sure that every time he passed Mengoni he was driving the break. In the end he sprinted for third and Mengoni was ecstatic. “Coffee on me,” Mengoni waved to the assembled post-race crowd.

They followed him across the street where everyone ordered coffee and pastry. Mengoni went to the bathroom and while he was there Hrach quietly picked up the tab. Mengoni came out and asked for the check.

“It’s taken care of, sir,” said the waiter.

Mengoni was taken aback. “By whom?”

The waiter pointed to Hrach. “By him.”

Mengoni walked over to Hrach’s table. “All my life here I give to the races and to the racers. No one ever paid my bill.” Outside the cafe Mengoni asked him, “How much you make?”

“$80 a week, sir.”

“Here,” said Mengoni, peeling off eight hundred dollars. “You are on my team now.”

Hrach had made a friend for life.

Coors Classic and California

In 1981 Mengoni sent Hrach to the Coors Classic. Although teams were limited to six riders and he didn’t ride for Mengoni, a composite team out of Santa Barbara took Hrach on. He finished 16th overall in a year dominated by the Russian national team and won by Greg Lemond.

Upon returning to NYC, Mengoni met with Hrach. “I have a good connection with the Fiat development team in Italy,” he said. “They will take you and develop you for two years, then sell you to a professional team. This is your chance.”

“Can I think about it?” Hrach asked.

“Of course.”

The next day he went over to Mengoni’s. “I can’t do it,” he said.

“Why not? This is the chance of a lifetime.”

“My mother is ill and I have to stay with my family.”

Mengoni looked at him for a long time. “Then I have two things to say to you. One, I am sorry for you, giving up this thing that many people would die for. But two, as an Italian, I respect you for being a man who puts his family above all else.”

By 1984 Hrach had settled in California, where his family had moved. He had had serious knee problems that left him unable to race, despite surgery paid for by his friend Doug Knox. He began working at a friend’s bike shop in Santa Barbara, learning the trade.

Pasadena and family

A few years later he was working at a bike shop in Pasadena, and by 1988 he had opened his first shop and married his wife Nevrik. The shop was 580 square feet, and his wedding came at the same time he was struggling desperately to make ends meet. His friends from New York arrived for the wedding celebration a couple of weeks early, but Hrach was overwhelmed with his work. He had opened his shop with $5,000, an amount he considered a small fortune, and was facing harsh economic reality.

After a few days of being in town, a friend took him aside. “Hrach,” he said. “Where have you been? We are in town and we never see you.”

“I’m trying to keep my business afloat,” he said.

“What is the problem? Do you need money?”

“Yes, I’m trying to keep the doors open.”

“How much money do you need?”

“I guess another $5,000 to stay afloat.”

The friend pulled out a checkbook and wrote him a check. “Here,” he said. “You can repay me later.”

Hrach looked, astounded. It was for $20,000. “I don’t know what to say,” he said.

“You don’t have to say anything. But can we have some of your time now to celebrate your wedding?”

Deep roots

Thirty years later Hrach’s shop, Velo Pasadena, is one of the strongest, most well-known, and most successful independent bike shops on the West Coast. In addition to a glittering sales floor, crack mechanics, and knowledgeable salespeople, the shop still has the warm feel of a family affair. Every bike comes with a two-year free maintenance plan. Hrach works out of the same small office in back even as he is deeply involved in his Armenian community.

Above his head are photo albums from his racing career in Armenia and in the U.S. “I didn’t build my shop selling bicycles, I did it building customers. I have customers who have been coming here for thirty years. They trust me and here it’s a place they feel welcome. Before cell phones I would always get calls from their wives. ‘I know he’s there, Hrach, put him on the phone.'”

Over the years few people have done as much for the country’s cycling development as Hrach. In 1990, when Armenia split from the collapsed Soviet Union, he helped fund the team’s first national appearance in Bogota, Colombia. He also designed the national team uniforms, a design that the team still wears.

Hrach has donated bikes and clothing to youth cyclists throughout Armenia, and on May 2 of this year he is traveling there to accompany a shipment of 220 donated, brand new folding bikes as part of a community development project. “You can’t do good things in life and expect anything back. If you do, that’s not giving. But it always comes back, you just don’t know when or how. If you never give anything in life, you never get anything, either.”

And what about Armenia?

“As soon as I was able to do a little bit, I did. I want to help young people there, to give them a chance. This is where I am from, you know? I tell my son,” Hrach said when we spoke, “you can forget anything you want about your life. But never ever forget that you are Armenian.”

