Thursday, Ruth emails to say we are doing this. "This" being a bicycle scavenger hunt with the Bicycle Film Festival. The web details are few and far between, so I throw on some flats and meet up with Ruth, expecting some sort of "find a misspelled street sign! find a Running Blago piece of graffiti! find a empty 40 oz. on the street!" type of scavenger hunt.
Not quite. We biked to the start location, and we are confronted with a fixed-gear bike messenger brigade in Toms and skinny cutoffs and actual team cycling gear.
I, meanwhile, am wearing a dry-clean only tank top and some leather peep-toe flats.
Everyone has waxed-canvas messenger bags. I'd considered bringing my messenger bag, but figured "eh, I don't have that much stuff- better off leaving a bulky bag at home".
Oh, the looks we got.
Teams were to be of three or four people, so Ruth and I were looking for a straggler to appropriate. Anthony fit the bill: had a bike, was not there with anyone, and was willing to follow our (opinionated) lead. We set off on a ride to various West Side parks, with challenges at each park: cut your hair! take off your pants! lipsynch! attack another team with squirtguns! take a shot of water from Lake Michigan (seriously)! paint your face like Braveheart!, and points for each completed satisfactorily.
We were on the way back from the last park in our time limit, when: crackle, crackle, pop POP POP FSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHH goes my back tire. Hell. I'd run over a patch of glass, and it instantly took out my tube, so I was demoted to walking my bike back while Anthony, our third-man-addition, went ahead of us with our scorecard to relay the news of my temporary crippling.
Ruth and I finally get to the park to tally up our (considerable) points and challenge the Serious Bike Crews in this scavenger hunt, but... where's Anthony? Where is our team member with all the points and the scorecard and the official complete tally? He, in lieu of meeting us at the park as agreed, has punked out and gone home, leaving Ruth with a dead cell phone and me with a flat tire as dusk falls over Chicago.
WE COULD HAVE BEEN A CONTENDER, ANTHONY.
1) carry a patch kit and a pump for these sorts of occurrences
2) just because I'm wearing a skirt and nice shoes doesn't mean that I can't blow by you in a bike race
3) Ruth or I need to be in charge of things
4) shots of water from Lake Michigan aren't as bad as you think they'll be.