Saturday, July 12, 2008

There be hills...

Today I went on a bit of a bike adventure, riding from Long Beach to the REI in Manhattan Beach. Came out to something like 34 miles. It's funny, since the last few bike trips we've taken which have included a fair amount of climbing (and pushing bikes up dirt grades), the local stuff here isn't so bad.

When people talk about "doing hills" around here, they usually mean the hills in Palos Verdes. In my head, they had been built up as some impossible thing to ride. Only cyclists with super human strength and the tightest lycra dare scale its peaks.

Well, today I took the Bilenky out and rode over some of those hills...and it wasn't so bad. There was a little steep bit in the beginning, but after you gained some altitude there were some nice rollers. There was a point that I started getting this nice cool ocean breeze and I knew I had passed the top.

Now, I'm not saying I've become a super climber by any stretch of the imagination, but I know I can get to the top, albeit slowly and with a lot of sweat.

1 comment:

Elaine Eddinger said...

I've lived in LB almost ten years, and been a cyclist for about 20. When I first moved here, for whatever reason, I didn't know you weren't allowed to ride on the bridges over to San Pedro. And for some reason I wanted to.

I got over the first one (what's the name of that thing, anyway?) with relatively little trouble, but when I got to the Vincent Thomas, I knew that I had taken my life into my hands.

First of all, those slats on the bridge that are built for expanding and shrinking were really wide open since it was a cold day. Then there's this concrete lip that sticks out—it's perfect for wedging a cyclist under with a bumper. I ended up getting up on the lip, which was probably a couple feet wide, and shimmying while holding my bicycle behind me. I don't know if you can picture that or not. And I had cycling shoes on, of course.

I obviously made it, and returned via Anaheim, I think. Good times. I found out some time after that bicycles aren't allowed on the bridges.

Anyway, I just found your blog this evening, saw the image of the map, and it reminded me of that day.