Day 32 Into Los Angeles the home of 1 million traffic lights! 07-16-18

Victorville, CA to Los Angeles, CA by bike, LA to Malibu, CA by truck.

My legs felt like I was running in quicksand for the first twenty or so miles today, but I was eventually able to get them moving.  I climbed the El Cajon Pass, and since my alternate route was a dirt road, I had to ride on I-15.  This freeway had a bunch of grooves on the shoulder, and I was convinced I was going to catch a tire in a groove, and have a nice crash (luckily this never happened).  The descent from the pass was incredibly scenic, and would have been a lot of fun, if not for the semi trucks, the grooves on the shoulder, the shrapnel everywhere I looked, and the smell of my burning brakes as I pulled on them for dear life.

Eventually I hit the greater Los Angeles area, and it's roughly 47,000 suburbs.  I quickly began hitting the stoplights, and there seemed to be stoplights every tenth of a mile, or less.  A pattern began forming, as they don't seem to be "timed" well for cyclists.  I would see the same group of cars at a red light, and as soon as the light turned green, they would speed off.  I would casually ride, knowing I would see them again in less than a tenth of a mile at the next light.  As I approached them, I would say "hello green VW, black Chevy truck, red Ford," etc.  (I never claimed to be a normal dude, and this ride is brining out my true inner weirdo.  

As I approached yet another red light, I noticed another cyclist.  We started chatting, and since we were headed to the same general area, decided to ride together.  Scott was on his way home from working at a bike shop, and could not have been a nicer guy.  He was pointing out all of the local historical buildings, and other attractions, as we entered the downtown LA area.  He took me to an ice cream shop, Peddler's Creamery, where they use a bicycle to churn the ice cream!  Scott said if they are in production, and need some help, customers can ride the bike, and then they get a discount on their ice cream.  It was a really cool place, and the coconut vanilla ice cream was fantastic.  

We eventually rode by the La Brea Tar Pits, City Hall (which has been in numerous TV shows and movies), the old Los Angeles Times building, saw a movie production wrapping up for the day, and carefully avoided all of the traffic.  Since I am now a small town guy, the traffic seems to make me more nervous than ever.  As the sun began to set, I realized Scott was an extremely experience rider, who feels comfortable riding at night.  I, on the other hand, am a big chicken about riding at night, and to me it makes a dangerous sport even riskier.  After a few more miles, I called Kelly, who fought through the LA traffic (even at 9pm), and picked me up.  I thanked Scott for the company, and the ice cream, and he rode home.  I drove Kelly back to the campground, which is across the street from the ocean in Malibu.  I haven't seen the ocean yet, but I can hear the waves crashing against the shore as I write this.  

Tomorrow will be the end of the ride!  There are so many emotions already going through my head, and I can't even begin to imagine how all of us will feel.  It's been a great trip, and something I will remember for the rest of my life.  Hopefully you have enjoyed reading/hearing about the trip, and I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Miles on the bike today:  106.6

Total miles on the bike:  1,674.3

Mark LinderComment