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10/19/2010: "Fall and Rise"
All day the skies were heavy with deep gray clouds promising rain, and once in a while they fulfilled the promise. It came as a sweet, impossibly gentle rain that kept the streets thoroughly wet (and soaked deeply into the soil), but which you could walk or ride in with neither umbrella nor raingear.

And the good folks of Los Angeles did. This morning I met my friend Hoosh at Massimo's before heading out to South Pasadena to pick up t-shirts form Chuck Schmidt. Hoosh and I both arrived by bike--and so apparently did everyone else at the coffeehouse as both the two racks on 8th Street side of Massimo's and the two in front of the bar next door were full of bikes.

Once back here, and dinner finished, I went out for a walk along Wilshire Boulevard (we live on the Miracle Mile near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), and I was rewarded with yet more signs of velocipedal acceptance. First was not one but two Bromptons, half-folded and locked to the new rack outside the sushi bar...Bromptons are expensive little folding bikes, and not a casual purchase for anyone; it was good to see that the upper-middle class, the ones who drive so much and who have pushed so many freeways through poorer people's neighborhoods, are finally seeing the light and getting out on bikes, even in the rain, even in LA!

Then there was the fellow riding eastwards through LA traffic on Wilshire on a bike dressed with fenders, bags, and a dynohub lighting system--again, not purchases to make unless you actually mean to use your bike a lot.

When I crossed the street in front of LACMA, there were two hipsterish bikes locked up in front of the entrance, and on the way back home I saw a pretty young woman in a dress (and fuschia skate helmet) pedaling a well-lighted step-through up Hauser.

And most of the Rapid buses carried a full load of bike son their front racks, as usual.

A few sidewalk riders, a bike or two locked up at the Ralphs supermarket (which in this neighborhood has a grand sidewalk entrance and underground parking), and then, to wrap it all up, yet another Brompton, zipping south on Ridgely.

Looks like LA is growing up. Watch out, Portland!

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