Sunday, November 20, 2005

Cranks-Fucking-Giving


If you ride your bike in the city and you've every wondered what it's like to be a messenger, I highly suggest that you do an alleycat. This particular one is more like a really really fast canned food drive. Laura and I did it together and it was kick ass. Basically, the race went like this:

The Start:

2:00: 34th street and 11th ave.: Laura is nervous then I get nervous as we wait for about a half hour for the race to begin. I need to pee.
2:30: We're all given manifests and Laura and I choose our route. I think about peeing in the Javitz center but then I'm told the race is about to begin.
2:45: We're told that the race is about to begin and we put our rear wheels against this round raised platform.
2:46: The guy in the above photo (the organizer) announces that he's going to check every single person's bag to make sure that they didn't already buy canned food so that they could cheat. Apparently, in the 7 years of Cranksgiving there's been no crashes, but plenty of cheating.k
2:47: The last scragglers come in, are yelled at a little, and then belly-up to the starting line.
2:48: GO GO GO GO GO MOTHERFUCKER GO!!!

First Stop:
We race down the West Side Highway bike path. I really need to pee.
We zoom into the Gristedes on South End Avenue in Battery Park City. The plan is that I would lock the bikes, Laura would go in and use her superior grocery shopping skills to find the item (apple sauce). Once the bikes were locked, I would go in and wait in line. We do Just that and are out in no time at all. On the way in, some guy saw us locking our bike together and said to Laura "that's cheating". He's just fucking with her, but she doesn't know this. We take off.

Second Stop:
We go back up the west side highway and cross over at 18th street. I now have to pee so much that it is distracting me pretty bad. I pulled over, yelled at Laura that I needed to pee and she stood guard and yelled at me to hurry up as I pissed my brains out in some doorway. I emerge as a new fucking man, babbling on and on about how fucking good my piss was to Laura who doesn't respond. We have to get to the Gristedes on 20th and 1st avenue, we decide to cross over at 18th street and preceed to hit every single freaking light on the way over. Laura is getting a little discouraged right now, since she can't see any of the other racers and feels that we've "lost the race". We soldier on and reach the Gristedes. Laura at this point has taken to heart the "that's cheating" comment about locking bikes together and insists on locking her bike up at a pole on her own. I try to argue, but it's no use. We run in together and each grab a small sack of potatoes. The Gristedes is swamped with about 10 other bug-eyed messengers running up and down the aisles. As we're paying in line I realize that we are at this point ahead of this guy named Yak who is one of the fastest guys in town. I tell this to Laura as we run out. As Laura is unlocking her bike I remind her that this is a messenger race, there are no freaking rules and she finally gets that this guy was just fucking with her head. It's a load off both of our minds.

Third Stop:
We haul balls up first ave and hook over at 40th street, swoosh the wrong way over 40th street till we get to the Gristides on 40th and 2nd. We rush in and buy some canned soup.

Fourth Stop:
On the way out, I go north on 2nd towards 41st street, with the idea of going up 1st and Laura follows 3 other people the other way. I try to go right on 41st and remember that it's a dead end into Tudor City (c'mon Frank, you used to be a real estate agent over here. Think! Think! I double back and try to catch up with Laura but when I get to 1st ave (the last stop is at 87th and York) and Laura is nowhere to be seen. I call her on my cell phone, she picks up and the signal goes out. I call again and hear that she's on 51st and 1st. I hang up and go to 51st and 1st and she's not there. I call again and she's on 61st and 1st. I tell her that I'll just meet her at the next stop, which I find out later was her thinking too and I try to catch up with her. This was where it got hard. I figure that Laura is pacing herself against the three other messengers that she took off with. Laura is extremely competitive and fast on a bike and has a god given pair of calves that many biker would die for, I know that I have my work cut out for me. I shoot though as many timed-out green lights as I can and slalomed through the reds till I finally caught up with her at the corner of 79th and 1st right as she's stopped for a red. I pass her, turn right towards York and say "lets go" to her as I head East, thoroughly tired and bug-eyed. We shoot through that Gristedes, grab some stuffing and head on out.

Finish Line:
We bust out on our bikes and head West on 86th street. It's an uphill, which sucks at this point, but we book it up anyway. We get to 5th ave, then shoot West across the 82nd street Transverse. I was a little worried that going across the transverse would be a little too scary for Laura since the cars go pretty fast through it, but at this point, only live-fire rounds would seem any more fucked up than what we've done so far. We shoot across to West End Avenue and head downtown towards 34th street. Every few blocks I should out something stupid like "only 35 more blocks babe!" At a red light Laura and I divvy up our receipts so that we can give them individually at the finish line and we burn it through to the end.
We get to the finish, hand in our receipts and everything slows down. We came in 32nd and 33rd overall, Laura got either 4th or 3rd for the women's. She'll play it down and say that there were only like 7 women altogether, but she kicked some major ass. You tell her so, dammit!

The Aftermath:
Laura and I hang out there for a spell, give our canned goods to other messengers to deliver to the homeless shelter and head over to Laura's friend Kristine's Turkey Day party. Good times are had, lots of food is eaten then Laura and I turn into old people and go home at 8:30. We make an aborted attempt to go to another party at former cast mate Julia's party but chicken out. We pass out at around midnight and sleep like the dead.

Hell yeah.





2 comments:

laura said...

the race was fuckin super! i am so glad that you did not let me chicken out! I know how hard I tried to chicken out. you rock for making me do it!

Franz said...

nice story... nice to see you telling tales on the internets.