First off--as now seems to happen almost every day--as I rode away from home, I saw more cyclists than motorists along the 4th Street bike route. It was just past rush hour on a cool, cloudy day with a threat of rain. (Well, for me a promise of rain, but there was barely even a sprinkle in the end.)
Then, as I took a rather wandering route through Lincoln Heights, I spied a bakfiets lumbering across Pasadena Avenue, with a toddler in the box and immense bright orange panniers on the back. I knew it had to be my friend Josef from Flying Pigeon LA, which is just around the corner there--and so it proved to be.
I hailed him, and it turned out we were going the same way (along Marmion Way at least as far as 52nd), so I slowed to the pace of a man pedaling a laden bakfiets up a steady grade, and we chatted for twenty minutes as we rode. Sure, a rabid roadie would have called those "junk miles," but they were the best miles I rode all day--and it was a good riding day!
Those miles graced me with a camaraderie that is ever denied to the car-thralls, and added a spice to the day that the faster miles, pleasurable though they were in themselves, definitely lacked.