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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Columbus Bike Fancy: The ones that weren't


  Bike Fancy, when I started out writing it (a mere three months ago), seemed deceptively easy. 
Based loosely on Chicago's Bike Fancy Blog and modified to feature local 'Busites and the bikes they love; I thought I had my leave-a-note-send-an-email-meet-for-photos routine DOWN.
Oddly enough, some people just aren't that cooperative.

Not that I'm thinking their incommunicado ways are malicious. 
No, maybe they just don't want attention.
Maybe my email was delivered to their spam box.
Maybe my calling card blew away into the wind.


  The very first guy I photographed for Bike Fancy I met at a local bar in mid-March, as my man-friend and I were circling the front for a place to lock our steeds. 
"Lock it to the gate, that's where everybody locks it," 
a forty-something goateed man called from the patio, cigarette pinched between his fingers.
Dude then hippie-wandered (you know, that slow and careless amble) out from the patio and proceeded to happily and proudly show us his dark green 1970s road bike. Turns out he books the bands for this particular bar and rides to work daily. 
I snapped several photos and we exchanged emails. 



Later, my emails to this gentleman go unanswered. 
I'm thinking "spambox," so I look him up easily on Facebook.
 Hilariously enough, my Facebook Mobile froze as I hit "Add Friend" and I end up friending about 15 people with the same exact name. I didn't realize this until I received 15 confirmations of friendship throughout the next few weeks.  None of the confirms are my Bike Fancy.


Here is a photo of my first Bike Fancy subject. 
My weak Photoshop skills have been applied to make him anonymous, since I never received permission to use his image.


Next no-call-no-show.



At the end of May I noticed an old silver Ross in clean condition parked every day at the Columbus State bike racks. What drew me to this particular bike is that there's one of those huge golf umbrellas secured to the frame. The kind that are about three feet long. How does this work? I wonder if the rider uses the umbrella as he or she is riding. I slipped the calling card onto the handlebars.
A few days later I received a reply that isn't as much as a "yes, I'd like to be interviewed" but a "Please don't bother me."
Phrases like "I may be selling the bike soon,"  "I don't know much about internet stuff," and "I'm generally a private person" are contained in said email. But Eugene (Yep, Eugene. Perfect name for an old man carrying a huge umbrella on his vintage bike, I think) also stated that he wants to be interviewed.
I respond with my availability for the following week.
Eugene says, "I will meet you tomorrow at 3pm!" 


I reply, "I'm not available at 3pm tomorrow, but maybe we could meet next week, any day after 4pm?"
Eugene: "I'll be waiting for you at 3pm outside of the computer lab this Thursday!"



Noooooooo Eugene.

After several back and forths, one of us gives up. I think it was him. I'm stubborn.

Other Bike Fancies besides the two stories above have been severed before they were truly created.
There's the long-haired biker-looking dude on a well-decorated, lit-up cruiser featuring ape-hangers, I actually jumped a bar patio fence and chased him down for his contact information. 
So far, no reply.

Then there was this bike.

What appealed to me was the fact that the entirety of it is wrapped in zebra-striped duct tape.

What kind of paint job is this bike hiding? I wish the zebra stripes were fuzzy.

This bike was parked in the same place on OSU's campus, every day for several quarters.
After I left my calling card, it disappeared for a month. It reappeared this week.
Maybe I scared it?

The folks I have successfully reached and interviewed for Bike Fancy have been awesome, and excited to talk about their bikes. That's the great thing about bikes, it's really hard to not get excited about them.
Even other folks' bikes.
So, I will continue to leave my calling card, and surely continue to be "stood-up," so to speak. But for every other responseless cyclist, there's somebody who will talk to me at length about how much they love their bike.


p.s. In my head I'm singing "Bike Fancy willl go aah-onnn" to the tune of Celine Dion song right now. Really.

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