Ride, Interrupted

Alternate Title: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, Or: If I Hadn’t Reported A Swastika Found Sprayed Beside The LA River Bikeway, I Wouldn’t Have Flatted In Elysian Park.

I’d set out Saturday afternoon to ride to the tops of both Elysian and Griffith parks. All in about a 30-mile route abstractly resembling a figure-8. I’d done it before. It’s one of my favorite rides, and it all began very nicely with me coming through Silver Lake and over the Hyperion Bridge down into Atwater Village before getting on the LA River Bikeway at the Sunnynook Pedestrian Bridge and (after stopping to report a despicable hate emblem spray painted under the Hyperion Bridge) heading downstream to its end and rolling across the Buena Vista Viaduct and up into Elysian Park. As you’ll see if you watch the video above I ease on around the Elysian Reservoir up to Point Grandview and then made the rest of the climb up to the little league fields at Bishop’s Canyon — which used to be a canyon until it became a landfill… but calling a now nonexistent canyon Bishop’s Landfill just doesn’t have the same zing.

Dutifully I rolled to the end of the parking lot to the picnic area there to take in the wonderful view of Dodger Stadium and the downtown skyline beyond it, but no sooner had I come up the sidewalk ramp when I struck a razor blade of broken glass in the most opportune way for it to slash an inch-long laceration into the sidewall of my tire and the innertube inside. So nstead of momentarily enjoying the vista and getting on with my ride I settled down before it to change out the flat.

Trouble is with large gashes in tire treads, I knew right away the reinflated replacement tube would herniate through it. So first I tried to dam things up with a spare patch, but it wasn’t big enough or thick enough to prevent the tube from bubbling through. So next I used a couple dollar bills folded and placed between the tube and the tire. That minimized the breach, but I knew the rest of the ride was out the window because I wasn’t going to risk that temporary solution failing. In its place was a gingerly ridden return to Silver Lake and a visit to Golden Saddle Cyclery Shop for a (long overdue) new pair of shoes for El Naranja.

Griffith Park will just have to wait. Until today maybe.