END

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Remembrance

April 10, 2018 § 7 Comments

I ran across this today while filing away photos. It was taken in January or February, 2017. A couple of months later he was gone.

But the trail he left behind was broad, and filled with good.

tilford_and_seth

END

The day the earth stood still-ish

February 16, 2018 § 4 Comments

It takes a lot to shock me when it comes to bicycling, but yesterday, pedaling home from a cup of coffee near the Center of the Known Universe, I got a shock. A big ‘un.

I was on Esplanade in Redondo Beach, about to start the ascent into Palos Verdes, when I saw a familiar bare back a couple of hundred yards ahead. Blonde hair, check. Jeans shorts, check. Work boots, check. Shirtlessness, check.

It could only be Shirtless Keith. And it was … I thought.

As I approached, though, the picture didn’t add up. Sure, that was Keith on a bike. But it wasn’t the bike, not by a long shot. Instead of his legendary Raleigh hybrid, 55-tooth single chain ring with a Pop-Tart strapped to the rear rack, Keith was riding a NEW BIKE.

And not just any new bike. This was a spit-polished, all chrome GT BMX single speed. I did a double take, then a triple, then a quadruple. “Hey, Keith,” I said. “What’s up with the new bike?”

“Aw,” he said, “my old one broke. Cracked the frame just before Christmas, and then the crank sheared off. She was just done.”

“How many miles did you have on that thing?”

“I dunno, but I logged 19,000 last year.”

“All in PV?”

“Yep.”

“That’s about 100 feet elevation per mile, so you’re at nearly 2 million feet.”

“I reckon so.”

“How many years you been riding that Raleigh?”

“Well, a real nice old lady gave it to me ten years ago, and it had a big wicker basket on the front, and I rode it a bunch, you know everything broke on that bike, but I could always fix it.”

“20,000 miles and 2 million feet of climbing a year for ten years works out to about 200,00 miles and 20 million feet. And I’ve seen you ride. You don’t go easy. I’m not sure that bike was designed to handle that kind of riding.”

“It was time for a change with that cracked frame.”

“How do you like the new ride?”

“I like it. It’s got a beefy rear hub, real solid. Bike weighs 34 pounds, which is nice; the Raleigh was about 36, so I’m actually saving some weight.”

“What about the single speed?”

“It’s okay. I don’t mind it.”

“How’d you get into riding, anyway?”

“Like I said, lady gave me that Raleigh and I just started riding it, couple laps around the hill, one lap is about 22 miles, and then I lost a bunch of weight and was having cardio problems and some other issues but they all cleared up.”

“How much did you weigh when you started?”

“230.”

“How much are you now?”

“About 170. That’s a good weight. Anything less and I start eating too much.”

By now we were going up Silver Spur, a really steep climb followed by Basswood-Shorewood, which are even steeper. Keith cruised up the hills, chatting and not even breaking a sweat.

“People are gonna be surprised seeing you on that new bike.”

“Yeah,” he said. “But it was time.”

We parted company, me to go home and rest, Keith to knock out the remainder of his 65-mile ride. I still couldn’t get over the sight of Shirtless Keith on anything other than the Raleigh + Pop-Tart. There was hardly a rider on the Hill who hadn’t been dropped by Keith and his legendary rig. The new bicycle sparkled as he rode away with a wave.

END

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shirtless_keith

Morning commute

February 12, 2018 § 5 Comments

I had moved to my aunt’s apartment in Hoya City on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line, and it was a long way to my office in Kanda. This was in the summer of 1987. From her apartment I had to walk about five minutes to the station and then endure a 30-minute ride to Ikebukuro Station.

I say “endure” but it was so much more than that. The trains were only marginally cooled and the outside weather was deep-fried hot and humid. As the platform packed tighter and tighter with the swell of riders, the tension rose in synch with the temperature. Thankfully I was tall and once we were crushed onto the train I had breathing space and and could see above the crowd.

But even so it was murderously hard; with each stop the car got more and more jammed until by the time we were flushed out onto the platform in Ikebukuro many of us were simply gasping for air, our hearts pounding and heads swimming from the claustrophobia. Of course there were always people who simply broke down en route, sobbing, shivering uncontrollably, even howling.

And then I had a few minutes to hustle over to the next platform and take the train to Kanda Station, another thirty minutes of hell, ejected, always, soaked in sweat and swearing that there was no way I could do it again. Until of course I had to do it again.

I’d get to my office at Kanda Gaigo Gakuin and sit down, rumpled and head pounding and miserable. The desk across from mine was occupied by Middle-Aged Angry Dude. MAAD had fled the draft in ’71 and come to Japan, a place he seemed to hate. Even though Carter had pardoned the draft dodgers he had dug his trench and, at age 38, intended to lie in it forever. “Mind if I smoke?” he said my first day of work, blowing fumes across my desk.

