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In Gainesville: The Name of The Rose


by Mark V on Mar 20, 2007 at 11:51 PM


Earlier this month I escaped Seattle’s damp, chill grasp and ran away to my sunny hometown of Gainesville, Florida. I had 4 goals: see some relatives, ride with my homies on the country roads of Hogtown, do a bike race, and see a girl. No one’s really interested in my relatives, and so let’s skip to my friends. Goals #3 and 4 will be an entirely different entries.

My three best friends and I all used to deliver pizza by bicycle on the University of Florida campus and also raced on the university club, Team Florida. Basically we were all slackers who found the one job that allowed us to ride a bike, avoid the real world, and eke out a meager existence in a college town. I’ve delivered pizzas to Heisman winners and hooligans, stoner frat boys and stellar grad students, and all manner of beautiful girls who usually looked at me with a mix of awe and revulsion. I rode my bike into the ICU of the largest hospital in the southeast and been clocked by UPD at nearly twice the campus speed limit. A rainy night during finals week was like a constant 6hr sprint workout until 2 AM. I’ve been a bike messenger in DC, but I can tell you that pizza delivery was crazier on a peak night. We rode all manner of bikes, stacking the pizzas in insulated bags on top of the handlebar until we could barely see forward, and our un-laden return trips to the restaurant had people diving for safety. And I was never happier than when I was foaming at the mouth busy.

There are so many stories I could tell. When you factor in the inside restaurant crew and the corporate goons upstairs at the student union, the whole atmosphere was like a movie combination of Quicksilver and Half-baked set in college and written by Kevin Smith, with just a touch of Office Space. One story that I will share is that several of the drivers (we were always called drivers even though we were on bicycles) kept lists of students’ names whom we either liked or despised, so that the next time we knew to whom were delivering. If we didn’t like you, your pizza was likely going to be cold or crushed and the last thing we would deliver on that run. And if you really pissed us off¦well, let’s just say that one should never f*#k with people who make one’s food (I’m talking to you Steve at Broward Hall 1999-2000¦.how d’ya like them apples?!). We also kept lists of people we liked, and our good graces could be bought by ostentatious tipping or the smile of a gorgeous coed.

The name at the top of my all-time fav list belongs to a girl who lived in the old Hume Hall. Back then I’d be stuck with a crappy early Saturday shift (the night shift was money), and the first order would be a gentle, sleepy voice on the phone. This lithesome redhead with a nose piercing would meet me promptly as I rolled my Schwinn Madison to the dorm’s central stair. She was always game for a little chit-chat and always that smile. What a cutey! And I’d see her dancing at raves, which probably explains why she was always still dressed in pajamas when she paid for her pizza at 2PM and why I was still sucking on blow-pops and smelling faintly of Vic’s Vapor Rub. Oh, it was a crazy time for me, but even years later and living on the other side of the continent, I still remember her name and face.

And so it was that on my last night of my vacation in Gainesville, after doing the fast Tuesday group ride from the Hippodrome Theater, me and one of my buddies stopped by Leo’s 706, locally famous for their pizzas and especially their desserts. I was feeling pretty good since I had managed to stay with the fast group despite being horrendously under-geared on my fixie. In fact, I hit 35mph in a 42x15 with reserves of speed left. One second I’m at the back of the pack, and the next I’m shooting past riders like a nuclear hamster wheel in overdrive. That’s what years of pizza delivery on a track bike have given me: a pathetic job resume, an addiction to diet cola, good friends, and the ability to spin at an inhuman cadence.

Stepping into the restaurant, my homie is sizing up the peanut butter pie while I’m inspecting the hostess. Shorter hair, a little thinner in the face and distinctly pregnant, but the nose piercing and smile are still there. I tap her on the shoulder.

Hey, did you use to live in Hume Hall?

Oh yeah long, long time ago in the old Hume Hall before they torn it down. How did you know?

I used to deliver pizzas to you for the campus Lil’ Caesar’s, by bike.

Oh my god, yeah, I remember.

And your name was, hmm¦ I feigned as if I were actually straining to remember, but of course I knew it before I had even spoken a word to her. It’s Cherisse, I said with a smile.

pt.2 pt.3

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Bikes and Media at Intel


by Byron on Mar 20, 2007 at 1:32 PM

More interesting that the contrasting old v. young and laptop are the two bikes in the background of this poster for Intel’s Leap Ahead™ vision. The poster also caught my attention because next month I’ll blog from Beijing about bikes (of course), but also the pace of change in China. I had read that bikes still outnumber cars in China, but I’m expecting that’s rapidly changing.


