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06/29/2013: "Cornered on Pico"
Thursday was a difficult night in Los Angeles at the corner of Pico and Ogden, site of Paper or Plastik, one of our favorite cafés.

Gina and I pedaled there to try their new dinner service (marvelous, by the way), but when we got there, the LADOT bike rack, as well as the (formerly) bolted down decorative trash can, were crumpled in a heap, the result of a car veering onto the sidewalk in what I was told was an attempt to avoid a head-on collision with a wrong-way driver.

So Gina locked her bike to a parking meter, and I chose a signpost in the red zone a few feet up the road.


While we were eating, we noticed a bobtail truck pull awkwardly in to deliver vegetables to the café. While we kept a close eye on Gina's brand-new bike, we assumed my dear Bottecchia was out of the way.

But we were wrong.

When we came out after finishing dinner and giving our compliments to Yasha and Anya, the owners, I found the Bot swung crazily around the signpost, with a dented frame tube and a taco'd wheel.

I was stunned, and Gina in tears. The bobtail driver had apparently swung the big truck's overhang well past the curb and mashed my bike. There was even a deep cut on the front Marathon tire where the undercarriage had gouged it. (But—thank you, Schwalbe!—not actually popped it.)

Anya let me put the bike in their office till the next day, when I could take it to Soundcycles two blocks away, run by my friend Wes Oishi, for evaluation and repair.

The Bottecchia in Better DaysAnya also contacted the delivery crew, who immediately said they would pay for repairs.

As long as the frame is not badly compromised, repairs will be possible. Wes will let me know. A new rim and tire, and hence wheel build, are definitely needed.

This Bottecchia, humble though she may look, is the bike I've loved best in my fifty years of riding. I hope to have her back soon.

Meanwhile, I am riding the Brompton folder—a fine bike, but...just not the same.

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