Monday, September 26, 2011

Change Your Life, Ride A Bike...

You may be familiar with that phrase due to the popular and entertaining San Francisco blog known by that very title. The past weekend I was made aware of just how relevant that simple phrase can be. So, my sister-in-law is in town, or actually the big city is where she is staying, for an extended visit. She confided that, unlike times past when she actually looked forward to spending some time in LA, she arrived without that same enthusiasm. Not only that, but her mood has not improved during the days she has already been here, something she attributes to not being able to get a ride in to start off the day. Being the Claremont Cyclist, I figured there was something I could do about that, and headed on out to the garage. A little maintenance and some adjustments to the wife's mountain bike, and it would be a suitable stand-in for the bike left behind in a London flat, no doubt pinning as much for its owner, as the owner is pinning for it. The fat tires will be a bit of a change from the skinny tires of her own bike, but may prove to be more problem free. We all know the world looks different, and we carry a different attitude towards it, when we are able to ride, and since she will be in town for two of the city's biggest cycling events, the upcoming cicLAvia and the Fat Tire Festival, she may end up heading in a more positive direction. 

Of course, I would imagine her mood has also greatly improved since Mark Cavendish (with some help from his British teammates) sprinted himself into the Rainbow Jersey of World Road Race Champion, yesterday. Since this is only the second time the Brits have brought home that honor (the first time being Tom Simpson's victory in 1965) I imagine she was celebrating the win until late last night. Or, maybe not. Like that transition there? British sister-in-law visiting, and then the segue into a British rider winning the World's. Pretty smooth, huh? That's killing two birds with one stone, is what that is.

Anyway, back to the task at hand. After she has had a few days riding the streets of LA, I will have to ask her for a comparison. You see she has become quite used to cycling in London, a city that, from what I have read, is as equal a challenge to cyclists as is Los Angeles. I do know that her initial reaction was "where are all the cyclists?" and was curious as to the dearth of riders on the streets here. It is a rather sad statement, that for all the advantage's Southern California offers cyclists, such as weather, geography, wide streets, so few (relatively) take the healthier, saner path. I am not exactly familiar with cycling in the area in which she is staying, so I could none-too-confidently assure her that there would be some around, and that they would probably become more evident when she started riding around herself. It tends to work that way.

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