Take The Long Way…
Part 1- Outbound:
I work part time at one of the best bicycle shops in the world (this is my humble opinion) but the distance from my door to theirs is quite large. Working (for lack of a better word) at GSC in Silverlake & living in Topanga Canyon means 35ish miles of road/dirt/freeway needs to be somehow crossed in order to get to the shop. What can easily take 1 hour via a car (gross) takes 2 hours via a bicycle (so rad), so I try to go by bike whenever possible. The good news is that nobody at Golden Saddle Cyclery actually expects me to be “on time” (on time for me is actually 15-30 minutes late…its a given at this point). This way, I am free to spread my wings and fly in whatever direction my imagination sees fit.
Regularly experimenting with new routes, roads and trails with little to no time constraints is a great way to start your day. Its sort of like living in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. Sometimes its grand, but other times you hit (literal) dead ends and end up hiking for 1.5 hours in road shoes only to get stuck on a 12 foot barbed wire fence. Luckily, I don’t work in the shop very often so the commute doesn’t feel overwhelming. This means I can ride my bicycle through the Santa Monica Mountains on fire roads, single track & winding mountain roads during my “commute”. Life is good!
Part 2- Inbound:
Upon arriving at my destination reality usually sets in…THE RIDE BACK HOME! Then its time to settle into a nice 9 hour work day before putting on dirty old bib shorts for the (cold/night) ride home at 8:30pm. Now, I ride alone, on those same dirt roads, in the pitch black of night, waiting to be eaten by a mountain lion (how ironic would it be if I were to be eaten by a big cat? I personally know how ironic this would be because I think about it while I ride isolated with my thoughts in the darkness waiting for P22 or maybe those new ones from Malibu to come and get me!).
Armed only with a set of nightrider lights that go dead thirty minutes into the ride because Christian unplugged them in order to charge his phone. I pedal my way home as the anxiety sets in. I pedal fast! Frantically trying to outrun whatever/whoever it is chasing me, but deep down I know its a Mountain Lion. The sound of leaves moving in the wind = MOUNTAIN LION, a bird foraging through a bush = MOUNTAIN LION, a rattlesnake crossing the road = MOUNTAIN LION WHO’S FRIENDS WITH A RATTLESNAKE, a tiny infant frog croaking = well, that’s just a frog…ok, ok, MOUNTAIN LION!
Yeah the solo night ride home and dealing with the fact that im afraid of the dark well into my 30s is pretty awesome too…or maybe ill just call my girlfriend to swoop me up!