“Yes,” I said.

“Tough shit,” he laughed. I didn’t say anything but he stared at me. “You’ll hate it here,” he said confidently. “Unless you start smoking a lot, and drinking a lot more.” He paused. “Actually, you’ll still hate it, but it will dull the reality of how much they hate you.”

“Fuck off,” I said.

“See? You’re already rattled. I bet it’s the commute. Don’t worry. It will grind you down into a pulp. It should be fun to watch. You know how many young pups I’ve seen sit in that desk?”

I looked up at him. “None from Texas, apparently.”

He laughed, uncertainly. “What makes you say that?”

“Because you’ve still got all your fucking teeth.”

That shut him up for a bit, but Angry Dude wasn’t far off about the commute. It got to the point where I would go to bed shivering in fear of the commute, and there must have been hundreds of thousands of prisoners just like me. I’d lie there in my futon and imagine being on the platform, being squeezed, being sweated against, watching people melt down, counting the minutes until I would get to dash out, catch my breath, and repeat.

And this was only the first week …

On Sunday night, the beginning of my second week, I decided to go to bed at 8:00, get up at 3:00, and do an early morning ride that would hopefully put me in a better frame of mind for the train commute. I hopped out of my futon, silently pulled on my riding gear, and slid out the front door. Tokyo was motionless and silent and black.

I’d consulted my map before going to bed and headed up Ome-Kaido for about an hour, then continued up into the hills. I saw an occasional car. The air was clean and the only sounds were my tires on the pavement and the clicking of my rear derailleur as I’d upshift to meet the continually ascending road. After a while I turned around, got lost a bit, and found my way back to Hoya by 7:00. The city was in full morning rage mode, of course.

I hopped in the shower and got ready to go do battle with the train when I had a funny thought. “Why not just ride to work? It couldn’t take much longer than the train.”

I reviewed my Tokyo City Map again, then jumped back on my Tommasini. I hopped onto Inokashira Kaido and followed the streets, all senses on max alert as I navigated the close but respectful millimeters of Tokyo rush hour traffic. Freed from the train cage, no longer having to gaze out of the little steamed-over rectangular periscope windows, I was able to take in the city, legs churning, blood pumping, wind cooling my head as it coursed through my liberated, unhelmeted hair. After a while I was smack in the middle of Kanda, where I worked. I locked my bike, skipped up the stairs and into the air conditioned building, and then slid in front of my desk, ten minutes to spare.

Angry Dude’s eyes were bloodshot and he stank of cigarette smoke. “What are you in such a good mood for?” he growled.

I leaned back in my chair and looked him over slowly, cataloging his thinning hair, baggy eyes, puffy jowls, and sagging breasts. “Nothin’,” I said.

END

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Hard lean

February 11, 2018 § 5 Comments

It’s funny how you can remember certain things very clearly. I don’t know how many times I have gone fast around a corner in my life, but I bet it’s a bunch. Of all the times, though, there is one turn I remember more than any other.

It was around Christmastime in 1989. I was living in Bad Godesberg with my wife and daughter, at the Studentenwohnheim Rheinallee. Most days before school I would hop on my blue Eddy Merckx, drop down to the river and go up the bike path a couple of miles to the bridge at Hochkreuz. From there I’d cross over and ride in the hills along the river for an hour or two, then cross back over and come home.

In winter it was always good riding. Wet, cold, and lots of cobbled, stony roads that zigged up, zagged down, and never had any traffic. One of the places I always ended up was on a dead end called Adriansberg, in  Königswinter. It was a brute climb and ended in gravel for the last couple of hundred yards. From there I’d drop back over to Dollendorfer Street and bomb full bore back into  Königswinter.

There was one huge hook turn, a right-hander, and this was decades before Strava so I never knew how fast it was, but it was fast, screamingly fast, all-in fast, so fast that you made yourself small, leaned, leaned, leaned, leaned, and then popped back up like a cork, zooming on back to the Rhine and safety and home. I did that descent so many times that I kind of forgot how fast it was. Of course I’d see it, set up for it, lean into it, and get a little thrill, but then continue on with my ride … special but not that special.

Anyway, this particular December my good friend Jeff Fields had come to visit, and he’d brought his bike. Do you know what kind of friend brings his bike to ride with you in winter in Germany? A good friend, that’s what kind. Jeff was also a real, real good bike handler. I had never seen him fall, or even come close to falling. He had nerves of steel.

