(Long, but includes art, violence, and police intervention. Everything but a gas meter painted like a flamingo…actually got that, too…)
All right, so I want a fork brace.
But I was thinking about what kind of trip I could take. I’ve already posted some about riding on the coast and my other favorite spots. Plus, due to some family issues, I didn’t have a lot of time. So, I decided to share a little bit of different scenery. I love the Bay Area because of the fact that I can ride to San Diego all along the coast if I want to, or go up into the Marin headlands…or go to Pt. Reyes. But I also love San Francisco. And since I live in Sausalito, I thought I’d take all of us back to my Bay Area roots.
I started off by crossing the GG Bridge into the city and went through Golden Gate Park and up into The Mission. (I moved to the Bay Area when I was 19 and got a room with a bunch of other rockers in a broken down part of the Mission District. I lived at 24th and Mission for a long time.) ‘Balmy Alley’ is a famous alley on 24th and Harrison. A short walk from my old hood. A real short ride. The Mission is a predominately Latino neighborhood and there are beautiful and historic murals everywhere. But Balmy Alley is a little alley in the ghetto that is nothing but murals. And one very busted, rusted Honda as you will see. Some of the murals are really old and depict immigrant struggle, the United Farm Workers, Gentrification, and the newest one is a memorial to Katrina…the one with the houses flooding. Anyway, I love the artwork here. And I thought I’d share it with y’all. (Make sure you see the flamingo gas meter.)
After I checked out the murals I thought I would head over to Zeitgeist, a biker bar in the city. Not a ‘get your teeth busted in’ kind of biker bar (although I did almost get my teeth busted in…read on)…there are a bunch of picnic tables out back and they grill up burgers and serve great beers. Parked my bike by a sweet old Norton…went to take a pic…damn camera was out of batteries. So I asked a passing woman to take a pic of me with the two bikes on her iPhone and email it to me. She did.
Then I went to meet up with the family for some Italian food and we headed back home through Golden Gate park and over the bridge. My wife took some pics on her cell.
Now, here’s the exciting part of the story. I was just about to pull into my driveway when a convertible almost ran me off the road and some drunk asshole threw a beer bottle at my head...smashing the bottle on my helmet and scaring the crap out of me (all hail full face helmets). I followed him down the hill by my house for about a second and he was yelling back how he was going to F me up and have his pit bull F me up. I decided I did not want any part of this, so I slowed down. But then I started thinking about all the bikers and cyclists and kids near my house, so I rode to go try and find a cop. No cop. Of course. So, I’m going home and I see the car. I call 911 and they ask me to get the plate #. So, I grabbed the biggest wrench I had in my trunk and put it in my pocket and headed down. The guy was gone, but his wife was there. I called my wife and gave her the plate # and then approached the car, told the woman that the police were coming and she shouldn’t leave. She was terribly apologetic. She did not mean to swerve at me. She knew her husband was being an ass. I told her all that was fine…I had no problem with her (or with her pretty cream puff of a pitbull puppy), but that if her husband came back (he was in a store getting more beer), that she HAD to keep him away from me. I told her that I am not violent and wanted no trouble, but that I would defend myself if he tried to hurt me. She said she would talk to him. Guy comes out. Calls me an Fing Wop (what the hell? I’m not even Italian…my wife is, but that’s beside the point). Tells me it must be too long since I got hurt and he’s going to hurt me. So he starts to reach into his glove compartment. Thank the lord I did not brain him with the wrench. I was getting ready to duck. He pulls out some smokes and lights up and slurs more shit. Then he gets up in my face. I pull out the wrench and tell him to back the F up. I don’t want to hurt him, but I will. He calls me a wop. Curses. Then he charges and punches me in the chest twice. It did not hurt. I did not hit him with the wrench. The cops came. I said I didn’t want to press charges as long as they did not know where I lived. (The cop said the wrench would come back to bite me in the ass…what a crazy world).
Best part…because the kickstand is too freaking long on my 08, I always have to park on an incline down to the left. I did so this time, and downhill (I was in a hurry, the bike was in first)…but a car came and parked in front of me. The cops had to help me “back” my bike up the hill.