I’ll be a little late,” is my new mantra. I’m a little late because now I’m riding my bike. It’s not for the environment or to lose weight, it’s because I’m broke. All right, I get it. Gas prices are high. I don’t know what finally did me in, though. Paying the prices at the pump or hearing people at the next pump complain about how much they are paying to fill up their cars. Why do people have to talk to me about how much money they’re putting into their tank when I’m putting gas in my car? Are gas pumps the new office water cooler? A place to bitch. Just because I’m on Pump 7 and you’re on Pump 9 doesn’t mean we’re friends. We don’t have a shared bank account, so I don’t care how much it costs to fill up your minivan. How about we pretend it’s the good ol’ days, and we talk about the weather? It’s hot. Have a good day.
I’m not going to get all Morgan Spurlock on you and say that I’m going to give up driving for 30 days. I thought about trying to Supersize-Bike-Me, but realized I was in no shape to ride 10 miles a day to work. Riding a bike 20 miles round trip is best left for people who call themselves “bicyclists.” I have no idea where to even buy anabolic steroids. Besides, it’s hot. Have a good day.
Admittedly, I’m an American. Giving up my car is like trying to talk quietly on a cell phone in a restaurant. It’s going to be difficult. The first step is to admit I have a problem. So I drove down the block to my bank and asked to look at my checking-account statement. The teller said, “It will cost this bank more money to print your balance, than you have in your account.” I admitted it. I had a problem. On her computer screen, it looked like I was banking on pork and beans, my debit-card line items reeked of “Gas. Gas. And gas.”
This was all the financial motivation I needed to say, “I’ll be a little late,” when Gianni called and asked if I would meet him at the Trolley Wing Company (TWC).
I hopped on my $50 garage-sale bike and when I finally coasted up to the TWC, I had a lot in common with my mode of transportation. Do you know why a bike can’t stand up by itself? Because it’s two tired. And I was, too. My bike leaned on a tree, and I leaned on the bar and ordered a beer.
As its name implies, the TWC is located in a small trolley car outside the east doors of the Trolley Square mall. TWC has more than 20 styles of Buffalo wings, and its cozy atmosphere provides for good company. We started with the boiled then baked Cajun hot wings, wiped our hands and dug into a batch of Cajun honey wings and finished with a half-order of the traditional hot wings. Since my bike was chained to a tree next to the trolley car, I think I have the right to say these were the Tour de France of chicken wings.
Now that I’ve hung up my car keys, news has traveled faster than a criterion bike race on a velodrome track. After biking home from TWC, I found an invitation to a “Cancer Sucks” fund-raging party on June 28 in my inbox for Jeff Bates—a fixture in the Salt Lake City bike community. Bates, who works at Wild Rose Mountain Sports, has skin cancer. This benefit rager (1130 S. Richards St.) has lots of donated door prizes and all the money goes to a good cause—Jeff Bates. The red door in the back of this warehouse that was once home to the Salt Lake City Bike Collective will open at 6 p.m. I’ll be there, but I’ll be a little late.