I'm surprised you didn't catch that "Mellow Johnny" was Lance Armstrong's nickname during his Tour de France heyday. It's a play on words from maillot jaune, or "yellow jersey" in French. Got that? Now I'll stop pretending I'm more of an authority of cycling than you are.
"What?!?," I thought to myself. "Could this be true?" Internet research revealed that it was, and also that "Maillot Jaune" refers to the yellow jersey in the Tour de France--a race that Lance Armstrong has apparently won. Unwittingly, I had stumbled upon the vital lead that I had been looking for in the missing fixed-gear case. So I removed the duct tape from the suspect I had been interrogating (I'm sorry to report there was some skin loss), bought a plane ticket on closeout from Nashbar (at an additional 15% off with the coupon code), and headed to Austin for the Mellow Johnny's shop opening immediately.
Upon deplaning, the first thing I discovered was that Austin was in the grip of a heat wave--it was like 100 degrees and humid. The next thing I learned was that the Cure were not scheduled to play Austin until June 8th. This meant that my heavy long-sleeved black Robert Smith outfit was doubly inappropriate. Embarrassed and perspiring badly, I headed to my hotel:
Ah yes, South Congress was indeed the vibrant cultural center I had heard it was. I was conveniently located close to Hudson Sausage, Jerky, and Deer Processing:
I was also handy to a cleverly-named hair salon, which was fortunate because my Robert Smith coiffure was wilting badly in the heat:
And, most importantly, I was near a warehouse of a church which I believe may be storing geared bicycles in anticipation of the Fixed-Gear Apocalypse:
Speaking of the Apocalypse, during my visit the only thing higher than the temperature (and many of the residents) was the PistaDex. It was (and is still as I type) at an ample 575. Indeed, it seemed that everywhere I looked, people were enjoying themselves on their fixed-gear bicycles:
Though when they tired of them or got too hot they simply put them in their cars:
Oldtenspeedgallery fans will be pleased to know that their kind were also represented in Austin. Though instead of stowing their bicycles in Honda Civics, they seem to prefer public transportation:
Ah, yes, Austin. It's a magical town where the buses have Schwinn moustaches and the porta-potties wear Cones of Smugness:
And also dispense cash, apparently:
Of course, you're probably wondering at this point if I actually made it to Mellow Johnny's. The answer is yes. Here's a shot of it from my internment camp:
And yes, I was ultimately released and even permitted to attend the Saturday night opening party, where my entourage and I drank alcoholic beverages and roamed about the shop largely unsupervised. So if you haven't had enough of Austin yet, stay tuned for Part II. In the meantime, I invite you to contemplate and fear the Austin Apocalyptic Death Cattle: