Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Julep's Long-lost Brother!!

On Wednesday night I left work to help Katy plant/water/weed at Eckart Park. She somehow is in charge of the planting at this park. She is awesome and volunteers so much in so many different communities. Love her.

I rode Northwest on Milwaukee, but instead of getting into the left turn lane approaching Grand, I stayed to the right to go to Eckart. A bike parked on the sidewalk caught my eye – it was kin of the Julep! In some excited combination of skipping and stumbling, I scrambled myself and the Breeze off of the street and onto the sidewalk to investigate further.

The resemblance was eerie. The most noticeable difference between this bike and the Julep was that it was a standard men’s frame instead of the dainty step-through Julep. It was the Julep’s brother: mint-colored Schwinn Traveler, fixed gear conversion and the kicker: red friggin’ handlebar tape.

I was beside myself with dorky delight as I marveled over this bike and excitedly bounced all over the sidewalk to ogle it. Smaller differences started to catch my attention: the stem of this bike was longer, its pedals had cages instead of clipless, the gear ratio was much lower – so it rides brakeless, the rims are deep-V, the red bar tape has faded to pinkish. Goodness.

I pawed around in my bag to find not only paper and pen, but also paper clip to secure the note I eagerly scribbled for the owner. When I realized that I had my camera I actually squealed with joy. The joy was short-lived: as soon as I turned it on, my camera’s screen informed me: CHANGE BATTERY PACK, and then went completely black.

My mind was racing at the injustice and the silly randomness of the whole situation. I peered into the window of the bar that the bike was parked in front of, hoping to see a patron who looked like this bike’s owner. The bartender saw me and beckoned me inside. The bike didn’t belong to anyone there. The bartender wanted to be helpful, but it was pretty obvious that I appeared crazy. He couldn’t understand the desire, much less the urgency, to find the owner of a bike that was similar to mine.

Anyway, I was late for garden-duty already, so I reluctantly left the boy-Julep. No one was there at the garden, so I sped home with a plan. Acting quickly, I put my camera battery in the recharger and swapped the Bianchi’s front wheel back onto the Julep in hopes of a photo shoot.

Alas, by the time I returned, the boy-Julep was gone and I was sad. So close – will I ever see this bike again? It was not there when I looked this morning, either.

However, I did get an email from the boy-Julep’s owner:

I got a kick out of the note you left on my Schwinn tonight.

Very cool that we have the same bike. I reciently saw another one locked up down town by the river (w/ derailers). It's the only other one I've seen in Chicago.

I got mine a couple of years ago. I was working at Faster and some messenger abandonded it out side when he quit. I saved it from the scrap metal guys. I totally love it, the color is like a bad prom dress from the 70's!

Also, I'm all about step-through fixies. I was trying to get my friend to build one. I've never seen one.

Thanks for the note.

Stay Up!

The handlebars aren’t red in this picture (and I don’t remember it having fenders....), but see for yourself:

The Boy - Julep:

My Beloved Mint Julep:

Without doubt, I will creep this guy out and ask to meet him so I can take pictures and go for a spin with our cute little bikes. I'll try to hold off for a while though.


At 4:49 PM, Blogger George said...

Oh hell, go creep him out.

Tell him you are the editor of a on-line publication and you wanna do an article or something.

What's the worse thing that could happen?.......

At 4:11 AM, Anonymous genome said...

Matching bikes eh? You have to get married now! Imagine cycling up the aisle on your fixies :-)

Just kidding. Really enjoying reading about your bicycling adventures. I'm trying out some road bikes now that friends are lending me, much, much faster!

Power to you and your bicyclettes!

At 11:25 AM, Blogger jojo said...

I think in a week or so I'll invite him for a drink at the Hbar.

We are both involved with people, so this is a strictly platonic, bike-dork interest.


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