Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Midnight Madness - How I Got My Cleated Pumps

This is a report from several years ago that was posted on the bike forum. It bears retelling. Enjoy!

Midnight Madness, San Diego
18 Aug 2007

"So, are you going to Midnight Madness?" my friend Lauren asked me.
"What's Midnight Madness?" I asked.
"It's this bike ride in downtown San Diego that starts at midnight and goes for like, 20 miles, and people dress up in costumes and there's a lot of general silliness."
"Cool. I'm in. When?"

As I thought about what kind of cool costume I could wear, the days ticked down to Saturday. Thursday afternoon on a group ride, I was telling one of the girls about Midnight Madness, and commented that I didn't have a costume, and that I might just have to go in bike clothes. But, as I thought about it, I realized that I go to the "office" (the bike shop where I work) quite often in bike clothes. So, it would only be fitting if I went to the bike ride in office clothes. And the little wheels inside my head started turning...

That night I came home and enlisted the help of my husband, who was only too eager to pull out the power tools.

I sacrificed a pair of old pumps for the ride, and took the seam ripper to the skirt portion of an old business suit. Totally worth it.

Although I tried to run the Time's that I'm used to, the SPD's with the adjustable spring tension were easier to get out of.

Here's the whole ensemble:

This is my Lemon fixie. It used to be a LeMond, but I got irritated with the comments the namesake had about the Tour... . It was almost an Emo Lemon, but... meh, there's always time for that.
(For you fixie aficionados, I'm geared at 64" - 38x16).

with the obligatory banana in the back

and of course, I had to pin my number on like I was in some crit or something...

Here's my friend Jon who rode with our group...

And my friend Steve as Cookie Monster. He was "petted" four or five times, and had no idea who in the crowd had done it...

And my friend Lauren (who got me into this) with her friend Les

Just before the ride, DHS, Kranked, and I get on our bikes and go to the Gas Lamp district of downtown San Diego in search of food. Of course there are lines to get into everywhere. We finally decide to cut our losses and go to Hooters. The guys want food; I'll settle for French Fries, even though it's not really food. After a quick meal and minimal libation (because it was so slow trying to get a pitcher of beer), we head back to the venue. I don't want to miss the costume contest. As I understand, no one has done this ride in pumps before...

Alas, I didn't win. But the one who did win was the bicycle built for six, with people in grass skirts on it, with a cooler in the middle. Yep, they did more prep than me.

Here's the staging area

A bicycle built for six, complete with bubble machine...

Brent in a kilt, looking for trouble

The ride about to begin

They count down the start time, and riders take off. It's a really slow start with so many people trying to squeeze through the entrance. Unfortunately they are not letting us run traffic lights, so the groups of people get separated. The first light we come to, I call out, "OK, everybodeeeeee... Trackstand!" Just then the guy to my right falls over clipped in. Ooops.

So Steve had brought a small flask of some libation... it wasn't around long enough for me to find out what was in it. It's gone before his two cubes of ice have time to melt. He's feeling about as fuzzy as his costume, and finds the rickshaw too much of a temptation to pass up...

Steve K skitching a ride

The rickshaw driver was not happy...

More interesting people... (yes he did the whole 20 miles on that bike)

Fat suit guy

Girl wearing her teddy...

Mostly it was fun talking to people on the ride and just enjoying being out amongst the craziness, and being a part of the craziness. The looks on people faces when they saw me in a business suit was pretty good, but seeing the look when they realized I was clipped in with the pumps was priceless! And while it was really rad to do a 20-mile ride in cleated pumps, by about mile 18, I was feeling it.

"Aw, man, these have got to be the WORST cycling shoes I have ever worn!" I exclaim to no one in particular.
"Hmmm, whatcha got?" some guy asks me.
"Prada," I answer, and clip out for him to see the cleat on the bottom of the pump.
He nearly fell over.

It was a great time. Thanks Lauren, for convincing me to go, and thanks Steve K and Jon for being great riding buddies. 


Anonymous said...

Those Pumps are awesome! If you are selling, I am buying.

Laura (Sunny) Drexler said...

Thanks! I'm not selling, but if you're interested in making your own pair, I'm available for advice. :)