Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Google Maps, Take Me Away

This afternoon I took a much deserved bicycle ride down to Mulberry Street Pizzeria on Ventura Blvd between Balboa and Louise. It's easily one of the best New York pizza places in the Valley - and this statement comes from my roommate and ex-boyfriend, both native New Yorkers. That and their eggplant parmigiana is enough to feed two and is simply all sorts of ridiculously delicious.

Since I've been there a million times and needed to get out of the house (been writing too much) I thought I'd grab their lunch special - two slices of cheese pizza, half a salad and a drink - which was more than satisfying. I think my stomach might actually object to dinner tonight. But of course this post isn't merely about one of my favorite places to eat, but actually getting there and getting there safely. I figured the most direct route would be the best, when I really should have just referred to Google Maps and their directions by bicycle function. Getting there in the most direct way was actually the most useful for getting there by car, and therefore not the most ideal by bicycle. All other times I'd been there were on late-night dates or meeting with friends, so naturally I didn't think about it. Besides, I was starving.

Sadly, the direct way involved riding on the sidewalk for a spell. My whole thing with riding on the sidewalk is that unless you're riding in a residential area with your child it is likely more dangerous than riding on the street. Here's why: riding in the street allows for far more predictable maneuvering; besides if one car sees you in riding with traffic, they will probably (not definitely) look out for you. As opposed to riding on the sidewalk, often opposite traffic, going up and down curbs and in and out of driveways - completely unavoidable - it is more likely that you'll get struck by a car. It sounds backwards, I know, especially to the non-commuter - but it's all shades of true.

That said, once I got there, there was no bicycle rack of any kind. Imagine how lame I felt locking up my bike to a parking sign, but in being the only option it was relatively secure in the parking behind the establishment. It kind of reminds me though, when I went to get a new phone at a Sprint store in January and I couldn't find bicycle parking anywhere - this was also in Encino on Ventura Boulevard. Now I'm not saying it's the Boulevard's fault, but most establishments surrounding the area are not pedestrian-friendly, let alone bike-friendly. Just an observation.

I really feel that as of late I've been going on rants and I do apologize. It is a gorgeous day outside and I intend on getting back into it after I wrap up things this evening. I guess I just have to accept for a while that to some people bicyclists and pedestrians are as much a myth as unicorns and leprechauns, and therefore are catered to in a one-in-one-hundred need. And I guess as far as getting around by bicycle instead of trusting merely my instincts, my motto should be "Make Frequent Use of Google Maps and Be Happy".

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