Last week I decided to take the long way home from North Hollywood, riding to the eastern edge of the valley to catch the river path, and passing Griffith Park, which on that day called me to take respite in its refuge from the chaos that surrounds it.
As soon as I reached the edge of the park, it drew me in. I considered going deeper, but this parcel of park was speckled with sun and shade, with wide grassy spaces and plenty of good trees to lean up against.
I lived in the valley for eons, it seems; I have memories linked to every street and landmark and even some alleys, but I never realized how absolutely flat the whole damn dustbowl is. Sure, there are some grades, a few overpasses, but it’s just fucking flat. Nice for settling into deep thoughts and pedalling instinctively harder and harder as you fly down wide streets sucking you forward, on and on, further into the depths of suburbia in the masqueraded desert.
I moved to the one of the hilliest ‘hoods in L.A., Highland Park in Northeast L.A. I love flying down and pumping up the hills, and feeling myself get stronger and my speed and endurance build. I like the hilly side of town.
L.A. is enormous and our bike family is spread out to its very edges. Way across town from the L.A. polo house, the No Manor, is the Casa de Angelopes, the freak bike warehouse. A handful of other bike-houses act as cooperative enclaves for bike-happy Angelenos, the lot of whom are drawn together as an entire unit at least a few times a year. We are spread far and wide, but we share the carnal knowledge of the city’s gritty roughness mingled with all its glitzy absurdity from edge to edge.
Some of my friends have captured some of the beastly beauty of the L.A. bike scene on film, and are sharing it at the Vista Theater in Hollywood this Friday. Click Play below for a taste.