Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Loving the Bicycle while Hating the Cars

Yesterday, Tuesday we rode to the airport our destination the black hole in Los Angeles named LAX. The We consists of myself and Dylan my son. Dylan moves around and is presently living in Plastic Land somewhere in Orange County. My butt stays in San Pedro which is the real south tip of Los Angeles and I suffer from a mild case of agoraphobia.

Actual distance traveled isn't much but it takes a long time due to our slow rate of speed. Our first hour traveled after stopping for a fossil fuel refuel allowed us to travel 8 miles. During that hour Dylan only said "Fucking Traffic" three hundred and forty times in between bitching about his rear tire hitting the fender.

We have done this routine several times before as Dylan travels all over the world to ride his bicycle. He recently returned from China where he performed on his bike and I had to pick him up at LAX on a Friday evening at the peak of travel time. The current flight has him traveling first to Houston then onto Costa Rica. He has been to Houston once before riding at a Red Bull Event.

Poster for Friday Show in Parrita, Costa Rica

In grousing about the traffic around the airport I can recall my first visit there. It was around 1954 and I was trying out my first skinny tired bike that had a rear stay mounted shifter that controlled the chain switching. I worked at a bicycle shop in Santa Monica (Cycle and Sports) afternoons and on Saturday. So I rode south on Lincoln Blvd crossing over on Manchester to Sepulveda where I reached the terminal. There wasn't any MapMyRide then so to create proof for those unbelievers I purchased a souvenir.

LAX was moved after my earlier visit and the new runway was extended. We went there in 1961 to pickup a traveler returning and we parked in front of the new terminal. I think the parking was free and there wasn't any traffic.

Current Tower
My car actually has spider webs on the tires and one of my neighbors is always making fun of that so I have to remove the webs. The spiders must be living somewhere in the Nissan as they reappear if I move the car in recharging the battery. Very few people use bicycles for transportation but I do. Since I rely on my bicycles and riding the streets of Los Angeles can be dangerous I have learned to hate our automobile-centric culture more and more.

Nissan Spider Haven
Myself, as the majority of American males, are fond of automobiles. My mentor at the bicycle shop, beside be an active bike racer was a hot rodder. Carl Siefert had a 32 three-widow with a flathead in it. So my introduction in to wrenching started in his dirt floor garage. In junior high I rode to school on my bicycle. The bike racks were full and no one rode to school in a car driven by parents. Parents didn't do that. By high school riding bikes became uncool and nobody pedaled to school. Walk, drive or ride the bus. Like so many other I became a worshipper of the devil. As I approached the age of 16 my car collection grew and far out numbered my one road bike (Arbos) and one track bike (Paramount) having discarded balloon tires.

On out Tuesday morning slow creep to the airport we used surface streets as Dylan had earlier driven from OC to Pedro using the 405 parking lot. In approaching a high school the traffic ground to a halt averaging three signals changes to clear an intersection. It is not surprising that road rage develops among daily commuters along with bad arteries and 40% body fat after sitting in a fucking four wheel cage several hours a day.
Internal gridlock at LAX
During weak moral  times in my live I have been frequently been seduced by a cousin of the automobile devil: The forked tailed jackal that invented motorcycles. Somewhere in the future I will blog about my forty or more motorbikes that kept my pockets empty. Motorcycles are similar to boats where you pour your money into a deep hole in the water but without the water. Motorcycle riders who travel on the streets often refer to the automobile as a cage and the grocery-getter behind the steering wheel as a "Cager".

Both motorcyclists and cyclists have to in ride in traffic (unless there is a bike lane) and cagers hate to share. Cagers also hate to be passed by anything on two wheels with or without fossil power. Cagers hate to see riders having fun and riding two wheel can be great fun. Pickup truck drivers have been known to throw empty beer bottles at me but I have never encountered a shot gun.

Last week when Dylan was scheduling  his visit to my sailboat I mentioned that I had worn out the grips on my Specialized Cross Country MTB and asked him for a pair in either red or blue to match the color of my bouncing toy.
Pretty sure the boy is not color blind so I had to switch the red grips on my Fixie off and put the yellow one on creating a future project for the S-Works bike.

When I started Blogging (see past remarks) my pictures were captured with my Digital Nikon. The data was then downloaded to my laptop, edited, then entered in using Blogger Editor. I love my Nikon and those neat lenses but it doesn't fit in my back pocket. Recently I added a handlebar bag to carry it but the Galaxy Android can take videos and all that other teckie shit the camera doesn't have plus the handlebar bag makes me look like a fucking Fred minus the rear view mirror. Lately I have been thinking some Fred traits are not that creepy. My facial hair gets pretty scruffy at times and in the past beards were verboten on those on men who shaved their legs to ride. Wiggins must have  have followed American Baseball as every October half the pitchers have beards. Early in this year Dylan was at Oakley in Lake Forest riding the dirt track that is on the property. Wiggins showed up with his team as the Tour of California was about to start. My son texted me that he hanging with the biggest of Roadies but Wiggins needed a proper lesson in riding in the dirt.

As one ages and falls into dementia one often forget where one was going which is the the primary purpose of "What was I saying?"

My phone is cute, small but much more complicated than the Nikon. The Galaxy takes great pictures and you can see the results in "Gallery". Gallery is a screen icon but there isn't any folders named that. Those files are located elsewhere. So if a picture is taken the final file can wind up in four or more separate folders. To transfer the .jpg to the blogger I need to know where they are located so I started editing the files on the phone and renaming them matching the contents of the actually picture.
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