When I started this drivel (lo, those many years ago), I had every intention of classing up the joint by slipping in a bit of my "serious" writing from time to time... with the obvious ulterior motive that I fully expected some publisher to stumble in here, snatch me from obscurity, and pay a massive advance for the first of many books. In short, this was supposed to be a springboard to spending every day in my jammies putting together mildly interesting sentences.
Fast-forward five years, and you have no doubt noticed that my penchant for drivel has pretty much driven away any and all hope of seriousness and a life spent in jammies. That stops today, though... er, tomorrow. I'm going to knock the dust off a piece from my long-lost attempt at becoming a "real" writer (back in the olden days of the 20th century), break it into chunks, and spew out those chunks here one by one until I reach the end of either the piece or your patience, whichever comes first.
Before you run screaming, this IS a piece about bicycles. In fact, it's the first time I ever sat down and tried to write about bikes. Depending on your perspective, it either a) showed me my "true passion" as a writer, or b) ruined me for good. Some perspective: This baby wrapped in the halcyon days of 1999, when I was (much) younger, I worked for a bike shop in Latrobe, Pennsylvania while finishing up a Masters' thesis, my fleet of bikes looked much different than it does today, and -- most importantly -- my dad was living the life of the (grumpy) old man you'll meet here. I would lose him to a sudden, massive heart attack about a year after I finished this piece.
Okay, enough circling the airport. High noon tomorrow (Central time), the first chunk of "Phantoms" drops right here, and the rest will spin out one slab at a time, every day at noon. If you like it, tell your friends. If you can't stand it, hang in there -- you only have to wait for nine days for my artistic self-indulgence to run out and my usual self-indulgence to resume.