For a fair number of people afflicted with common sense, the idea of getting on a bike and riding it 20 miles around Los Angeles at night is far-fetched at best, lunatic at worst. Factor in that such a ride occurs on date with a Friday and a 13 in it and you add a whole additional contingent of the rational if superstitious populace who just shake their collective head in why-risk-it disdain.

For me, Friday the 13th has never held any particular stand-out for unluckiness. I’m sure in my life something has gone wrong on that dreaded date — a stubbed toe, a flat tire, a lost wallet perhaps — but nothing that really sticks out from my memory. And even if it had I’m sure not going to let the conventional mythology surrounding the occasional day/date pairing keep me from doing what I’ve done 18 out of the last 20 months.

Laziness or apathy though? Those were far more potent forces at work on my enthusiasm. By 8:30 p.m. I was flopped in the livingroom watching “The Devil Wears Prada” with Susan instead of being on my way to Scoops for a pre-ride treat (and to drop off a copy of the letter to the editor that ran in Thursday’s L.A. Times calendar section admonishing the paper for failing to include the place in an ice cream sidebar to their previous week’s frogen yozurt cover story). A half hour later I was still stuck in neutral and the same at 9:15 when I told my wife that for the first time since December 2005 I wasn’t my usual enthused-about-Midnight-Ridazz self.

Then I promptly picked my sorry ass up out of the comfy chair got myself properly geared, gave Susan a g’nite kiss, told her I’d be 13 times more careful than normal and got over to my favorite place to be the second Friday of every month and had a wonderful time in what turned out to be one of my favorite Midnight Ridazz rides ever.

I won’t recount the route other than to illustrate via a rough three-snap pano aimed across downtown and the river during our break upon the 6th Street Viaduct (click to quadruplify):

ssp.jpg

Special Bonus: The person who could neither officially confirm nor deny being The Militant from the new and excellent Militant Angeleno blog found me and said hello and cruised with me for part of the ride. I can confirm via Militant’s blog entry today that the person was there, but again whether it was the Militant who I actually met or an agent/operative or just a reasonable facsimile thereof is open only to rampant and unsubstantiated speculation.