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Utilitaire 12: #7

February 28, 2012

#7. Bike to Sporting Event or Concert, Round-trip Mileage: 3.4 Miles (extra: in the dark, 2 of 2), February 21, 2012

I left my apartment a little after 8. Tonight’s light set-up matched the single speed’s minimalistic look. It made me a little uneasy not to be equipped with my usual commuter gear – no neon reflective cost or triple ultra-bright light system. However, I wanted to ensure nothing could be swiped from the bike. Instead I used a Planet Bike Spok light set. Not satisfied, I also attached my light motion light to my helmet (bike Buddha status achieved). This light could easily detach and wouldn’t pose a security risk I was so worried about.


I parked a couple of blocks from the 930 Club on U Street. The area was well lit and crowded with bikes from bar patrons. It might seem silly not to park as close to the venue as possible but if I had been driving, I would have been thanking the parking gods for allowing me to park so close to my destination on U Street.


I arrived about 8:15 for a 9pm show. No crowd. Where was everyone? The front door was open but it didn’t seem like they were letting people in that way. Someone asked the staff a question and then they were being directed to the left side of the building. I followed the crowd aimlessly and without much thought…just go with the herd. I guess this is how a cow feels when being led to the slaughter house…just follow the guy in front of you and then bam! Enticed by the allure of advanced admission to see Portlandia, you end up with a cow holding a dixie cup with $7 worth of beer in it (or something like that).

After nursing my beer for 30 minutes (why do the tickets say 9pm show, when they mean doors open at 9?), we were finally led upstairs. The 20 or so of us in the underground bar did indeed get first dibs at where to stand. Although, I could have easily made it to the front row railings, I decided to take the center balcony position instead. I wasn’t planing on staying the entire time (school night!), and this would allow for an easy escape.

Shortly after 10pm, Portlanida duo Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein made it on stage. The set included video from their current season on IFC and Q&A with the audience (asked what area of DC was most like Portland, the audience agreed it was Baltimore). The onstage banter between the two was dull and seemed too scripted. This may have been a result of it being their second show of the night. I wish they had performed more live character skits. The highlight of the evening was the live music. Browstein, one of the 25 Most Underrated Guitarists of All-Time according to Rolling Stone was impressive and Armisen held his own. They played both music from the show and random stuff with additional musicians. As midnight approached, the music still played but I needed to get home.


The bike was safe (no one wanted to bother with my NYFU u-lock) and the ride down a deserted Park Road was awesome.


The complete Utilitaire 12 series can be found here.

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