Tuesday, July 29, 2008



True story:
Jon Beard and I were approached by the pigs while gathering materials for the maze czechpoint out of a dumpster that happened to have chuck mangione and simon and garfunkel records in it.

We looked really sketchy, of course, if you've seen the truck we borrowed you'd understand why - an 80's F-150 with spray paint camo on it (rust, primer and black colors), a gun rack and "i support same sex marriage" stickers. On top of that the back was full of pallets and cardboard, and we're not super trustworthy looking and behind businesses at 2 AM. Cop 1 asked Jon Beard what we were doing and Jon said "gathering materials for a huge maze BUT WOULD YOU BELIEVE SOMEONE WAS THROWING OUT THIS SIMON AND GARFUNKEL RECORD?! (interrobang)."


Cop 2 came up to the opening of the dumpster to bring me into view (i was inside the dumpster) and asked both of us for ID. Both of our licenses are suspended, too, and we had obviously drove the truck in there. The ran the ID and we shot the shit about simon and garfunkel - and let me add, i have no nice feeings towards cops so this was kind of a stretch for me, but we needed to considering the circumstances. They must have come back suspended and they asked whose truck it was - i told them the truth that it was a friends that we were borrowing and they said that was cool and let us continue on. WEIRD.

On the one hand it was awesome to not get arrested for the law applicable - after all, until a dump truck picks up trash, it's still property of whomever threw it out, and courts have decided that dumpster diving is definitely theft. Driving on a suspended license got another (less white - racist pig assholes) friend, vivek, arrested and held for a couple days. So i can only deduce that we were unwillingly the beneficiaries of societal white privilege, and for that we felt really guilty as well, and although that won't get us anywhere - it was an eyeopener for some already-open eyes. Cops are usually racist - so is most of society - and that's fucked up.

Monday, July 28, 2008


photos by sleazyk and shortformelissa

Thanks to everyone! EVERYONE made this weekend awesome! Thanks for participating, planning, running czechpoints, running around, running materials from dumpsters to allisons, running, washing, baking and watching the clock for potatoes, hammering corner molding into the ground and duck taping mirrors and blinds and cardboard to it, letting us make a maze out of your back yard (and being a little late cleaning it all up), letting us use polo mallets, being you, waking up early, staying out late, starting a band, playing shows, jousting with me and getting people interesting in trying it, coming out, riding yr bike day in day out, etc.

The Rat's Summary:
starting the night before

At Black Box the night before, I started getting anxious about the race the next morning and how much more still needed to be done for it to run smooth. I'm somewhat of a chronic (yet selective) procrastinator, so the morning looked like:
1. wake up early (how early? 7 am!)
2. go pick up potatoes and water bottles
3. go home and wash the potatoes and put them into big apw pans
4. preheat oven to 400 degrees
5. start stressing the manifest and getting google maps to work in our favor
6. email jon beard the manifest stuff to print
7. get ready to go to allison's to make the maze
8. realize the potatoes can't be cooked at my house while i'm at allisons - they're thrown in the borrowed truck
9. almost forgot to turn off the oven
10. went to allisons and unloaded the water and potatoes in the driveway and start to unload the materials for the maze
11. get a mean hankering for some coffee
12. left to go get coffee
13. stopped by johns house to help with google maps
14. truck runs outta gas as i pull into the space
15. frustrated internet torment leads to badly hand-drawn map
16. dug my bike out of the pile of cardboard in the truck to go to the gas station for a can and a gallon of the good stuff
17. rode back and replaced bike under cardboard
18. jon and i left to go back to the gas station for more gas
19. got broke as hell and some coffee and headed to allison's where we met .steve who had arrived with bike trailer with surly prizes and 100 hand-tape-laminated spoke cards that took him until 3 AM the previous night to make
20. unloaded more and made the maze - the crawl method was accepted as the only way people wouldn't just see the easy way through (as the walls were only waist-height).
21. stressed the manifest more - clock ticked and we went to party store, not party city, after almost giving up on the place existing on colonial - bought face paint markers
22. scoped fashion square on the way to office depot - bank of america was decided as the first place there for people to go
23. ran into office depot - .steve had a cd and we (well, I) forgot to put the map on it (we had one that would work) - i put the draft of the manifest, instead of the final one - it didn't have the address for allison's house. Only cd we had - printed it up - were going to just scam the copies because we didn't even have enough for the copies we made - we were about to make the second batch (and pay for 5, not 100) until i got the forboding feeling that we'd get a skeptical look because we'd been standing next to this whirring copier for way longer than the time required to print 5 copies. The cashier guy only rang us up for 85 so we could pay after i fucked up by telling him we'd already made 100 double-sided copies.
24. mad dash to black box, vitamin water brought us energy drinks, not vitamin water and we all wished it was the former cos the latter made our stomachs hurt.

Getting there late pushed everything else back, but in all 40 people registered. Kim made awesome vegan cupcakes that made a nice chaser to my gastro-pancake/vitamin energy/agave nectar-concoction. See below:

This happy camper loved them too!

We set up our beautiful prizes - at great challenge, i might add, for their numbers and the smaller size of the table! Thanks, sponsors!

Got us some emergency volunteers, Thanks Gus, Leilani and Kim!

And soon enough the racers were off! I had to scramble to get to my czechpoint before the riders did! damn truck!

