Bikes. Parts. Chaos.

Last weekend, J. Marshall and I headed south for the innaugural Big Dummy Ride and Gathering of the Weirdos. It's a subtly disguised "sales promotional" event that really just allowed us to hang out with some of Austin's finest and do what we do best - get loud on bikes.

Suffice it to say that Austin had something out for Johnny and I because it kept trying to hurt us with heat and beer. The former - when I complained (and that was often) - was consistently met with "Aw, this ain't so hot. You should come back in August." No thank you Austin. No thank you.

Still, gigantic high fives to a city who's denizens know what to do in these circumstances - cold Tecate in one hand, dribbling BBQ in the other, and loins astride a bike.

We hit town Thursday night just in time to pick up a couple of our Big Dummy Cargo Beasts and make it to the Thursday Night Social Ride. Picture 250 of your closest friends riding, stopping at stop lights, chatting about the bits that interest each other, tipping back a few coldies, and generally being awesome - that's this ride. My hat is way off for this and the people who make it happen. Nice work.

Thanks to Scott for letting me use this photo (hey, Scott, can I use this photo?)

Friday was about building bikes, making plans, sweating our own sweat, and trying desperately to convince the Walgreen's checkout lady that Johnny is, in fact, about to be 30. She consulted the book and her manager for no less than 20 minutes before finally declaring that we were authorized to purchase two six packs of Lone Star.

Saturday was the big event and it dawned HOT. Still, about 50 kickass folks showed up to ride, try out some cargo haulin, and see what kind of trouble we could make. Again, Austin did not disappoint. We made our way on bike paths, through East Side residential neighborhoods, into convenience stores stuffed with cold beer, pickles, and nag champa, and finally to an oasis - a basketball court mercifully covered by a steel truss roof. There lunacy ensued with derbies, passenger races, surfing races, skid competitions, and finally, the relay race. All were great sports and for some reason, the folks on the bikes did everything I suggested into my giant megaphone. Nice work out there.

It looked like this: (thanks to Jimmyhere for letting me use these pictures (Hey, Jimmyhere, can I use these pictures?)

So, thank you Austin. You are fantastic and sexy and I think I might be pregnant. Johnny too.

-Skip