Hi! Like a middle-aged faux-British pop star trying to claw her way out of irrelevance by collecting African orphans, I, Ephraim the Track Bike, once a popular advice columnist in these pages, return to the limelight by providing my dubious public service. On to the mailbag!
It's Paul. You used to live in my stairwell. I'd crash you into moving cars during Critical Mass and then crash you into parked cars after too many pitchers at Zeitgeist. I'm sorry I got bored and sold you to a stranger on Craigslist. Just wanted you to know, I've been doing all right since we split, I've done a lot of growing up. Now I have a new bike. Actually, she's much more than a bike. She's a moped, a cherry red 1978 Puch. We ride with the Treats gang and I've never been happier with a faddish transportation accoutrement. Anyway, my question is, the Puch's crank turns over when the nut on the clutch is turned with a socket wrench, but the engine itself won't turn when —
Paul, how dare you flaunt your little motorized tart at a time like this! Last Friday night a reprehensible and cowardly act of violence was perpetrated against a row of innocent, unarmed track bikes parked outside Pop's in the Mission. OK, actually, the violence took place across the street. Word is that some gangster emptied a clip at the corner of 24th and Harrison, damaging the windows of the beloved Taqueria San Francisco. Apparently, two people had to go to the hospital and, well, no track bikes were actually injured in the drive-by. But still — you can see why I am so upset.
Just one night earlier, another row of bikes was left to fend for itself, as Lexington Club patrons hid inside while two people were shot on the sidewalk. What gets my spokes in a twist is that the Lexington shooting happened in the same neighborhood as Pop's, but we've heard nothing about the violent episode at Pop's. The Lexington fracas, meanwhile, has been covered by the Examiner, the San Jose Mercury News, and SFist.com.
I can only conclude that San Francisco's media find something vastly more newsworthy and poignant about violence against those whose Sapphic ladyflowers delicately caress a ProGel saddle than against shiftless young men whose skinny asses fishtail wildly back and forth as they struggle to stop at lights going down California.
Also, Paul, you stupid log cabin, check the connecting rod on your bike.