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08/09/2009: "Is Coffee a Performance-Enhancing Drug?"
Who cares--it sure tastes good!

I took a slowish, meandering Sunday ride today, riding through Bev Hills and Century City to Federal Avenue and hence to San Vicente, a wide, smooth road with a wide bike lane that cuts through the tree-shaded environs of hoity-toity Brentwood (hell, that makes three hoity-toity boroughs in just the first half hour of riding!). SV is an easy ride, with little cross traffic and a landscaped median to add yet more trees to the mix. Unfortunately, today it was closed for (of all things for me to complain about!) a bicycle race; fortunately, said race was a criterium and occupied only three blocks. A bit of sidewalk riding got me to the open section of SV, where I began a search for a cofeehouse.

Alas, most of what I came across were chains of the sort where only disposable plastic cups are available, and the primary criterion for employment seems to be the inability to find a better-paying job.So I rode on, disconsolately, till I found an outpost of Caffe Luxxe, whose Eurostyled bike-loving baristas sold me the best cuppa I've had in months--and I get some good coffee here in the Miracle Mile!

That fueled me for an extended meander along the curves and hills of west Sunset to the gray Pacific, the bike path, and the festive crowds...which I rode through on the boardwalk itself, without qualm, as I'd had to dodge plenty of waddlers on the "bikes only" bike path. In any case, on the fixie I can ride at a slower pace than even the most ample of the tourists banging their flipflops on the tarmac.

I did see, to my surprise, an Atala city bike heading the other way, complete with Promenade bars and fenders--something that probably hasn't been made for decades, the kind of bike you see in old Italian moves. Looked pristine, too. Though it might have been a reissue....

Eventually, I stopped at the Bridge, of course, and then a block or two farther on for an early lunch (or was it a late breakfast?) at Bistro du Soleil, who make the best omelette I know of, to fuel me for the twelve-mile jaunt home.

Yes, Eat to ride, ride to eat is my motto!

My only regret was not taking my Look MTB shoes; if I had, I could've locked the Bottecchia up and had a short hike in the canyons as well, as I passed two wildland parks.

No schedule; didn't know whether I'd be out two hours or six. It was nice!

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