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04/25/2010: "Streets of LA"
Just as Portland, while wonderful for cycling, is no Amsterdam, so Los Angeles, our home, while tolerable for cycling, is no Portland.

Still, on my rounds today i saw cyclists everywhere--and what was most gratifying is that most of them appears to be heading somewhere. Nothing against roadies riding in big circles to nowhere--I do Sunday rides myself, though on my usual commuter fixie and in my usual clothes--but in big-picture terms, people riding somewhere, instead of clogging up streets, air, and ears with cars, well, that just means a lot more.

And every bike ride is a bike ride to the heart--there is no such thing as "junk miles" if you're pedaling. And folks were riding...swarming in to the farmers' market on Larchmont, rolling around Hollywood, promenading down Vermont to the Los Feliz shops and bookstores, everywhere. Even up at the Griffith Observatory, where I ended up after my meeting in Hollywood, there were (besides roadies seeking the workout of the climb), folks who had ridden up there just to see the view, on non-racing bikes.

Seemed I couldn't go two blocks without seeing a cyclist or two or three on the road, or bikes locked up in front of shops and restaurants.

At Vermont and Fountain, while I waited for the light, a fellow in trousers and button shirt rode across bolt upright on his Flying Pigeon, stately and slow, and moments later two skinny Latino kids on mail-order fixies soared through a left turn in formation, making a visual poetry that is usually reserved for birds, and which they seemed to be feeling inside as well, to judge from their faces.

A beautiful day, made more beautiful for many of us by the kindness of the bicycle.

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