After hearing mixed stories of luck and misfortune regarding items and czechpoints, and clearing up what a sabal palm was, it was nearly 4 so we headed back to the warehouse and Mandy and Garrett kindly kept order of those who got back before us. From there it was a funny time trying to score manifests and validate findings. Many items that were on the list we never thought anyone would get, i.e. road cones, rebar (peeking out from a concrete boulder, no less, big "ups" to jeremy) and a bar stool! more than that, some people even vandalized hummers and confederate flags! AMAZING!

In the end, Team Andrea and Mark, umm Team Andreark? won it with 171 points, they got some prizes, we did some rando prizes then pretty much threw the rest. i think many people got something at least, which felt nice to be able to do.

I can't believe this picture! so dramatic! hahahahahahaha

More Photos can be seen at:

shortformelissa's flickr


sleazyk's myspace

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Rat was sweet today - RV threw us a major curveball, that we couldn't use the paved area in front of the warehouse at all - because he'd be doing a yardsale. interesting. that squished out jousting and the mini-relay, then nobody brought mini bikes, except the 3 jon beard and i got. Joey at Kyle's hooked us up with this shitty bmx bike for bike toss which didn't really happen either. Norms workshop was dope though, and allthough many people knew everything (or just about everything) he said, he said so much that i think there was at least something new there for everyone. Norm is an awesome guy who's son, Morgan, helps out with food not bombs. One day norm brought us a huge stack of the last 10 years of adbusters magazine he'd been saving.

Polo happened and did it happen. there were a bunch of people and some pretty intense matches. I, regrettably, donned my old pair of boots this morning because my sneakers were wet still (all 3 pairs, somehow, not including the "porch pair" that i set there to dry, but always get rained on), and even more unfortunately, the boots just wouldn't fit in my clips, a few people there had never even seen bike polo and for their first time got to witness orlando's best (and only - that is, minus rape van mike, mike palmer and metha, the mvp).

Getting back to Black Box, i was starting to have my doubts considering the curveball and murphy's law having made some of the start of the day go a little awry, but the show was great, we started fucking around with the mini bikes (8"ers) and doing silly shit with them. Keri and I started just running into eachother and into scott, then i remembered we still had some jousting lances that jon beard and i walked miles to commandeer pvc for. thus began the belated jousting on 8' bikes - it was really difficult as sitting and pedaling a bike of such small size makes for a nearly impossible task (heels-scraping-ass impossible), so we started having a "pusher" person to get the bikes moving. the boxing gloves fell off the lances a couple times, too before people seemed to get sick of it.

during monikers set scott (their drummer) drunk drooled, which was pretty funny, then doffed his shirt (already having doffed the pantalones before the show) and started going apeshit and running around the crowd for their last song.

later still, after leaving, jon and i had a run in with orlando's finest while acquiring materials for tomorrow ha. silly us.

SVCAVENGER RAT TOMORROW - REGISTRATION NOON - RACE 1:30 - BRING A BAG AND A DIGITAL CAMERA/CAMERA PHONE - single riders or groups of two allowed - $5 - all proceeds go to black box

Friday, July 25, 2008


Critical MASS!

There were easily 200 people today! AWESOME! I remember rained out masses when i first moved here in summer of 2006 that had only 6 people. Way to represent that shit! Of course there were several encounters with drivers who were critical of our mass, one said to me (startlingly calm, actually) that if we as bicyclists wanted cars to share the "right to the road" that we need to in turn give cars their right to the road too (this as his pickup truck was stopped jutting 10 feet into the mass with myself and some other determined corkers making sure he didn't try to plow further.

His commentary really made me think, though:
If we wanted our right to ride in the road, we'd have to yeild that right to the cars, he explained. As in, if we really thought we deserved the rights the law gives us regarding use of public streets, a right continuously denied to us or intimidated out of us on our daily commutes, joyrides, group rides, etc.; we really just ought to let cars do it more‽ (interrobang?!).

I say FUCK THAT. His simple ignorance of the fact that a lot of cyclists are themselves drivers, not inside their cars, that we have the SAME right to the road that they do, and that there's no way in hell he'd do the same thing if we were a bunch of cars driving down the road - that'd be traffic. We too are traffic, and i mass because i can't stand the status quo vehicular elitism - i don't want to share the road, cars have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the ineffectiveness of such a "nice" slogan (and "share the road" tag-owners are part of the problem too) to improve safety and RESPECT for bicyclists. Bikesnob had it right when he said the drivers can have the highways, everything else is ours.


Thursday, July 24, 2008



"Very bad or very good, depending on the context and the age of the speaker.
Yabai is an adjective denoting that something is bad or dangerous. Its original connotations were that the speaker felt he or she was in imminent danger or was about to be inconvenienced. The word is thought to derive from slang used by professional thieves and con artists and was already in use by the late Edo Period (1603-1868), when it was pronounced yaba. Some say it derives from the word ayabui, meaning dangerous.

Yabai began to take on a broader meaning in the 1980s as young people started using it to mean "uncool." As in the past, it still carried a negative connotation. That changed in the 1990s, however, when young people started using it in a positive sense to mean "very good" or "delicious," in much the same way that the English words bad and wicked have at times taken on positive connotations among younger generations. The colloquial pronunciation of the word, yabeh, is also popular.

An opinion poll conducted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in July 2005 found that 18.2% of people use yabai to mean "great." The practice was particularly common among young people: More than 70% of boys aged 16-19 had used the word in a positive sense, while the ratio for girls in the same age range was over 60%. (November 1, 2005)"

(click for larger version)

bleak future unlikely to car culture
no future to car culture
final end of ultimate tyranny
there exist no room in bike lanes
punx will rule the streets

jitensha wa yabai desu