Long Rider

So I biked over and met Carolyn Kellogg, editor of LAist.com at the Britespot in Echo Park this morning. Susan and I met her at the wake for the Ambassador Hotel at the HMS Bounty last week and since we’re both unemployed and living livses of leisure (cough) she emailed an invite to get together for coffee and so we did.

We talked old jobs and blogs and old bosses and blogs and old jobs until it was time for her to head downtown for an appointment so I bid her farewell and hit the ATM to deposit the two months worth of back unemployment checks that finally arrived yesterday having been on hold pending my appeal hearing which was now almost two weeks ago that resulted in a reversal of the decision to deny my claim (yeah, baby!). The EDD may not be the slowest beauracracy out there, but they gotta be in the top three.

Thus newly flush with cash, I tried to figure out how to celebrate:

  • Head home, pick up Shadow for a hike, maybe Fern Dell or Bronson Canyon?
  • Head home, get my workout gear and hit the Y, then afterward wander downtown snapping crappy phonecam pix of some of the sights… maybe the portobello burger at Traxx?
  • Don’t go home, don’t go workout, just go for a bike ride?

DingDingDing. No. 3 was the winnah! But the next question was where to go? The odometer read 186.5 so I thought wouldn’t it be cool to roll The Phoenix past its 200th mile?

Of course it would. So westward I went, but with no real idea of my destination. Up Sunset to Fountain, I stayed on Fountain all the way to La Cienega where I dropped down the hill and crossed Santa Monical and finally turned right onto Melrose, which I took to Robertson south to Burton Way in Beverly Hills.

It was around this time that I kicked up an internal dialogue:

“You’re not seriously thinking about biking all the way to the beach, are you?”

“Naaaaaaah…. am I?”

“It sure seems like you’re thinking about biking all the way to the beach?”

“Well, I’ll let you know when I make up my mind.”

Burton Way becomes Little Santa Monica Boulevard and before long I’m across Wilshire and then back on Big Santa Monica passing Century City.

Again come the voices:

“I knew it! You’re going to ride all the way to the beach!”

“But I’m still not sure yet… maybe we’ll turn around at Westwood.”

“Bullshit. Santa Monica, here we come!”

Sure enough, we zipped past Westwood Boulevard, then weaved our way through some gridlock coming up on Sepulveda, then under the 405 and a short distance later Santa Monica bears to the left and it’s a straight shot all the way to Ocean Avenue.

The Phoenix registered her 200th mile at Cloverfield, right by St. Johns Hospital where back in 1994 a few months after my motorcycle accident crushed my face I had a piece of my hip “harvested” and used to rebuild the bridge of my nose. Ahh, the memories.

A few minutes later I was taking a snap of me relaxing on an Ocean Park bench looking out at the bay, which looked better than my phonecam captured, but it will have to suffice (click to biggify):

Santa Monica Bay 02-07-06_1136.jpg

It took about 75 minutes to go that 16 miles. Not bad. Fortunately I had a little packet of sunscreen in my backpack, which I applied to my face and neck, and then just kicked back trying to decide if I was going to hop the No. 4 bus for the journey back or just crank it all the way home.

I biked down to the pier but decided not to go down there. Instead I came back up to Santa Monica Boulevard and started back figuring if I poop out I can just hang until a bus comes along. All was going well except that I sweated some of that sunscreen into my eyes and the shit stung but good. Still I rolled on all the way up through Beverly Hills then up Robertson to Melrose all the way to Virgil up to Santa Monica again up to the Sunset Junction and home where I rolled in about 1:15 p.m.
All told it was a 35-mile ride from Silver Lake to the Santa Monica Pier entrance and back, good for a couple thousand calories burned. Can I get a Woo-Hoo!?

Published by


Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."