BSNYC Road Dairy: Westward Meh

(Non-diary creamer: for those allergic to ongoing records of someone's thoughts and experiences.)

As I continue westward on my BRA tour in an ongoing quest for literary do-meh-nation and the fulfillment of my Meh-nifest Destiny, I prepare to depart Austin this morning and head to San Francisco, hence another early and hastily-"curated" post. In San Francisco, it will be my pleasure to appear at the Sports Basement (my second-favorite retail basement after the "Cheese Basement") at 6:30pm this evening. Prior to this, you can also meet me at Ritual Roasters on Valencia at 4:00pm for a ride from there to the BRA. I very much hope to see you there later today.

In the meantime, while I look forward to arriving in the Land of the Epic Burrito, I will also leave Austin with a heavy heart. My heart is laden not with cheese from the many enchiladas I've eaten during my short stay here ("Heroic Enchiladas" are "Epic Burritos 2.0"); rather, it is heavy with grief, for I very much enjoyed the company of the people I've met as well as my time here. First, there was the very hot (at least to me) "urban ride," during which I perspired profusely:

(Nice shorts, doofus.)

In fact, I was sweating so heroically that my fellow riders needed to employ fenders:

Fashioned from a pair of knobby 29er tires, this is perhaps the most ingenious set of "wheelbrows" I have ever seen, and the only pair capable of withstanding my caustic perspiration:

There was also a Surly Big Dummy, which meant the ride just barely met its smugness quota:

As well as some gratuitous shirtlessness, which meant the ride just barely met its exposed torso quota:

Later, I had the pleasure of seeing my book's coverway displayed prominently in Mellow Johnny's bicycular shoppe:

Though not as prominently as the visage of the shop's owner, which hangs everywhere ominously and haunts patrons at every turn. It even stares menacingly at you when you use the bathroom:

It's enough to induce urinary "stage fright." (They say this picture has holes for eyes, and sometimes he watches you.)

While I waited for people to arrive, I rummaged around in the basement, where the mechanics were fitting Team RadioShack Trek Madones with Gruber Assists. I also spotted the aging shop owner's old Eddy Merckx time trial bike, which he last raced back in 1968:

Perhaps they were readying it for a run at this year's Tour de France.

Also in the basement was this eerily luminescent shrine to the Great Trek Bicycle Making Company:

It sounds like this, and as I stood before it I soon found myself bleeding inexplicably from the nose and ears.

But old TT bikes and Madone-oliths aren't the only things they keep in the basement at Mellow Johnny's. It turns out they keep retired professional rider Kevin Livingston down there too:

Don't let the phallic name and the "training center" ruse fool you--this is a prison. I thought it was especially cruel that the Mellow Johnny's staff wouldn't let me feed Kevin Livingston, because it was obvious from the way he was eyeing my "heroic enchilada" and salivating that he was hungry. At one point, one of the staff almost let me in, but then the eyes in one of the Lance Armstrong posters shifted slightly and I was quickly ushered from the room. I'm pretty sure the sounds I heard as I left were his screams.

Once topside, I emerged to find a crowd of beaming Austinites assembled to see my PowerPoint presentation:

Here's the view from the back, where I also waited for the PowerPoint presentation until I realized that it was I who was presenting it:

By the way, I do think I'm warranted in calling this assembly a "crowd," as opposed to, say, a "small gathering" or a "klatch." To me, a "crowd" is any group of people large enough to trample you in the event of an emergency, such as a fire or the escape of Kevin Livingston. I'm sure that if, during my PowerPoint presentation, someone had screamed, "He's loose!," I would be typing this with shoe prints on my forehead. So I'm calling this a "crowd" and I'm sticking with it.

After the PowerPoint presentation I ruined some books by scribbling in them, and then we held a "costume pageant." Here's a photo an attendee was kind enough to "Tweet" of me judging the winner:

I suspect he did not actually have to dress up and instead simply came as he was, but I awarded him first prize nevertheless.

By the way, while you may not want to actually read my book, I would point out that it does make for ideal pretentious front rack "portaging" material:

Anyway, during the festivities, some rapscallions took the opportunity to sticker my bicycle, both here:

And here:

Fortunately, the rest of my person remained unbranded.

Thank you very much to everybody who came, and to Mellow Johnny's for being great hosts. Hope to see you in San Francisco later today.


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