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RIDE 2: More Short Fiction About Bicycles

RIDE 2: More Short Fiction About Bicycles

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RIDE 2: More Short Fiction About Bicycles

110 página
1 hora
Lançado em:
Apr 3, 2013


An NYC messenger reencounters the girl of his Italian childhood, a woman's bike errands include tending a garden in a cemetery, a mechanic takes a game of bike polo very seriously, an eternal cyclist is chased by an evil peloton, a bike missionary has a strange encounter, somebody races the Devil, and somebody else is a little unclear on coaster brakes.

Kicking off with a story by Edgar/Anthony/Shamus-winner SJ Rozan, Kent Peterson, Barb Goffman, Keith Snyder, Eric Neuenfeldt, Nigel Greene, Jan Maher, Jon Billman, KI Hope, and artist Taliah Lempert round out the peloton in this second book in the RIDE series:

"Ride 2 is another great compilation of short fiction that isn’t always about bikes, but in some way includes a bike or bike culture. The stories are consistently entertaining and well-written, with enough diversity in subject matter that any reader will find something to relate."

"this stuff is brilliant ... if you, like me, have been previously bitten by worthless bicycle fictions, allow me to present the antidote, one that will have you e-mailing mr snyder impatiently enquiring after the publication of number three.... a triumph."

"Even if you can’t tell a crank from a bottom bracket, you can still enjoy this collection of short fiction. Best of all, the writing is quality stuff. Each piece is a carefully selected vignette highlighting just one unique aspect of cycling, full of small details, humor, and heart."

Lançado em:
Apr 3, 2013

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RIDE 2 - Keith Snyder


barcons: Bar-end gearshift levers stick out of the ends of drop handlebars. Barcon was Suntour’s brand name for theirs.

bearing race: Part of the headset.

bonk: Sudden, dramatic fatigue and loss of power from depletion of glycogen. Runners call it hitting the wall.

bottom bracket: The stubby sideways cylinder at the bottom of a bike frame that the crankarms go into.

brazing: A metal-joining process not all that different from soldering. Aluminum bike frames are brazed, not welded.

cantilever: One of the main types of rim brakes (brakes that slow the bike down by pressing pads against the spinning wheel rim.)

chainring/chainwheel: The larger gear (possibly one of two or three) up front where you pedal, connected to the sprocket(s) by the chain.

crank/crankarm: The small arm that holds a pedal.

derailleur/derailer: The thing that switches the chain from one gear to the next when you move a gear lever. Conventionally derailleur, but Sheldon Brown, high priest of all things bicycle, hated that spelling, so now we use both.

doubletrack: A dirt path wide enough for a four-wheeled vehicle. (Singletrack is only wide enough for a bike.)

dropout: A slot the wheel axle slides into.

endo: Go over the handlebars when that wasn’t your intention. (Derivation: endover.)

fixie: A fixed-gear bicycle. One speed, no coasting. If it’s moving, so are your feet.

fixter: A hipster on a fixie.

grade/gradient: How steep a hill is. Climbs are expressed as positive numbers, descents as negative. 0% is flat. The Bike Terms section in the first RIDE anthology said 30% is unrideable, but should have specified by mortals.

headset: A small part that lets the front fork rotate while the frame doesn’t.

headwind: Wind that opposes your direction of travel.

lug/lugged: Some frames are constructed by holding tubes together using little sockets made from short lengths of slightly larger tubes. Think of the wooden hubs in Tinker Toys. Those are the lugs in a steel bike frame. They can be utilitarian or ornate.

messenger bag: Courier bag with a single cross-body strap. Basically a backpack a messenger can get into easily without taking it off.

moustache bars: There are many, many shapes of handlebars. The ones shaped kind of like a walrus moustache offer more hand positions than straight bars do, but not quite as many as drop bars.

seat stay: The part of a bike frame that goes from the middle of the rear wheel up towards the saddle.

sprocket: A little gear on the rear wheel.

stem: The part that holds the handlebars on.

suspension fork: The fork holds the front wheel. A suspension fork has shock absorption built in.

taco: (Verb.) When the tension of wheel spokes goes awry—as in a crash—the entire rim can deform into a shape that reminds hungry people of tacos.

tailwind: Fictitious explanation for times when you can go much faster and stronger than usual. Used by people jealous of your sudden natural ability. (Contrast with headwind, above.)

track stand: Keeping a bike nearly motionless while standing on the pedals.

wrench: Bike mechanic.

