So far, so good. Since my first roll Friday morning across the stretch of Ballona Creek Bikeway that includes the spot where a cyclist was attacked and robbed last week, I’ve encountered nothing that would even be considered remotely menacing.

Here’s the timelapse from this morning’s creekside ride from Dusquene in Culver City to Inglewood Boulevard in Mar Vista:


Boldly Going: Ballona Creek Bikeway – 08.02.25 from Will Campbell on Vimeo.

Even though the first few trips haven’t shown me any dangers lurking out there, I retrieved an item from the depths of a desk drawer that has about a 50/50 chance of either helping me or getting me in trouble.

No it’s not a gun or a knife. It’s a telescoping steel baton that I bought a year or so ago when I worked at DirecTV for a few months and was biking home through Inglewood, Crenshaw, Leimert Park and east along Exposition Boulevard. Fully collapsed it’s about seven inches long. Fully extended it’s about 21. It came with a handy belt holster. But even unconcealed its pretty much illegal to carry and I never had the guts to do so. I never even brought it with in my backpack a time or two because how often does one have time to unzip and retrieve something when you’re in the process of getting jumped? Not often.

Anyway, I brought it out into the light and took it out in the backyard and swung it around. It felt good in my hand and I imagined an epic scenario where I produce the weapon much to the surprise of the thugs closing in on me. Then I imagined the baton being taken from me and used against me. And so I whacked the thing against a river rock until it bent and would not compact, then I dismantled it into its segments and put it in the recycle bin.

I’m mostly a firm believer of it being better to have something and not need it rather than vice versa, but that doesn’t apply to fear.