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3/08/2008

I Want To Ride My Bicycle

Fat bottomed girls, they'll be riding today...

It was a warm, gorgeous day in the Southland today. I was itching to be outdoors, in spite of an excruciating headache that was not cured by the combination of Alleve, espresso, protein, water, ice, and relaxation that I tried. I was still dying to get out and go for a bike ride. Los Angeles has quite a population of hardcore cyclists. I admire them, but am not one of them. Street riding scares the bejeezus out of me. Two of my co-workers have been hit by cars while on their bicycles in the past couple of years. One was pretty seriously injured and was out for over six months.

E and I bought bicycles about 12 years ago at Toys R Us. They were having a sale and we didn't really need anything fancy. They've held up fine. Of course they have, we've barely used them for years. The thought of getting back on his bike was a bit anxiety producing for E, but he agreed to join me. We decided to play it safe and go along the Chandler Bikeway, a glorious paved and lined path that runs from Burbank, not far from the above mentioned toy store, and to the North Hollywood subway station in the other direction. The landscaping is coming along nicely.

On our somewhat leisurely ride (a relative notion since we are both pretty out of shape) we saw lots of people of all ages, from infants to octogenarians, from various ethnic groups, and of different shapes and sizes. These are some things I observed:
  • Families walking, in-line skating, and biking.
  • Many people walking their dogs, from adorable little beagles to big, unaltered mastiffs who weren't so cute.
  • Several kids and one adult skateboarding.
  • Two women, each with a dog, working with a dog trainer.
  • A dirty, hairy guy pushing his 99-cent Store shopping cart in the bike lane. He was keeping up quite well.
  • Children jumping on a trampoline in a front yard. I don't think I've ever seen one with a big net all around it. When I was a kid, we just risked falling off and sometimes did.
  • A couple of teenage boys playing football.
  • Several houses for sale, many of which were pretty run down.
  • A woman who was struggling to ride a bike again after 15 years. Two young girls were encouraging her. On our way back, she was resting, but proudly told us she'd done it.
It was so refreshing to be out moving and to see so many others doing it to. The Chandler bike path is one more reason that I really like where I live.

5 comments:

Aggie said...

Sounds like fun ... and way safer than being on the Roads. Cool way to spend a day.

nicole said...

I like riding my bike but the park nearby has a lot of rude people who walk in the wrong direction or plop their chains right on the bike path to watch baseball games. Luckily we found another path not too far away that we might try this year instead.

By the way, if you ever watch America's Funniest Home Videos you'll see lots of people cracking their skulls on trampolines. I'll never try one of them after seeing that, unless it's a freakishly large one like those cool circus nets!

Darlene said...

Confession? I just recently relearned how to ride a bicycle after a huge wipeout in high school. But my palms still get sweaty when I think of sharing the road with cars: too many distractions including people talking on cell phones. So kudos for you for getting out and taking a spin!

Stan said...

Heh. You're right about the streets being Not for the Faint of Heart. But on the other hand, I look at it as an adventure. It's like doing the Running of the Bulls every day.

Will Campbell... said...

Awesome! You touched on the essence of why I enjoy cycling so much: being able to experience all the life that's happening around you. All those things you were able to observe and catalog would be nothing from behind the wheel of a car.

The Chandler Bikeway is an awesome addition to the region's bikescape. Maybe one of these days you'll think about extending west past North Hollywood along the relative calm of Chandler to the off-street bikeway that parallels the Orange Line all the way out to the Sepulveda basin.

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