Today’s ride started with a walk down to the bike shop to pick up the Surly–man, this bike looks good. She’s got a new chain, new derailleur cables, new rear brake pads, new bolts on her rear rack, a new fender strut, and he’s shifting, braking, and whooshing like a dream. I decided to head down the hill to check out Otakon 2012. It has been awhile since I’ve stopped in at a convention I wasn’t a part of, so I was past due for a little passive observation of people really, really into stuff I know absolutely nothing about. I negotiated the traffic brought to you by the burst water main on Light Street before locking up and heading in to check out the scene. The place was so, so crowded, mostly with people in their late teens and 20s, most in costumes I didn’t understand, most of them taking pictures of each other while I took pictures of them and pictures of them taking pictures of each other. I took a seat and watched folks wander by, because no matter what your costume, you still have to walk yourself down the hallway; I liked the octopus who had a coterie carry her legs, the many people with eerily-shaded pink and gray and green paint, and the team costumes. I snapped this picture from the balcony as crowds gathered for a costume contest–the winner seemed pretty clear from the jump. I wandered through the hallways, paused to watch the dance off, thought about how much more diverse this convention crowd was compared to some others I’ve been to, and then headed back out for an ice cream before pedaling back up the hill. Next year I’m totally wearing a tail.