Friday, August 31, 2007
Derby, Baby! Derby
One of my favorite things from the Gourmet/Frank Days was derbying. Derbying is a game in which you attempt to force your fellow participants to dab - put a foot down. You could make a person dab by either cutting off their path and forcing them to stop in such a way that they can't pedal out of it or you could simply knock them off their bike. The basic rules were very simple. Hands were to remain on the handle bars and feet were to remain on the pedals. This rule added some measure of order to the chaos by capping the potential for violence to the dull impacts of a head butt or a shoulder shiver. Many a day did the shop employees and the lunch crowd pull a bike to begin the derbying. Everyone had their own style that was bracketed between two extremes. Jerome, JJ, and JonBoy were each masters of the finesse technique. Each of them were able to stop for extended periods of time and to shimmy the bike into position using trials techniques. I was on the far end, with initially only limited bike handling skills. I relied on the bull technique by which I would simply ride the smaller cyclists into barriers or knock them off their bikes. As I recall, Dug was a combination of speed and power with impeccable timing. When pushed into tight spot, Dug would pedal furiously out of it and hope for the hole shot at the corner. He also used this speed to knock one or both riders who were engaged in a pushing match. If you think derby sounds silly, you haven't tried it or else you just don't like riding. Maybe that's going to far. Since I hope this is something of a family forum, if you've derbied, share your best derby story.