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BEST BIKER BAR Minneapolis 1999 -

The hogs come out in springtime. Your Fat Boys. Your Sportsters. Your Softails. The rumbling of pipes plays a rough bassline below the treble shrieks of the cappuccino maker. There's parking out front, bikes only, and sometimes you'll see some makeshift tune-ups at curbside. No need to hide your Japanese bikes at Bob's--especially not the ones with the wide, smooth tires. The bikes we're talking about here accelerate a little faster than stock cars and a little slower than the space shuttle. These riders wear helmets. A lot of the guys with the Ducatis have cell phones. The Anglophiles pull up on the Triumphs and the Nortons, and they sit at the picnic tables flanking the front and side. The bike bulletin board really moves merchandise. In warm weather, the baristas--who are a pretty buff crew, boys and girls alike--roll up the glass wall in front like a garage door, opening the room to the elements. This gives the cigarette smoke a chance to circulate and make new friends. Also in a sociable mood: the coffee canines, who comb the tables looking for affection from strangers. Some of the clientele is also seeking the attention of your urban SWF, and they pet these dogs to make a play for the person holding the leash. Or so it seems. A lot of people here wear leather--even those who arrive on foot--and no one drinks decaf. Bob's Java Hut doesn't serve it, anyway.

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