Now that the Errandonnee is over & I got off my tuchus to fill out my Control Card to be official, I’ve had some time to reflect on the experience. I’ve been in LA for just over a year now & went from riding almost every day…to almost never. Sure, part of that is I live Downtown (DTLA for the hip & happening) and most places I go are within a mile or two of home, so I just walk.
But the much larger part is that BOY AM I NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE, TOTO! Portland is such a bubble of bikeyness, it’s easy to forget that other cities don’t have the infrastructure to support biking everywhere. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition & nobody expects you to show up on a bike in LA. The bike maps SUCK! They are incomplete & each agency that produces one uses different color coding to denote bike lanes, bike routes, etc. For example, LADOT Orange is a Bike Path & Blue is a Bike Lane, but for Metro it’s the opposite. And times I’ve given up on the map altogether & looked for lower traffic streets, I’ve found sharrows on streets that aren’t designated on the map.
The Errandonnee made me think about how I’d given up something I really enjoyed. And it’s something my dog, Mochi, loves too. He’s good for about 4-5 hours in his basket (with water/pee breaks, of course) before he gets restless. He loves the wind in his fur & his ears flying in the breeze. So instead of focusing on what I don’t have: bike lanes, bike racks, drivers who are familiar with bikes on the road…I’m focusing on the positives: SUNSHINE!, no more rain gear, fenders – who needs ’em?!, and best of all DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH FUN IT IS TO SEE SOMEONE’S FACE WHEN A DRAG NUN GOES BY ON A BICYCLE?!
I’ve ordered a San Francisco coronet for bike riding (every city or “House” has a different headpiece) since the Hoobie-Doobie is hell in a headwind or going faster than 15MPH. The Flying Nun takes on a whole new meaning. In the meantime, Sister Donna Vanewday in Portland sent me some loaner Ear Boobs that arrived just in time for CicLAvia. HURRAY!
I managed to get Sister Gaia Love (a recent transfer from San Diego, my new bikey partner-in-crime & AIDS/LifeCycle teammate) and Sister Barbie-Q (my fellow LA Sister & AIDS/LifeCycle teammate) to join in. Barbie had never ridden as a Nun before & we had a blast. Lots of photos, lots of “SISTER!” exclamations from people who know who we are & opportunities to explain it to others. MORE BIKING IN THE FUTURE! Adventure is out there!