Today I got on my bike and I was bored by the prospect of riding though I knew I would need to ride to get where I was going and though more convenient I wasn't gonna drive my car ....
As it turns out I would have missed so much had I opted for four wheels instead of two.
On my ride I think I reached a turning point as a bicyclist. As I was heading down Hyperion towards Trader Joes I realized that riding my bike somewhere wasn't so much of a novelty anymore as it was simply transportation to get somewhere. After months of making an effort to bike as much as possible instead of driving my car for errands and sometimes for work it suddenly occurred to me that I had changed gears in my being and now I was simply riding because I needed to get somewhere and there was nothing extraordinary , cool or chic about what I was doing.
I felt like I lost something at that moment, something that I was holding onto that was special to me... something private. Did I just lose my bicycle virginity? I felt a little sad as I continued riding along. I had read on Cycle Chic about the attitude of the Danes who ride to work everyday that they don't think they are dong anything special and it is just riding a bike to get somewhere. Here in America I think our attitude is a bit different we/I think it is this cool new thing we do. Take the bikes out and go for a ride we are now riding a bike .. woo who look at me I'm on a bike! But when we get done with our bike ride we will drive our cars unnecessarily for short little trips as usual. Biking is more of a specialized activity here in the US I think.
For the most part I'm glad I lost my virginity and look forward to what lies ahead.
If your still a bicycle virgin try riding your bike for everyday errands and at all possible moments for several months and see how it might change you - it'll hurt a little at first but you might also enjoy it and ultimately learn to love it!
World Cup Road Kill Transformation
On my ride I spied what appeared to be a minor road hazard in the middle of Hyperion Ave. and decided that I should remove it to the side of the road. It looked like some sort of brightly colored road marker or tarp and as I was examining it on the side of the road I hear a car honk and then someone shouting "f&#%k yeah!" All I could see at this point was bright yellow and orange but apparently this was enough to incite someone into a minor frenzy. Fully unfurled I see it is a large national flag but I don''t recognize it. Another honk and it dawns on me it's a soccer related flag. I know very little about soccer or the World Cup but my little good citizen act of cleanliness had suddenly connected me to this massive world -wide event and transformed me into an apparent crazed soccer (sorry futbol) fan or even a potential hooligan on a bicycle - look out!
Not yet knowing how to proceed I rolled up my new team colors and proceeded to TJ's for my $ 4.97 a pound raw almond butter ( best deal in town if your a veggie)
From TJ's I headed west to Nature Mart and I decided to have a little fun and create some commotion along the way so I unfurled the flag and waved it around as I rode along. I've done this sort of thing before only it was with an American Flag on a surfboard. Here is a pic of me in Malibu. Both methods of flag waving are more difficult than they look I can assure you. At this point I didn't know what team I was a fan of or what trouble I could get into but since this started out as just a boring bike ride I figured why not have some fun.
Heard someone shout "go Hispana" from a car and two ladies sitting at an outdoor cafe asked "what country is that?" More inquiries at Nature Mart led to the possibility of it being the Netherlands flag. After Nature Mart I made a quick stop at a yard sale run by a bunch of nice Hispanic ladies. Again no one had any soccer info for me so I still don't know what kind of soccer fan I am, frustrating to say the least. Bought a beautiful faded blue shirt for a buck and an old school cooking pot for three - sweet!
Los Feliz Farmers Market
9am - 2pm every Sunday
Los Feliz Post Office parking lot
1760 Vermont Ave. next to Franklin Ave.
My basket was fully loarded now with groceries and yard sale items plus the flag as I headed down Vermont Ave. I was pretty overloaded (wished I brought my courier bag dam it!)
Passing by Franklin Ave I saw the Farmers Mkt. in the Los Feliz Post Office parking lot was on and since and decided to check it out. With all the stuff loaded in my front basket including the rattling pot plus the unfurled unknown flag I must have looked a little like one of those homeless people who live out of their bikes. Felt a little strange but made the rounds of the market and got some pics of some bikes parked outside.
Some cool bikes parked outside the farmers market.
Entrance is off of Vermont Ave. and you can shop and mail your letters at the same time.
This Farmers Mkt. has fresh organic veggies, food truck, arts and crafts and live music all on an pretty small scale compared to Hollywood FMkt. but the plus is its way less hectic.
This was a great display of veggies!
America's got talent at the local farmers market.
He really had a great sound!
At this point in my ride I knew that is not the Brazilian Flag but it might be the flag of the Netherlands or of Spain.
By now I had figured out that this was not the flag of Brazil and offloading it to my Brazilian surfer friend Polly was not an option. It was either the flag of the Netherlands or Spain that I did know and they were playing today. I decide I was gonna cruise by this local sports bar on Vermont Ave. with the flag waving and see if I could inflame the crowd one way or the other. As I rode by most eyes were fixed on the large outdoor screen and not looking to enthusiastic (I found out when I got home the score after an hour was 0-0 so it was a pretty boring affair) but one Latino (finally) gentleman raised his hand to high five me when he saw me heading his way with flag in hand so I slapped the flag into his open palm both surprising and delighting him at the same time. My 2010 World Cup participation was now fully complete.
Parking lot beauty
Spotted this red Schwinn in the Jon's parking lot on Vermont Ave.
The parking lot isn't the least bit pretty but this bike sure is!
Got home and hit the computer and solved the flag mystery
This is the flag of Spain. I was a Spanish soccer fan today and my team won - Go Spain!
I might be onto something here with this finding a flag in the road thing and having it turn out to be the winning team - at least % 50 right that is.
Check back with me in four years and if I find another flag on the road the day of the finals and you have money on the game for a few bucks I might tell you what country its flying over.