After the hiatus for T.I.V6 coverage, I am back with quite possibly one of my favorite stories from my bike shop days.........
At the Anaheim Interbike of 1995, I was tagging along pretty closely with Tom, the bike shop owner, as I had never been to Interbike before. We were there a day or so when we ran across one of our reps, Rick. Rick was a notoriously slick dude, but he was pretty nice to Tom and I and was always up for a good time. Well, being a regional rep for several cycling related companies, Rick had an assistant along with him at the show. Rick was keen on getting out for some fun after the show closed. When he found out I had never before seen an ocean, he was insistant that the four of us were going to go get some take out and hit the beach.
So it was that a Mexican themed evening was set into motion as we got together in Rick's rental car and headed to the nearest liquor store on Beach Boulevard. We stocked up on about a case of various Mexican beers. Then a little further down we hit a Mexican resturaunt that Rick knew of that had take out. We went in and found out it was a really popular place!
The resturaunt had a long dining area that was totally packed to the gills. The only place to sit was way up by the ordering counter where there were benches for folks to wait for their take out food. Behind the counter were three cash registers and the kitchen. Inside the kitchen men were literally running to and fro, lettuce and shredded cheese flying about, and general chaotic goings on were to be witnessed. I was having fun just watching these guys rushing around and having near collisions on a near constant basis.
So while all the din of folks chattering in Spanish is going on behind me, and all the chaos of the kitchen is going on in front of me, I see a young Latino fellow grab the P.A, and in slow, sonorous broken English he says, "Nome-bear seex, yore ore-dare eeez ray-dee. Nome-bear seex!" I thought I was going to die laughing! It was so ironic- the slow, lazy, heavily accented English against the sheer mayhem of the resturaunt. Well...........I thought it was a hoot!
So, we got this box......nay- pallet, of food, and we bugged out for the beach. We ended up at Sunset County Beach, but in the dark, we had no idea where we were at. I just knew it was dark, sandy, and I could hear the waves crashing onto the shore. A cool breeze was blowing in, and it felt nice. Little fires dotted the beach up and down the shoreline.
We ate our meals, which were excellent, and then delved into the beers. It was getting late, and we were down to the last six pack when I noticed headlights going from fire to fire on the beach. Pretty soon, a 4X4 Blazer comes up to us and shines its spotlight on us. The cops!
"Hey! What are you fellows up to?" came a demanding voice from the vehicle. Tom replied, "Ah! We're just havin' a few beers. Hangin' out. Ya know?" We held our beers up as evidence.
"Don't you boys know it's against the law to drink on a public beach?", said the officer as he exited his truck, "Let's see some ID!"
We all stood up, scrambled for our ID's and handed them over to the officer who was perusing each carefully under the beam of his D cell flashlight. "Iowa! Minnesota! Wisconsin!", he exclaimed. "You know, it's a $300.00 per person fine for drinking here, and we NEVER let anybody off." (Silent pause by the officer for dramatic effect) "But since you fellas aren't from around here, I suppose I'll just confiscate what you have left here and ask you to leave."
We agreed in a most silent, sheepish manner and shuffled off towards the car. "By the way," the officer said, "Do you guys happen to know whose rental car that is that is parked in the red zone up there?"
"Red zone?", I asked, "What does that mean?" The officer retorted back in disgust, "It's a no parking zone!" I quipped back, "Well, where we're from that's a yellow curb." "Ahhhh! Just get on outta here!", the officer raised his hands in disgust. We hurriedly complied, but when we had gotten in the car, the officer came up and apologized. He even offered up some info on a happening bar not far away from the beach.
But we looked at each other and without another word, we rolled up the windows and called it a night. We had a funny feeling we'd already burned up all our good luck. All that and I never did see the ocean that night!
Next Week: Stories from Las Vegas Interbike 1996...............
Fatbiking the Kenai Coast
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