Thursday, May 13, 2010

Quick and Random

I just came back from a Trader Joe's run on my bicycle, as I do every week. And as I do every week, I mention to the cashier/grocery-bagger that I ride my bicycle, so they can fill my backpack and canvas bag because I won't be needing the paper bags. And as what usually happens every week, I get into a nice conversation - usually asking if I'm from New York or Chicago.

"Nope, I've lived in the Valley my whole life."
"Really? I'm just amazed; you don't worry about toppling or feeling weird side-to-side on your bike with the groceries?"
"Nope, I do it every week (also with the hope that I'll finally win a $25 TJs gift card, but I digress)."

There's a weird sense of pride that people think I grew up elsewhere because I ride my bicycle instead of own a car at the moment. But also it made me think, well, why can't Los Angeles be known for bicycles as transportation as much as Chicago or New York? Why are we so behind? Everything has its purpose, and as I've mentioned before, I'm not against cars or eventually getting one (maybe). But as far as the day-to-day goes, I'm making do without one for now (and appreciate those who offer rides when options are limited). I don't pat myself on the back every day I do. I just ... go on as usual.

The person doing the talking was very cute, very nice. I assume they were being just that - why I always hold this fantasy that I'll pick up the love of my life at a grocery store, I don't know. Anyway, after name-dropping Midnight Ridazz for group rides, we talked about the pedestrian/bicycle path that runs alongside the Orange Line bus way. I was then recommended a movie I am ashamed I haven't heard of - Fuel, a film whose DVD apparently comes out on June 22. I'll be checking it out. Has anyone else heard of/seen it?

On my way to unlock my bicycle, I heard a customer behind me say "I can't believe it; She's... wow. I don't know if I'd be able to do that" - namely, ride a bicycle nearly everywhere. That made me feel really good. And that's all I have to say about that.


  1. Haven't heard of fuel.

    Sometimes I feel good at the compliments, and on other days well. I feel snarky so I respond back with the same compliment, "wow! You drive everywhere? That's so amazing!" Or, "wow, aren't you scared going 60 on a freeway? That terrifies me. I'm so impressed with your ability to do that daily."

    Usually I just smile and say, "thank you."

  2. Reminds me of a time I was at the doctor's office. I live near DC, it was December, and it was cold. Like, 30s, maybe? Anyway, I had come in for a quick vaccination on my way to work, chained my bike up to a tree (no racks; cyclists are mythical creatures in these parts) and was patiently sitting in the waiting area until they called me back. One of the doctors came in the employee entrance, started chatting with the nurses. I could hear them through the open window. He caught them up on his weekend, telling them he'd gone to PA to pick up a new motorcycle and ridden it back and damn that was cold. And by the way, had they seen that bicycle outside? Can you believe it? A bicycle!

    Yes, a bicycle and isn't she a beauty? ;)

  3. Beany - yeah, what with my being asked every week it kinda does grate my nerves sometimes, like I'm a weirdo for not owning a car. But other times it makes me feel good. I am amazed at times that people hop into their cars every day - the few times I've house-sat for my folks when they go away on a trip they lend me one of their cars for getting to my place and back (I have cats who need loving) and, say, if they're gone for two weeks, by day four I already feel like I've been in a capsule for ever and the two weeks just needs to be over ASAP. Stir-crazy. Cabin fever. I don't feel one with the road in a car.

    stacey2545 - I'll bet she is a beauty. I lovelovelove my bicycle. It's a symbiotic relationship of sorts - good for you in your thirty-degree weather! It's gotten in the thirties at night in the winter here, so I hear ya. Sometimes it feels good and brisk, with the right gear. What kind of bike are you riding?

  4. Specialized Dulce Comp. I was looking for something that could handle my commuting and ultimately century rides. I was running for Team in Training at the time I bought her and the plan was to get a couple marathons under my belt, then some century rides, and maybe someday triathlons. Now I'm thinking I want to take up touring. I'm committed to being car-free (as in "never buying a car") but I currently have to rent one if I want to go camping. :( A Surly Big Dummy will totally fix that. Maybe if I go shake the couch for spare change?