Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Dec 18 2006

Non-filming activities

After the frenzy to complete filming for the movie before Dean left, I found myself with no more shooting to do last weekend. I slept late, a particularly comfortable experience with the lower temperatures we’ve been having lately, and then went to Bikefarm to check on Gendoyun and then went to Page One at Taipei 101 to pick up some books and a Hopper 2007 calendar. There’s something very comforting about a big, nicely appointed bookstore. Especially in bad weather, it feels like a refuge, one that could never, ever be boring.

Dean’s flight back to Canada was on Sunday afternoon, so Saturday night I went over to his place and he, Rowan and I watched TV and ate pizza for one last time. “It’s the end of an era,” I told Rowan, and he knew exactly what I meant.

Sunday was bright but cold. I spent the afternoon sipping tea at the Wistaria teahouse with Prince Roy and Spicygirl, and then took the train up to Zhishan Station to listen to David and Conor play a couple of sets at the Post Home. They served a Christmas-like dinner that were supposed to be chicken, turkey and ham but was actually ham, turkey and more ham. It wasn’t bad. David and Conor are preparing to travel to Memphis to join in a blues competition. After the show I sat around and chatted a bit, but I wasn’t really in the mood for socializing.

So that was my weekend. I haven’t had much to post lately, and might have to resort to “Cartoon Characters I find Disturbingly Sexy” or something similar in the near future to fill this space. You’ve been warned.

posted by Poagao at 3:35 pm  
Nov 28 2006

Gendouyun goes for a makeover

As I take the subway to and from work every day and rarely have time for care-free weekend jaunts into the mountains these days, Gendouyun has been sitting sadly, covered in a blue-and-white tarp, on the street behind my building, usually for weeks at a time. Another reason is that corroded front forks have ripped the shock seals, causing fluid to leak all over the front disk brake and making stopping a mere occasional occurance. A while back some asshat knocked it over, demolishing one of the rear-view mirrors and bending the fairing frame. Although the engine is still in fine shape, I was seriously considering selling it and going bike-less for the first time since I first arrived in Taiwan.

Jeremy of Bikefarm fame told me he’d take a look at it and tell me how much it would cost to fix up and how much I could get for it, so this last Saturday I went down, stowed the dirty tarp, and got ready for a long battle to start the engine. Unexpectedly, it started up on the first kick. My good fortune did not, however, extend to the throttle, which wouldn’t budge, or the front brake handle, which did not seem to be connected to anything.

Luckily, a bike shop was just down the hill, so I coasted down and left Gendouyun there for several hours while the various replacement parts were sent for and installed. That’s it, I thought. I’m selling this thing. I’m getting out.

When I got back on and twisted the smooth new throttle out into traffic, however, I realized just how much I missed riding a motorcycle. Though I’ve been seduced by the simplicity and convenience of the subway, there’s nothing like the feeling of blasting across a bridge or swooping into a mountain curve on a motorcycle, even (or especially, depending on where you’re coming from) a little crotch rocket like Gendouyun.

I’ve known that bike since 1990, when my friend Xiao Bing bought it from his friend, and I’ve owned it for nearly as long, as Xiao Bing soon realized he was too short to ride it and sold it to me. I’d wanted a 2-stroke racing bike since I had the opportunity to shoot down Taichung’s Zhonggang Road from Tunghai University to the sea on a 135cc Honda “Wangpai”. Eventually I would buy one, but it was rather gutless and tired. Xiao Bing’s model had a lot more pep, however. I remember proudly pointing out Yamaha RZR’s I saw on the streets of Hsinchu to Mindcrime, whom I’d just met, and saying, “That’s my ride!”

By the time I reached Bikefarm I was firmly hooked once again on the idea of continued bike-ownership. Jeremy was out running errands, but when he returned the shop and told me that not only could he fix the bike up with new forks, but he could also have it painted a luscious dark red for a few thousand NT, I couldn’t say no. Besides my sentimental attachment to the old bike (it’s a 1988 model, though with less than 50km on it), it’s also better than any other bike I could afford right now.

Now all I need is a better place to park it.

posted by Poagao at 7:46 am