And instead of the beach, I headed Downtown...where I was pleased to see plenty of other folks on New Year's Day bike rides themselves, as well as plenty of bikes parked in front of nearly every eatery of any sort that was open.
The prize find must be this Triple Bike Pile at Philippe's on Alameda:
Have you ever noticed that a bike bell sounds an awful lot like the ka-ching! of an old-fashioned cash register?
All those bikes, taking up no more space in the aggregate than a single car or van.
As I rode back home along Sunset, I counted numerous similar scenes all through Echo Park and Silverlake.
Of course, all sorts of embarrassing studies are coming out showing that traffic lanes and giant parking lots don't do as much for a local economy as bike lanes and a few cheap racks. (See a recent post of mine on that very subject here.)
Really, all car culture is designed to do is shoot pods of isolated "consumer units" right past anything redolent of neighborhood culture or regional commerce, and deposit them in front of the gates of their masters' bigbox stores. There they vacuum the cash out of the consumer units' pockets and deposit it, in its turn, in the bank accounts of distant uninvolved shareholders. (They also suck tax dollars from municipal treasuries...read more on that here.
Moving cars doesn't really matter. Moving hearts towards each other does, and a healthier economy follows in the wake of neighborliness. But none of that works when we're all trapped in steel boxes rushing towards the next phony markdown....
The bicycle, this year and onwards!