Errandonnee 2 & 3

For my 2nd Errandonnee task, I rode 1.86 miles (roundtrip) to the Mayan Theater.  Opened in 1927, it’s now a nightclub on the weekends and an event venue.  It’s also where we’ll be holding Project Nunway this year, so I was there for the walkthrough.  I love the stylized architecture.  It’s a stunning venue & we’re going to blow people away.  On my way down to the Mayan, I passed by so many of the old theaters that have been abandoned or turned into something else (like Urban Outfitters).  The LA Concervancy holds “Last Remaining Seats” showings of old movies at some of the theaters and I definitely want to go this summer, just to se the Art Deco details inside these old movie houses.  Once again, I’m puzzled by the lack of East-West options in biking.  I only needed to go 2 blocks over, so I braved the 6 lane traffic streets to buzz over to my destination, but it’s not something for the inexperienced or faint of heart.

Errand3

Later in the evening, I went out for Errandonnee #3.  Once a month, Sister Hanna Barbaric hosts “Nunflix” at the Bullet Bar in North Hollywood.  This month’s movie was Supergirl.  I missed Little Shop of Horrors last month because the bar is a little less than 1-1/2 miles from the Metrolink stop (too far to walk in 6″ platform heels) and also stops running just after midnight.  WELL COLOR ME PRETTY, because it occurred to me when planning for the Errandonnee that I could ride my bike from/to the N Hollywood train station.  Even though the movies are over late, there’s still time to bike back before the last train.  The trip wound up being 3.38 miles because I turned the wrong way from the train station.  Although this would qualify for the Work/Volunteering category, I think I’ll go for the Wild Card & call it “You Rode Your Bike Dressed Like THAT?!”  lol  The biggest challenge is the Hoobie Doobie.  Our House Coronet is just as wind-catching as it is eye-catching.  Over 15MPH it becomes a spinnaker.  Riding in a dress is no big deal.  And I’m always explaining that riding in heels is almost like being clipped in.  The heel catches the back of the pedal & it’s easy-peasy.  I pin my veil up with a hair clip & AWAY I GO!

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Errandonnee #1

My first Los Angeles Errandonnee!  Mochi and I rode 20 miles to Long Beach and back to deliver a camelback to Sister Kaos for AIDS/LifeCycle training.

When planning out my Errandonnee trips, I realized that since Downtown is so walkable, most of my errands are within a mile of home.  So I needed at least one long trip to get in some mileage!  Also, I’ve been looking for a good route to Long Beach since we have a lot of Sister events there.

Wow do I miss the biking infrastructure of Portland!  In 2 hours of riding on designated Bike Routes and roads with Bike Lanes, I only saw 2 other bikes on the road, but quite a few others on the sidewalks.  I can’t blame the bikes on the sidewalks, since the Bike Routes I was on were 4 lanes of car traffic with 35MPH posted speed limits (so traffic going around 50MPH) and only the occasional green sign to mark it as a Bike Route.  If you aren’t already comfortable riding with car traffic, this would not be the place to start.  On a sunny Sunday in Portland there would have been bikes everywhere.

I’m still looking for a good route to Long Beach.  The LA River Trail would be great, except no bike lanes or routes connect to it.  This seems completely crazy to me.  There are miles and miles of Trail that are multi-use paths, but you need to drive to get to them.  We got really lost in Watts trying to find lower traffic streets to take East, but I did find the Watts Towers!  I’ll need to go back and look around, since I was distracted by trying to get to the River.  We eventually found it – and while it’s not scenic (a “river” in name only, it’s a concrete culvert – think of where the drag race took place in Grease or they landed the shuttle in The Core) – it is free of car traffic.

Fortunately, my co-pilot likes the adventure and the wind blowing by, so it made no difference to him what kind of road we were on.  Take a page from Mochi’s book & JUST RIDE!

I’m not an “Ally”

Maybe by definition, I qualify – but I really don’t like that word.  I think there are several reasons why.

There’s the word itself.  “Ally” is a word I associate with war.  I don’t think (or want to believe) I’m in a war.  Obviously I think I’m in the right.  I have never heard any justification or argument against LGBTQ people/rights that makes any sense to me.  There are plenty of other arguments (abortion, gun control, “climate change”) where I don’t agree with the other side, but I can, at least, understand.

There’s the label.  Why does there need to be a word for it?  If anyone assumes that I’m gay because I’m part of an organization primarily of & for the LGBTQ community, why should I care?  (You know, unless it’s a really hot fireman – can you make sure he knows I’m straight?)  The label implies to me that I need the distinction between “them” and “me”.

There’s the idea.  The idea that because I’m in the majority, my ideas or beliefs carry more weight.  It is one thing when someone in the LGBTQ community is moved by my dedication to being a Sister.  I’ve had enough tearful interactions to know that acceptance is something I offer of value.  It is something very different when someone straight give my argument for marriage equality or understanding more credence because I’m straight.

I’m not going to take anyone down for calling me an ally, but it’s not how I identify;  It’s not something I call myself.  I’m just me, Sister Leigh.

YOU’RE A GIRL!

The general assumption seems to be, at least in Los Angeles, that only gay men are Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  I’ve been here for a year now, and haven’t been out once without shocking someone.  Last night, at Mr. Eagle Leather, this was especially hilarious.  One guy was enraptured by the Sisters, taking pictures of us & telling us how much he loved us & how beautiful we are.  When he told me I was the prettiest, I said “Thank you!” and he screamed “You’re a girl!”

Channeling My “Inner Ed”

For years as part of the cycling community in Portland, whenever I had to tackle some bicycle challenge, I’d tell myself I was channeling my “inner Ed”.  The first time I met Ed, we were all going bike camping to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday & Ed was riding a cargo bike with a Rubbermaid container filled with urns of coffee and CERAMIC MUGS to take past our campsite to refuel some randonneurs.  (It was probably even a single-speed bike, because that seems like a very Ed thing to do.)  It was a crazy undertaking, but nothing is beyond Ed on a bicycle.

When it comes to being a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence, I try to channel a different Ed.  Ed Huser, better known as Sister Barbi Mitzvah, was a tour de force.  I only knew Barbi briefly in Portland before I moved to LA, but she was an inspiration to me as a nun.  There are Sisters with all different skill sets: educator, advocate, emcee, lightning rod, fundraiser, etc – and Barbi managed to bring all those things to the table & be passionate about being a Sister after more than 13 years.  Ed’s sudden & unexpected death from a heart attack hit me hard, because it’s difficult to imagine someone so full of life without one.  At the time, I was also struggling with my own path to Sisterhood.  On a couple of occasions, I had seriously considered quitting.  Then Barbi became one of our Nuns of the Above and I felt galvanized to continue and be the best Sister I could be.  Sister Reva Lation asked the Portland Sisters to wear pink poppies to remember Barbi at a fundraiser they were holding shortly after Barbi’s passing.  I liked that idea so much, I found a silk poppy, added some glitter (MUST ADD GLITTER), and have worn this on my Coronet ever since.  It helps me to “channel my inner Ed”.  Whenever I look in the mirror, I see that giant poppy and remember that you never know how you will impact someone else’s life.  Even a brief interaction can make a difference.