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Old 08-21-2008, 06:17 AM   #16
JoeyBones OP
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Bumping Into People:

Taxi drivers were the worst. Or I guess I should say the rudest. So I'm driving Westbound on Pennsylvania Ave near 19th street. I'm out of sync with the lights so the street is completely empty in both directions, from 19th to 20th. A taxi pulls away from the right-hand curb and swings a long slow u-turn right in the middle of the block. Right in front of me. I lay on the horn and lock up the back wheel. He stops dead in my lane, his car at a 90-degree angle to my line of travel, looking out the drivers-side window with that deer-in-the-headlights look on his face. I could have stopped in time but just for fun I modulated the front brake "……Just…....Like........This…...." so my front wheel hits his drivers door PERFECTLY - just hard enough to leave a front-wheel-shaped dent in his door but just soft enough so no damage is done to my trusty steed. He jumped out and started yelling in God only knows what language while I slowly and calmly putt-putt-putted on my way.

Another time, I was driving Eastbound on the Southeast-Southwest freeway, doing about 60. I'm in the left lane of course. Taxi next to me starts easing into my lane, squeezing me between his car and the concrete Jersey barriers on my left. I lay on the horn. He looks over at me and makes eye contact. Then he continues easing into my lane, giving me the finger at the same time. I had to back off pretty quick. Later, he was back in the middle lane, and at 60 miles an hour (more really) he got a size-eleven-motorcycle-boot-dent right in his drivers door. I think back now on the acrobatics necessary to pull that off and I just cringe. But back then, I was immortal, as I recall.

Running through the Capital building looking down at my clipboard. Ted Kennedy walking out of some office looking down at his own papers (possibly more important than mine), and BAM! Papers everywhere. People rushing out to make sure he was ok. Apologies on both sides. A handshake. A laugh.

Again in the Capital Building. Using the payphone in a little alcove just inside the members entrance. I hang up, spin around (I didn't make a move unless it was QUICK - jumping and running through my whole day) and bump into the Secret Service Agent walking next to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush. Scared the agent a little. Scared me a lot when I saw the look in his eyes and the eyes of the other heavily armed guys walking with the VP.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:31 AM   #17
RideHard
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Great story

I was thinking about being a bike courier in NYC 20 years ago.
Good thing I never tried, now I think about it.

Great story, keep it comming.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:09 AM   #18
youthenrage
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these stories are awesome! I have some friend who were bicycle couriers in DC in the early/mid 90's and I dunno what changed but they DEFINITELY did it outlaw style too. Close calls with cars turned into fist fights or ended up with the car getting smashed by a lock and chain, Pulling a gun on a road raging Marine, being so well known by capitol security that he could walk in without going through a metal detector and then realizing that he had a gun in his messenger bag and deciding he needs a day off. The whole 2 wheeled messenger game seems to have bee pretty gnarly.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:05 AM   #19
Curtis in Texas
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Suscribed,

I want to hear more!
Reminds me of just commuting to work..
Curtis

Curtis in Texas screwed with this post 08-21-2008 at 08:08 PM
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:44 AM   #20
JoeyBones OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youthenrage
these stories are awesome! I have some friend who were bicycle couriers in DC in the early/mid 90's and I dunno what changed but they DEFINITELY did it outlaw style too. Close calls with cars turned into fist fights or ended up with the car getting smashed by a lock and chain, Pulling a gun on a road raging Marine, being so well known by capitol security that he could walk in without going through a metal detector and then realizing that he had a gun in his messenger bag and deciding he needs a day off. The whole 2 wheeled messenger game seems to have bee pretty gnarly.
Yeah, I guess if I had carried a GUN during the couple of weeks that I pedaled, it would have been more exciting! I tell ya, you had to be unbelievably fit to ride a bike around DC all day long. And I bet your friends have a lot of wild stories! At least, whenever I got in a conflict, I could just ride away at a higher speed than the car.......
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:03 PM   #21
MichaelJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyBones
Maybe it was because I never took off my black Simpson helmet with the dark tinted shield. Ever.
Aha! You're the original Stig!!!!
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:38 PM   #22
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You are making my day my brother.
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:34 AM   #23
JoeyBones OP
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The Plane Crash:

I was working the day that an Air Florida plane crashed into the 14th street bridge after taking off in a snowstorm. I actually headed home a couple of hours early since it had been snowing all day (yeah I rode in the snow back then – nowadays I hate to even ride in the RAIN). By the time I got home to Southern Maryland I was just crawling through two or three inches of the stuff. The news on TV was all about the crash – many people died and we all watched horrified as that lone helicopter pilot plucked a handful of survivors from the icy Potomac. The plane had slammed in to the bridge on it's way down into the river.

A few days later, I had a delivery across the river in Virginia. Coming back over the 14th Street bridge I rode in the left-hand lane, stood up on my pegs, and looked over at a crane lifting the tail section of the plane out of the river just as I bump-bump-bumped over the scrape marks the plane had made in the surface of the bridge. If I close my eyes I can still see that unnatural sight and feel that little rumble. And I hate flying out of National airport to this day.


Smallest and Biggest Packages:

I get a call to go to some fancy-schmancy restaurant to retrieve a forgotten American Express card. I grab the card, fly over to the Watergate complex (parking on the sidewalk of course), find the right hotel room and hand the card back to a very relieved Beverly Sills, of Opera fame. As I hand it to her I say, naturally, "Your American Express card, Ma'am. Next time, don't leave the restaurant without it!". We both laugh. She thanks me. She promptly forgets the entire incident ever happened while I recall it clearly almost three decades later.

The folks at Hill & Knowlton (PR firm) arrange a surprise birthday party for one of the girls in the office. The day before, she is told cryptically to "wear pants instead of a skirt". Warned a day ahead of time, I actually washed and waxed my little Suzuki, bolted a flimsy pair of passenger pegs to the swingarm and rooted around for my extra helmet. I show up at the appointed hour, and once again never removing my helmet (with the dark-tinted face shield), tell her I'm there for a "pick-up". I place her on what passed for a pillion seat on the little dual-sport and show off my high-speed lane-splitting abilities as I deliver her twenty blocks across town to the Four Seasons for lunch. Everybody laughed when I had her boss sign my delivery confirmation sheet. They had a limo take her back. More STYLE maybe, but that limo just HAD to take twice as long as I did. Later I heard that she had taken a job in the White House Press Office.

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Old 08-22-2008, 01:03 PM   #24
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very fun read, i can imagine most of the scenes but pics would really have sealed the deal
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin_nj
very fun read, i can imagine most of the scenes but pics would really have sealed the deal
Only one I could find.....



Attached Images
 
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JoeyBones screwed with this post 06-15-2012 at 08:20 AM
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:48 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyBones
Only one I could find.....

Attachment 184458

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Old 08-22-2008, 02:56 PM   #27
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Great Friday entertainment while waiting for happy hour!
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:47 PM   #28
RideHard
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I think story is better without pictures.
Like reading a book rather then watching TV.
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:58 PM   #29
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Great read!!!
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Old 08-22-2008, 04:25 PM   #30
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I've got to show this to my neighbor. He's a motorcycle messenger in Los Angeles on a 1000cc Kawasaki.

And keep 'em coming...my office is intrigued.
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