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Bikes and Media at Seatac


by Byron on Mar 20, 2007 at 1:13 PM

I spotted this trike v. bike ad for Microsoft’s business suite on a terminal wall at SeaTac. A good visual despite the lack of helmets. It’s not clear in the photo, but I think that’s a Lemond. I’ve noticed an uptick in bikes in media recently with the pack chasing down a break ad for a financial firm.


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Women Shirts


by Byron on Mar 19, 2007 at 3:58 PM

Finally, the Bike Hugger shirts for women are in. We got ‘em just in time to outfit Team Bike Hugger at Redlands and they’re on sale now. You can purchase directly from us via Paypal or from

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CTS Gears Up for STP


by Kelli on Mar 18, 2007 at 7:07 PM

Still on my Bike Expo high from last weekend, I took advantage of the beautiful weather today and joined my first Cascade daily ride! The Cascade Training Series kicked off this weekend and while Saturday’s crowd enjoyed a wet welcome to the cycling season, this morning’s ride was a wonderful way begin training for the 2007 STP.

From beginner to racer, cruiser to carbon, these rides are a great way to steadily increase mileage in preparation for your big summer event. Wonderful people, fantastic ride leaders and incredible riding weather! So hug your bike, hope for sun and join us throughout the series.

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Meet Team Bike Hugger at Redlands


by Byron on Mar 17, 2007 at 8:08 AM

Team Bike Hugger is racing at Redlands next week and blogging all about it. They’re introducing themselves now on our team special feature blog, talking about what it takes, and being a newbie.

If you’re at Redlands, they’ll be easy to spot in their Bike Hugger shirts.

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Ride for Climate


by Byron on Mar 15, 2007 at 9:48 AM

Ride for Climate is a US bicycle tour to raise awareness of global warming and encourage action. It starts in Boston on 4/21 with two global warming experts riding across the US, stopping along the way to give presentations on global warming and discuss solutions. The tour will continue onto South America. Maybe they’ll cross paths with Pedal?

Having traveled and toured a few places on bike, I understand how much more you see and will never forget the impact of riding up Thompson Pass and suddenly realizing how big Alaska is and it’s f’ing big!

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Project Pedal Casting Call


by Byron on Mar 15, 2007 at 6:21 AM

Project Pedal is a video-podcast/documentary about a small group’s coast-to-coast bicycle trip and the other travelers they cross paths with on the road. The 3rd episode explains the casting call for a June/July ride this summer. Last year, we met the Ditty Bops in a similar adventure. Check these Project Pedal episodes for more:

If you ride with Pedal, let us know how it went.

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Once in a Lifetime Encounter in Austin


by Jason Swihart on Mar 14, 2007 at 11:32 PM

Today, on my last day in Austin, TX for SxSW, my friend Jennifer and I were exiting a hotel courtyard on South Congress to make our way back to the Convention Center. Just as we stepped into the misty air out in the sidewalk, a helmeted cyclist rode by on the street, his sharp features and lean physique instantly recognizable. Agog, we exclaimed in near unison:

“Holy crap, that was David Byrne!”

We stood gaping as he maneuvered his bicycle tentatively across the lanes of oncoming traffic and into the center turn lane of the five-lane street. He was evidently trying to get himself onto the other side of Congress in order to ride with traffic.

Watching him negotiate with a blue pickup truck for the center lane, aggressive traffic on all sides of him, one of us spoke the words we both were thinking: “I really hope David Byrne doesn’t get hit.”

For a fan of Talking Heads and David Byrne since elementary school, coming so close to the man was an incomparable thrill and I stood with Jen on the spot until he had ridden out of sight. But afterward, having walked toward downtown Austin for about a half mile, who should appear but the same gangly figure–now riding on the sidewalk toward us.

Perched bolt upright atop a touring bike, wearing a navy-blue suit, an inexpensive backpack, and what could have been a rental helmet, David Byrne looked like a tourist from some imagined past–or possibly Utah. He rode by, I said “Hi, David” and he reciprocated pleasantries.

Who knew that David Byrne is a committed cyclist but a little Googling indicates he travels with a folding Montague (not what we saw him on) and can be seen tooling around the streets of New York or with helmet in hand.

Cross-posted to Textura Design.

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