Bike Terms

Escape Velocity

S.J. Rozan

Made with Extra Love

Kent Peterson


Eric Neuenfeldt

Ulterior Motives

Barb Goffman

The Rambler, Part 1

Keith Snyder

I’ve Begun to See Things

Jan Maher


Jon Billman

The Persistence of Memory

Jan Maher

Beat the Devil Home

K.I. Hope

Passing Thoughts

Nigel Greene

About the Authors

Caterina sits on her bike like no other. Sturdy and straight-backed, thick black curls bouncing on her shoulders, strong sandaled feet arching on the downward stroke as though each painted toenail were concentrating hard. Bright cotton skirts of her own design (cerise and lemon stripes; a froth of white bubbles on navy blue) rustle along her legs. Her hands (fingernails short, but always polished, never colored the same as the toes) rest on high handlebars. She smiles and sails by, a regal moment on the avenue, a serene flash of grace, more than you or I deserve.

For a time, I am almost hers.

She is not mine, is never mine, not even during that short period when we make love in the sunshine of her room, when we sleep and wake beside each other and I build the bike for her. During those brief weeks of lazy days we ride together, she regal and laughing, prism-hued, I hunched in white and black, spine ridged skyward, helmet prow slicing the air. Riding with Caterina, and following her, too, I restrain myself: high gears, the slow rotation of pedals; but her bike, built for her, was made for solidity, presence, and ease. Speed and distance have never interested Caterina.

IT’S MANY YEARS ago, before I meet Caterina, though today I understand she’s always been there. I’m a child; we live in the flatlands near Dallas, in a changeless, treeless suburb. Behind the house, abruptly, spreads empty desert under huge flat sky. As far back as my memory takes me, I’ve been unable to stop moving, could never sit still. I have my mother’s breathlessness, my father’s restlessness, but in me they’re speeding heartbeat, contracting muscle, skin’s desperation for the brush of moving air.

It’s my third birthday, and I’ve been given a tricycle. I understand the gift immediately: movement, speed, breaking the chains. By four I’m on two wheels, and after that farther and faster are my only goals. This is still true five years later, when my father announces we’re leaving Texas: Italy will be just the thing. My mother, as always unclear on what that thing exactly is, still, as always, eagerly joins in. My Schwinn is hung on hooks on the garage wall; the whole time we’re gone, my chest constricts every time I picture it paralyzed and alone. Maybe, my mother suggests brightly, we’ll get me a bike in Italy, if I still want one. I want one frantically, but the hill town streets turns out to be rough and steep. Marathon bikers, long-distance bikers, endurance bikers, sporadically conquer them, but biking’s not a child’s sport in the Umbrian hills. Children’s bikes are hard to come by, and I’m not silver-tongued. I can’t explain what’s wrong; and anyway my parents are determined I should learn the language, make new friends, and not race off through the countryside for hours alone.

I do try. The town’s children are kind, including me in games, sharing lunches and treats. I try to exhaust myself at soccer, I tell them Texas stories when they ask. They teach me the Italian I need to get by in school and I teach them English words they whisper to each other and hide from the adults. But I’m aware every minute, every second, that I’m condemned to the earth, to solidity and heavy footsteps. I spend three years in a nightmare of slow motion, unable, for the first time, to outrun myself.

Caterina is one of those children. Dark-skinned and robust, eighth or ninth or tenth generation, her birth and those of her sisters recorded in the small stone church on the piazza. I see her the day we arrive, watching from across the street, smiling a smile I think is just for me, as though she knew a secret about me and liked me for it. I’m correct, but wrong also: the smile’s for me, but she has many others, for many others. Does she know my secrets? How could she? But I think she does.

The force Caterina exerts is gravitational. Other children circle her as planets do the sun: for light and warmth. (Yes, and also as a moth nears a flame: don’t think I don’t understand that, even the day we meet.) I feel the pull at once, but

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