Saturday, March 12, 2011

Death wish PCH

I went for my regular weekend pootle into Santa Monica today. This involves 20 minutes on PCH aka the road of death. And 20 minutes on the bike path along the sands of Santa Monica.

On a sunny Saturday, the bike path is almost more dangerous than PCH. Typical hazards include simple-minded, granite-thighed roller bladers swooshing from side to side across the entire bike path, usually with ipod plugged in and baseball cap pulled down, as if seeing and hearing aren't at all important senses to engage whilst hurtling down a narrow path at 15 miles per hour. There are also the giggling tourists, pedalling along all recumbent on those so-called fun cycles, looking googled eyed around them and nearly steering off the path as if they've never seen a beach or been on a bike before. Grrr. The worst of all - because you're not really allowed to shout at them - are the small toddlers who appear out of nowhere to stumble and lurch slowly across the path.
'Fun' for some cycle
Yup, give me the chumps on 'apehangers', the RVs and Hummers of PCH any day.

What made it worse today is that my bike bell has rusted up, which happens to anything vaguely metal in the salty damp air of Malibu (coathangers, necklace clasps, etc). So instead of doing my usual gentle 'ting ting' I had to resort to trilling a rather British 'excuse me' to the idiot peds/ funcyclists/skaters in my path. And for the alarming toddler who appears from nowhere, I reserved a panicked, strangled, high pitched (but still rather British) 'LOOK OUT!!!'. Sometimes with a 'sorrreeeeeeeee' thrown over my shoulder as the child bursts into tears of pure fear.

Bad luck for The Euro, who is taking care of my lovely purple bike with faux leather Western style stitched handle bars and seat, and a rusty basket on the front. It now comes with no means of alerting potential roadkill. She will be careering around Venice in it swearing in 3 languages to clear her path, I'll warrant.

For more on bike bell etiquette, read this quite amusing article from The Guardian's resident cyclist.

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