Black & Blue Mondays - The Man From Atlanta

"It was like Michael Jacksons thriller video, except much slower due to all of them being on heroin"

24 Apr 2017


Words By Paul Robinson

The end of June 2011 and I find myself booking last minute flight tickets to Atlanta based on the recommendation of Sean Burns. If Burns tells me a city is good for riding then I don’t argue with him, I just book it.

Randy (RIP) broke his leg the day before and Iz was drafted in to replace, a theme that would echo into 2012. We didn’t have a guide or a van, we figured we would stay in a central motel and just pedal around, which worked fine except the heat outside at 10 a.m. was more brutal than anything I’ve ever experienced. One night the local bike shop owner wanted to take us out for dinner, we didn’t know a lot about him but based on what Sean told us he was a big fan of Burns and Bonedeth (I don’t think he’s the first). I forget the guy's name now but dinner was an unusually awkward experience, the shop owner switched from being semi-normal to outrageously drunk in about four chugs of beer. He started ranting about how he wanted Ashley Charles to move to Atlanta and join the bike shop team - he was obviously going to pay for all of that.

We found out previously that he had "allegedly" killed a man and was on probation until the trial, which certainly set a jovial tone for the evening. The night got weirder when he repeatedly ran to the bathroom for short periods of time and then out of nowhere threw a glass over his head at the wall of the restaurant. 


As riders, and friends we all have a built-in mechanism that copes with these situations and you only have to look at the guy next to you to know that its time to leave. One by one each member of the table got up and made their way ever so slowly to the front door, leaving the shop owner staring drunkenly at his plate of untouched food. Like a bunch of kids who just threw stones at an old women’s window we all turned and ran - grown men running through the night in Atlanta half giggling and half scared that a would-be murderer may be following. After about a minute of quite embarrassing running (think 6 pints deep and no idea of direction) we all turned a corner into a quiet downtown street and started to lightly jog, looking behind us for any sign of the mentalist. The streets were quiet and empty and the night was muggy and warm. A homeless man approached us from the shadows and I handed him my pocket full of quarters instantly without any thought. Before I knew it and as if the walls started to literally discharge homeless people we became surrounded. We all started running again, this time however, we were being chased by the slowest mob of homeless people we had ever encountered. It was like Michael Jacksons thriller video, except much slower due to all of them being on heroin.

When we got back to the apartment, Sean had 76 missed calls and 18 text messages from the shop owner who by the sounds of things wanted to keep the party going. 


The article above is from Issue 1 of Black & Blue. A 72 page zine featuring images and articles from the road. Issue 2 out May 2017.

For more info on Black & Blue:

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