Ride On

In the afterglow of the pleasant and proud success of tonight’s IAAL•MAF spinvitational, which drew around 100 riders on a tour of the 10 downtown-adjacent bridges over the L.A. River, a couple milestones — or should I say mileage-stones? — took place.

The first that happened was my accumulated commute and recreational 49.3-mile distance biked today helped push me over 1,800 miles for the year — 1,811.7 to be exact — putting me less than 200 miles from my goal of 2,007 for 2007.

Second and much more poetic anf fulfilling to me was that the odometer on The Phoenix moved past 3,000 cumulative miles. I noticed it first at 3,000.6 on the way back home from the ride tonight as I came west through the 2nd Street tunnel.

Back in the soggy fall of 2003 when I hauled the dead bike home from the corner down the street from our house where I’d found it abandoned only to let it sit out in the open backyard through the near-record rainy season of 2004, I couldn’t have imagined the bike would be rideable again much less to such a degree.

Even when I undertook the decrepit bike’s resurrection begun in August 2005 and completed piecemeal over the next three months, I figured I would ride it a few times until I really missed the gears of my road bike and then either put it or give it away.

Since that first tentative ride around the reservoir November 23, 2005, that has turned out not to be the case as the 3,000 miles that followed across the next 21.5 months can attest, and I am amazed and uniquely satisfied at putting something back into circulation so completely and dependably.

It’s been a helluva ride and I’m looking forward to much more.