Jeff had raced in Belgium and knew what he was in for, so we suited up and rolled out in that light freezing drizzle. “Any fool can ride home in a cold rain,” Jeff always liked to say, “but it takes a hard bastard to start out in it.”

We crossed the river and began doing the climbs in the Siebengebirge, the beautiful expanse of hills on the far side of the Rhine. When we got to Adriansberg, we were pretty done, but we raced up it anyway. As we headed home, gathering speed down Dollendorfer Street, I rolled in front of Jeff. “I know the route,” I said. He nodded.

In a flash the turn was there, and we were absolutely flying. I’d done it a hundred times before, in harder rain and worse weather than this. Unusually, there was traffic in the other direction, so it crossed my mind, fleetingly, that this would be a bad day to lay it down and slide into the oncoming travel lane.

The turn reared up in front of me but I wasn’t scared. My tires were glued on well, they had plenty of tread, I was running them slightly underinflated to make them stickier, and when the g’s began to pull I  leaned against their tug, the bike pushing farther and farther and farther, the road getting closer and closer and closer, until it popped back up, just like it always did, squirting me out of the apex like the world’s most well-lubed watermelon seed.

A minute later Jeff caught up to me. He grabbed my jersey. “Hey,” he said.

I looked and he was absolutely white, a hue I’d never seen on his face before. “Yeah?”

“That turn,” he said. “I thought you were going down. No way you were going to hold that.”

“Oh, that? I do it all the time.”

He shook his head and let go. “Never seen anything like that in my life.”

A lot of things went through my head just then, not least of which being that Jeff had trained and raced with some of the world’s best. Suddenly I started shaking from fear, but it was too late, I’d already won.

END

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Loose shoes

February 9, 2018 § 6 Comments

When I was a kid the best way to pick music was by rifling through my brother’s album collection. Whatever he was listening to was cool. There was great risk associated with such rifling in the form of an ass-whupping, because of all the places little brother wasn’t allowed, no place was as off-limits as the record collection.

Still, I managed to learn a lot by sneaking into his room and listening to his music, and my biggest junior high discovery ever was Foghat. I’d curl up in his beanbag chair and listen to Night Shift, or maybe swap out Foghat Live and jam to the rock and roll in that big, empty house. I liked Foghat so much I took to carving “Fog” onto the various desks I rotated through in 7th Grade. If you didn’t know what that meant, I was pretty sure there was no need speaking to you.

I jammed on Foghat right up until 1980; I still remember the day. I was standing in a 7-11 at the counter, staring at the albums as I waited to check out. In those days 7-11 sold record albums, true necessities of life along with milk and cigarettes. That’s when I saw Foghat’s new album, “Tight Shoes.” My heart fell down into my socks. I could tell from that album cover that it was going to be a worthless record. What was worse, I knew that they’d never make any good albums again.

 

I don’t know how I knew, but I was right. “Tight Shoes” got zero airplay and I never heard so much as a single track. Foghat got muscled off the stage thanks to punk and New Wave, and I never heard of them again, and never thought of them again, until a few weeks ago when I started loosening the laces on my cycling shoes. It had occurred to me after reading up on the effect of “pushing down” versus “pulling up” on the pedals that since the pulling up thing was a complete myth, you probably didn’t have to tie your shoes too tightly to get the benefit of pushing down.

I compared notes with Surfer Dan, who confirmed that he never laced his shoes tightly, and so I have spent the last many weeks riding with my lace-ups barely laced. You can’t believe how comfortable it is to barely lace your shoes, and it makes zero difference to pedaling, speed, climbing, sprinting, or anything else. Loose shoes really bump up your foot quality of life, too, releasing pressure on toes and maybe even one day resulting in you not having ten black toenails.

After this great bit of experimentation, well, that’s when I thought of “Tight Shoes” and Foghat, and I wondered if I’d been harsh, abandoning my fave band because of a bad title and lousy album art. First I got on YouTube and listened to a couple of tracks from Night Shift. Yep, them fellers could rock and roll. I hadn’t been wrong about that.

Next I listened to a couple of tracks from “Tight Shoes.” Man, that music sucked. No wonder they fell off the edge of the earth. I thought about having wandered a bit down memory lane and realized, not for the first time, that it’s always rockier than you remember it.

But at least I wear my shoes loose now.

END

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About Cycling in the South Bay: This the all-things-cycling blog about cycling in the South Bay and cycling in Los Angeles, maintained and authored by me, Seth Davidson, Torrance-based bicycle lawyer, bike racer, and personal injury attorney.

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