Bicycle Ambassadors In Town
Early spring is when the big Tour Of California bike race roars through Marin County.
Everyone’s abuzz, making plans for where to watch the peloton blow past: Sausalito, on the start line, or up Route 1…
Some people even come from the East Coast. Taliah Lempert‘s one of them, accompanied by her partner, soft-spoken cycling legend Dave Perry.
You probably know that I write fan-letters…half of you have gotten one from at one time or another. It’s how I inaugurate communication. The minute I see something that impresses me, I hunt around in my desk-pile for a (working) pen and some (mostly usable) paper or a boastcard and fire off my volley of praise.
When the magazine put out by League of American Wheelpeople or whatever featured a young painter and her stunning bicycle portraits, I grabbed a pen and wrote her.
She is an athlete (races track), a scholar and a real artist (not starving but the MacArthur Foundation Prize would be nice any time in the next five years)..and lives in NYC (well, technically in Williamsburg, just over the Hudson) with David Perry (author of Bike Cult) who runs Bikeworks NYC.
Over the years we kept contact,and I even stayed at their amazing loft a couple times, most recently in ’05. Her magnificent dog, Kabbalah, reminded me I have a dog lover inside the rat person. One evening she, Dave and I rode a very scary summer’s evening high-commute Brooklyn-to-Queens streetromp to race on the Kissena track, and left my ol’ Otto for her to immortalize.
As always, it’s nearly impossible to have enough time with them–they came late and left early…we had breakfast in the habitat (‘”Scrambled Everything”–a skillet baked full of carbs like tortillas, eggs, bread, milk and cottage cheese).
End of visit: a quick good-by and a promise to get back to You Nork one day soon…