Dec 3, 2010
THE ICEMAN CRASHETH!
Thanks, again to everyone who submitted their essays to our Dump On Us contest. And a hearty applause for our finalists. Tater salad disaster man started with a strong lead but lost steam as a head-to-head battle waged between our winner and a sad tale of spilled suds and homework. Thanks to all who voted and chimed in with your favorite dump story. Now, for the crowd pleaser:
The Iceman Crasheth
I volunteered, as I usually do, to pickup the ice for the concession stand to one of our summer swim meets at our local pool. Instead of getting the 22 needed ten pound bags of ice with my Ford Ranger, I thought I would try to show that my Xtracycle could do this run as well. I had to go only a mile and a half to a 7/11, then less than a mile to the pool with the ice. The side panniers quickly filled, bulging both out and into the rear wheel. So now I started putting the ice bags cross ways, like building a wood pile, on the padded Magic Carpet rack top. The bike acted like it was trying to squirm out from under the load, so I leaned it against the big glass windows in the front of the 7/11. I think I had six or so bags in each pannier and a mound of 10 on the rack. I then ran a strap around the top bags under the rack and lengthwise, pinching the bag pile across its midsection. I started slowly, feeling little control but moving fine with the mountain bike’s granny gear. A small rut seemed to throw my whole operation loose, and then everything was listing to the left and I heard even more rubbing on the rear wheel. No stopping now, I though, and kept going hard, picking up speed. It was seven in the morning on a Saturday so there was nobody in my way in our suburbs. Approaching the entrance to the community pool I hit another bump which shifted my top cargo so far to the left that I now couldn’t stop from turning left, which felt like it was going to end badly. I strategically crashed into a neighbors shrub which kept my X and cargo upright. I felt like an old guy riding a huge Harley, knowing that if I drop it in front of the Starbucks, I will not be able to lift it back up. From my holding spot in the shrub, I regrouped, shimmied my cargo back closer to center and pushed off for the last quarter mile. Into the pool grounds I went to amazed looks of fellow early morning setter uppers. They didn’t know that I was pedaling hard to try to get as close to the concession stand as I could before I went over. Faster and faster until finally, about 50 yards from my destination, I went over in soft grass, ice bags flopping off but only one bursting open. Immediately, a wiseacre 12 year old boy roared with laughter and told me how funny I looked (payback from a Greek God who punishes wise guys from New Jersey for having done this in their youth). I had learned something about the outer limits of my X.
Somewhere near a pool
You Get an “F” for Effort
So I’m coming back from teaching. I have an open bag full of homework to check and I decide, “what goes better with homework than beer?” Since I live in the Commonwealth of PA, you can’t get 6 packs, so I have to get a case. I stop off at the beer store and get a case of PA’s finest, Yuengling for those unaware, and head back out to the dummy to load it up. At this time I was using a pletscher stand. So with all the joy I can muster at the thought of grading homework I load up the case of beer and strap it in. Faster than I can believe it actually happened, the dummy fell to the beer side, off the sidewalk and down the one foot drop to the parking lot. I was so busy being morally offended at the sound of broken glass that I failed to notice the slowly pooling puddle of suds. Once the leaking beer made it through my addled brains, I next had to process that at least half the bag of loose homework had fallen into said puddle. I just went ahead and called in sick the next day.
Octoberfest F*#!ck Up
I live in the mountains of Evergreen, Colorado. Working less than a mile from my job (a fine dining server), the X runs me to work most days.
There is also a huge community park that I walk/ride through to get to work that holds all kinds of different events. The last and most notable being a great Oktoberfest celebration, were we feed folks all kinds of Brats, Weinerschitzel, etc… When setting up for those events, I bring my bike and shuttle back and forth grabbing gear, food, whatevs. So as we are finally set up and already have a huge line, Chef says “Crap! I forgot the potato salad, Allan, can you handle it?!” “No worries” I say and I’m off. Get back to the restaurant and load up (clipped to the top, about 40 lbs of really great potato salad) and pedal back. No problem. Pull up and everyone is cheering the arrival of potato salad (drunk at 10am is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon) as we have already started feeding people. I hop off and drop the kickstand and start to unload when my chef says something to me so I turn around. As I do that, I hear a growing noise from the crowd. I turn around just in time to see the kickstand bury into the grass and a shitload of potato salad go EVERYWHERE. There were cheers, boos, and angry drunks who apparently love potato salad jeering. Granted, it didn’t stop a few folks from grabbing some off the ground (It’s a really good dill potato salad).
I then got to spend an hour picking it up off the grass. Not a great way to start Oktoberfest, but a few sympathetic souls did buy me beers!
While this story didn’t involve a kickstand, but rather a trackstand, we wanted to post it as an honorable mention. Take it away, Anne!
A year or so ago Tim and I were visiting friends in Portland. After a
lovely dinner, our friend Vincent found himself without a ride home.
We had an Xtracycle and my Oma, so an extra passenger was no problem.
I handed my “ladies” bike off to Vincent and hopped on Tim’s SnapDeck.
Tim relished the challenge: 5 miles through Portland on a warm summer evening while toting a skirt-wearing, side-saddle-sitting passenger.
That is, until we got stopped at a long red light. I should mention
Tim has this thing about doing track stands at stoplights, even when
the kids are on board. And though I weigh a bit more than the kids, he
wasn’t stopping the practice on my account. And did I mention *this*
track stand was ONE-handed? He seemed to think capturing video of
Vincent’s maiden night ride on the step-through Mom’s bike trumped the safety of a real Mom on the SnapDeck
You’re probably getting the image, right? All it took was a slight
weight shift and we went down. Picture a slow-motion tumble,
eventually dumping me on the pavement with my legs in the air and my
Luckily only my pride was injured (and even that didn’t take too much
of a beating because I was laughing so hard).
All this could have been avoided with the Kickback. The center stand
stability means Tim can still pretend he’s a wizard track-standing
videographer, while I can keep better control of who sees my
(for proof that this really did occur, read Vincent’s comment on this post)