Archive for September, 2007

Does A Milestone Passed Alone In The City Make Any Sound?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

While I can’t pinpoint it to an exact measurement, by my calculation I figure by the end of my bike business today give or take a tenth (or a couple) miles I’ll have 11.6 to go tomorrow morning to reach the not-as-elusive-as-I-thought 2,007th mile for the year.

And while I also can’t specify the exact degrees of longitute and latitude where I’ll arrive at that milestone, I have a pretty good idea of the vicinity: the intersection of Ocean Drive and Cota Street in Culver City next to a sliver of a park called Lindberg.

Why there? Well, the last few commutes I’ve been thrilled to have been able to incorporate a couple miles of the Ballona Creek Bikeway from its inland terminus at National and Jefferson to Overland, but yesterday I found just a little further west a ped/bike bridge over the waterway that drops me into this quaint and quiet residential alcove where Lindberg Park is.

Sure, part of me wishes I was crossing that threshold during one of our now-irregular IAAL•MAF rides or a RIDE-Arc or a Midnight Ridazz, or that it was happening in the 2nd Street Tunnel or atop the 6th Street Bridge, or the Griffith Observatory, or along the L.A. River, or around the Silver Lake reservoir, or overlooking Dodger Stadium and the downtown skyline from the summit of Elysian Park, or any of a dozen other places that are more significant to me then a nondescript non-Los Angeles street corner in the 90230.

But then again, I find it oddly fitting to be moving into mile No. 2,008 through a neighborhood I wouldn’t have otherwise discovered if it hadn’t been in the saddle of The Phoenix. Because in the end discovering things in this city — be it a gas cap iconically embedded in the asphalt at Santa Monica and Fairfax, or a previously unknown mural or an old adobe or a simple little neighborhood —  is one of the things that makes being on a bike so fulfilling for me.

Momentousness

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Having on Friday willfully sacrificed my work commute and that night’s Midnight Ridazz so as to partake with Susan in that not-often-enough summer ritual known as the Hollywood Bowl, I nonetheless deprived myself of adding some 60 biking miles to my annual totals and putting me within a couple commutes of catching and passing my goal of 2,007 miles for 2007 (which I have dutifully and meticulously mapped and kept up to date here on 2007 Bike Routes page).

Sunday’s 17.5-miler with Manny that centered on hotcakes at the Pantry downtown reclaimed a bit of that lost mileage, moving me 15 miles past 1,900, but now being less than 92 miles from my goal I’m dedicated to getting the goal got and will be making this another individual “Bike To Work” week, similar to the one I did back in March (in part then because I was out of the country for the regular annual city-wide one in May).

If my lousy calculations aren’t too off, and if all goes according to plan, and if I don’t get all lazy between now and then, my 2,007th mile should arrive near the end of my morning commute on Thursday, some 3.33 months ahead of schedule.

When I get there I might pump a fist in the air or let out a “hell yeah!” or stop and take a picture of me and The Phoenix, but I won’t be getting tooooo demonstrative in my enthusiasm as I’ll be in the Westside and we all know how most of those people feel about public displays of emotion, much less public displays of emotion on a bicycle.

The Pruning

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Well we thought the time had come, but it turns out after a re-read of the instructions we were actually way overdue in taking the next step with the most advanced of the four avocado seedlings we’d been nurturing in the kitchen windowsill since last month.

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click to doublify

Whereas we thought we were supposed to let the thing grow to a foot long and then cut it back to six or seven inches, nope. We missed the part where it instructed to cut it back to three or four inches when it hits six inches tall.

Oops.

So we improvised and cut it back to about seven inches then put it in a pot whereupon we crossed our fingers and hoped we didn’t totally mess things up.

More pix of the potting after the jump

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Bowl-dly Go

Friday, September 14th, 2007

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click to quadrupilate

Yeah, we had kick-ass seats for a kick-ass Pink Martini concert tonight at the Hollywood Bowl.

We Interrupt This Bike Blog For…

Friday, September 14th, 2007

It ain’t often but occasionally there’s a perk to being a contributionalist with the Metroblogging empire, and last night rose up the opportunity from Blogging.la Captain David Markland to take my wife to a couple of terrace seats at the Hollywood Bowl to see the famed venue recreated as the legenndary Cocoanut Grove nightclub with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the baton of conductor Thomas Wilkins and headlined by Pink Martini, featuring Carol Channing, Henri Salvador and the MarchForth Marching Band. All that and a fireworks finale, too!

As such I was faced with the decision between this unique event and my beloved Midnight Ridazz and I’m pretty sure I made the right call given how excited Susan was at the prospect of picknicking so up-close and personal to all the action. And she adores Pink Martini.

So while I mourn missing my monthly midnighter, I’m also gonna drive to work today so that when I get home this afternoon I’m in a more presentable condition (i.e. not in need of another shower) and we can get on our way to the show that much quicker.

See! I can put the bike down and step away from it. Sometimes.

Keeping Driving On The Downlow

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

I know this stuff bores the shiz out of 98.665% of you visitors here, but it’s how I roll literally and figuratively. And in the first eight days of my new gig I’ve driven three times, biked 4.5 times and bused 0.5 times (those point-fivers are from my mixed-use commute yesterday when I biked in, but bused back to Union Station to go bike around downtown some more).

Percentage-wise that breaks down to:

  • Car — 37.5%
  • Bike — 56.25%
  • Bus — 6.25%

Which is better than my initial plans to keep it at a 60-40 split between bike/bus and car. I’m presently undecided whether to bike in or drive tomorrow… the reason being Friday evening will be time again for another edition of Midnight Ridazz, which will have me going from Silver lake to the Santa Monica Pier and then back home, a roundtrip that will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 miles and end me up at around 60 for the day (an all-time high for the year).

But damn if that won’t put me around 50 miles (aka a couple more bike commute days the following week) from my goal for the year of 2,007.

I’m of a mind to go all gung-ho and get there then relax… or reset my sites on a goal of 2,500 and go get that.

Hi my name is Will and I’m a bike-aholic.

Where All The Lights Are Bright

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

So I met up last night with my friend Elson, who I’ve become acquainted with through various RIDE-Arc and Midnight Ridazz rides. He was bummed because he wasn’t able to make last Friday’s “10 Bridges” ride and so we reconnoitered at Union Station and did an abbreviated version through downtown. Here’s a five-second shot I got looking west toward downtown from Jackson Street where it deadends into the L.A. River (with The Phoenix hamming into the frame; click to quadrapolate):

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Yes, that’s right. I did bike to work in the morning (discovering a route variation that included the marvelous qualities of Redondo Avenue down to Jefferson, as well as a couple miles along the Ballona Creek Bikeway), then put in a full shift and then took a long bus ride downtown to bike some more. Some call that weird. I call it a good day.