DalyDose of…WEHO Biking
In an effort to reduce my carbon footprint and to be a better person in general, I decided to do all of my local errands by bike. You’re not buying that are you? How about this: Due to economic conditions, I have decided to save gas money by doing my local errands by bike. Yeah, that sounds more like me! How I decided to give this a go is a bit more complicated.
Catalyst #1 – My last roommate left me her bike and there is nothing like a new toy sitting there to get you motivated to do something.
Catalyst #2 – Google came out with bike directions. I am not planning on going anywhere that’s far enough from home to need directions, but the fact that GOOGLE was pushing the bike thing got me a little more excited. In case you’re interested, here’s the video. You can keep reading after…
The excitement was there and I needed to do a couple of errands around West Hollywood. I was ready to jump in the saddle and start this new life. First, my bike enthusiast neighbor Joe gave the bike a looksy, hooked me up with some air in the tires and sonsabiscuits, we noticed some problems with the gear shifting. Oh well, I wasn’t going far and it was mostly flat terrain.
I set off down the hill to go to 7-11 for some cash. Since I was going downhill I couldn’t hardly pedal fast enough to make a difference. When I got to the bottom the pedaling got significantly more difficult. I get to 7-11 and pulled the cable through the back tire and around the frame. I went in, did my business and came back out.
Now we were off to Bank Of America for building business. I wasn’t sure of the law regarding riding on the sidewalks so I stayed mostly on the street. Now, I was on Santa Monica Blvd. and the stretches of road with street parking are…uh…exciting to navigate. When I got down to Crescent Heights, I needed to turn left so I busted a move and got into the left turn lane. For some reason, that made me feel like a bad-ass. That was until I realized that in whatever gear I was in, I was not going to pick up great amounts of speed from the start. So I’ve got a couple of cars behind me while my legs churn in an attempt to gain momentum and speed…not so bad-ass. Grrrr.
I lock the bike up and do my bank biz and then head out with every intention of going to the post-office to mail a DVD of my short film “STUCK” (What, you haven’t seen it? CLICK NOW) to a friend in Northern Cali to air on their access show. Somehow, I’ve passed Barney’s Beanery…TWICE…without stopping. Maybe it was my discipline; maybe it was the poverty! Maybe I didn’t even notice where I was because I was in fear of the Metro bus bearing down on me, or the couple who flagged down a cab that stopped in the bike lane right in front of me. This wasn’t as fun as I thought. Is this really a HEALTHY activity when you are sharing the lane with public transportation behemoths?
When I got to my street, I saw my neighbor Joe driving and I waved and smiled like I was a fellow biking enthusiast. I turned right and headed up the hill, I was gonna power my way up the hill with the bike in very much a non-hill friendly gear…BAD ASS. I made it 3/4 of the way and realized no females were around to impress…END of bad ass. I walked the last 100 feet or so. Phew…home and alive.
Instead of going to the post office, I went up to my apartment and researched the postage rate for a DVD in a cardboard mailing sleeve. I put it into my building’s outgoing mailbox. Yeah, it wouldn’t get postmarked until the next day, but my adventure was over. The good news? I still held my head up with pride that I didn’t drive.
To keep up my integrity and bragging rights, I will either have to learn the rules and get the gears working right so I can still bike locally OR find a way to make my errands less “local” and just drive!
Stay tuned and stay out of the way!