I got a text from Mathieu. “Wtf?” it said.
I had no idea about the w, the t, or the f, so I called him. “What’s up? Are you okay?”
“I’m great!” he laughed. “I was just thinking of you and wanted to send you an odd text.”
The first time I met Mathieu he was on a bicycle. Ahead of me.
After that I met him many times, always on a bicycle, and always ahead of me.
Many phrases were used to describe him when he appeared like a starburst on the streets of the South Bay.
“Lovely flowing locks.”
“Beautiful gentle smile.”
“Kind warm heart.”
“Sensitive and intelligent.”
“Sorry motherfucker rides everyone off his fucking wheel that dick.”
(That last one was mine.)
Mathieu truly was one of the strongest riders to ever debut in the South Bay; still is. He was a career musician who, as he put it, “Always had this weird thing in the back of my mind, like, what would I ever do if people stopped listening to live music? What would happen to me? Crazy, huh? To be worried about something impossible like that.”
Then the covids came to town and people stopped listening to live music and suddenly Mathieu had a lot of free time. One of the ways he spent that free time was walking neighbors’ dogs. One of those neighbors said to him, “My son just got a mountain bike. Could you teach him how to ride it?”
“Sure,” he said, because in addition to being a very gnarly road rider, Mathieu was also a dirt wizard. He took the kid out and they had a good time, or so Mathieu thought.
“Mathieu,” the mom called him to say.
“That ride you took junior on …” her voice trailed off and his sphincter clenched.
“It was amazing. Junior can’t stop talking about it. Can I hire you to take him out a few more times?”
Since he was a musician, Mathieu didn’t really understand the concept of getting paid, so he asked her to repeat it a few times. It finally sank in. “Yes, uh, of course. I mean, I wasn’t doing it for money …” No musician can resist trying to give away his services for free, however adamant the customer.
“I know, but really, it’s amazing what you did with him.”
So SoCal Sendy was born. “Sendy” as in “Send it, baby!” I’m not sure what it means but all day yesterday I was looking at people and books and pieces of dinner sausages and saying “Sendy baby!” This is what happens when musicians think up names. They jingle and you can’t get them out of your head.
Mathieu isn’t worried so much about his musical career anymore. His days are stacked with messages from parents signing their kids up for his astonishing lessons. “I just go with the flow, man,” he told me. I thought I could hear Jerry Garcia humming in the background.
Hit him up (310) 507-5608, Facebag SocalSendy, Instaspam #socalsendy, doesn’t matter if you’re a young kid or a really old one. You’ll learn how to ride the dirt and have a ball. You’ll hear the melody, too.
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