So with a five-mile errand run Thursday and a 31.5-mile night ride yesterday, in the first two days of February I’ve accumulated more than half the paltry 64 miles I pedaled in all of January. Certainly 64 miles is more than some people bike in a year — even perhaps a lifetime — but that ain’t gonna cut it for me if I plan to roll to my goal of 2,007 for 2007. So February’s off to a good start. Factor in a 34-mile roundtrip bike commute to and from my new temp gig in El Segundo every week or so and I’ll soon be at/above my monthly average of 167 miles instead of foundering so far below it.

Last night’s RIDE-Arc ride took its participants on a 17-mile tour under clear skies and a full moon that featured the landmark St. Elmo’s Village, the historic West Adams District, the famous “To Protect and Serve” mural by Noni Olabisi in Jefferson Park, the vibrant Leimert Park, as well as the home of the legendary Ray Charles up in View Park.

The additional 14 miles came from biking there and back with my friend Steve. We met up at Scoops on Heliotrope at 8:30 and went light on the ice cream since both of us had eaten pretty recently and largely. From there we dropped down Vermont to 4th Street (heretofore to be referred to as the 4th Street Bike Boulevard) where of all things I recognized the massive house at 4th and Lorraine featured in the craptastic Steve Martin comedy “Cheaper By The Dozen” (I knew it was in Hancock Park and not Chicago where the movie is based).

The Phoenix performed beautifully and gave me a good workout on the inclines. With only its solitary and not at all hill-friendly 53/19 gear to drive the climbs that brought us from Leimert Park up to Ray Charles’ house I was easily and wistfully reminded why it was so easy to hang her up for so long and succumb to the easy risings enabled by my road bike’s granny gear. But exhaustion and rubber legs notwithstanding it was good to have her back on the road.

Audio, video, images, maps, and stuff:

  • Gmaps route chart of the ride is viewable here.
  • Brief YouTube video of some jazz happening while we were in Leimert Park here.
  • Ride photoset on Flickr is here.