We competed in a series of adventure races many years ago called the “Wild Onion”. They were 24 hour urbane races in the heart downtown Chicago and New York City. All in all, wilderness races are better, safer and more uplifting, but the downtown urban ones did give you some stories and insights into the underside of humanity.
The race organizers cleverly used all forms of public and non motorized transport such as bikes, roller blades, canoes, swimming, running and:
Scooters! The event organizers made some deal with a company that developed adult, stand on with one foot and push with the other, Scooters. The new company, “Xooter” was banking on the idea that these contraptions would become the next big thing in urbane transport. They truly were great for this. They took up no more room on the sidewalk than a walker, went at a fast run with very little effort and folded up to put under your desk when at work.
All the logic was there for a great Scooter Revolution! They just weren’t properly considering the fact that NOBODY WANTS TO LOOK STUPID! (they’re out of business)
After purchasing said contraption and then discovering that these things truly are awesome, Ken and I still could not bring ourselves to go train on them without dragging Yvonne along. We didn’t want to be known as the two gay guys out riding their scooters together. Not that that is a bad thing, we just didn’t want to be known for that. I can’t explain why.
Now back to the race. It was 2:00 AM in downtown Chicago on a Friday night when the three of us were rolling through the bar section of town on our scooters. All the bars had just closed and they threw all of the drunks out onto the street. This did not end the festivities. It looked like a raucous block party.
Oh the heckling! You wouldn’t think that grown middle aged men riding through a crowd of drunks at 2:00 AM on their scooters would draw so much heckling! Top of the line “Xooter Scooters” with CNC milled aluminum anti skid platforms no less.
Bad timing: While zipping by the crowd, I was looking down at the map and hit a pothole. I went over the top and landed in a painful heap. The crowd was now in a roar of laughter and ridicule.
And then it happened, out of the din I heard a sweet little Cindy Lou Who voice say “leave him alone”. All the other noise seemed to turn into an indistinct muffle. What a sweet girl. I wonder what she looks like? I wonder if she is married? Perhaps she really digs my scooter. It has double sealed cartridge bearings you know. Then my thoughts were interupted by David, David, David, this is Ken, we have to go.
We left without further incident and considered yelling back, “ya, and when we come around the block again, we’re going to kick your ass”. That ought to take care of the teams behind us.