|One Rich Kid|
I was hoodwinked, shammed, boonschlazzled. The sign at the Park Silly Sunday Market read “Ride a Bike, Win $100.” I’m pretty sure I could ride a unicycle with a square wheel through a pit of Crisco for $100, so I dug a five spot out of my wallet and expected to be $95 dollars richer in the next 60 seconds. That could've bought a whole lot of genuine Utah turquoise jewelry on my Park City vacation last week. It didn’t go exactly as planned.
The bike appeared to be your typical BMX bike you’d see at the jump park in Park City, Utah: platform pedals, single speed, low saddle, scary paint scheme, and with a finish only achieved by crashing it a few times or towing it on the ground behind an SUV from Salt Lake City. This is a no brainer. Brimming with confidence, I handed the teenager at the tent my five bucks, threw a leg over and pushed myself back behind the cones. Uh oh.
|Note the gear on top of headset-diabolical genius!|
Left is right and right is left. I got this, I thought. The bike had been slightly modified probably in the tool shed above the Crescent Mine Grade lift. It sported an extra head tube welded in front of the original. A gear bridged the gap between the two headtubes. It was genius. Even though the appearance was medieval, the craftsmanship was top notch. There was not a bit of slack and it steered beautifully, only the bike steered left when you turned the bars right. Just hold bars straight and pedal ten feet and this skinny punk kid will be handing The Best Bike Blog EVER a fresh Benji.
Just hold the bars straight. Now pedal. Dammit! As I started with my left foot, I leaned left, counter-steered right and kept going left. Dab number one. My wife gave me encouragement for my second try, “just do the opposite.” Easier said than done when you’re a supposed “expert” level bike rider with 15 years of racing muscle memory. It’s not a no brainer. Riding a bike is a no brainer. This is all brain. Imagine heading off a cliff to your right side and the only thing that would save you is steering right.
I tried again this time starting with my right foot. I leaned right, counter-steered left and bam, I dabbed. “One try left,” the teenager with the money apron smiled. I concentrated. I only had to travel ten feet. Three pedal strokes I calculated. Hold the bars straight. This time I started from the right side of the course and with my left foot first hoping that if I got into trouble I could keep the bike upright for 10 feet if I were to drift left. Nope.
I was done. I never got more than a quarter turn of the pedals and I dabbed. This scheme was like Bernie Madoff brilliant. I had fun. It was worth $5 to try. I thanked the kid and told him, “I hope you make a ton of money today.”