Cycling Christmas

My Sweet Ride

Went for a ride today. Originally planned to bike to Balboa Park. But realized that I could get challenged just as hard by the hills on the way to the Lake and back. Took the Alvarado frontage road over to the 1st hill: Lake Murray Blvd. And crushed it. Rode seated all the way up, at a pace that only lost acceleration half-way up the grade. Breathing heavy at the end as I topped the hill and coasted the flat road over to the left turn onto the lake’s inlet street. My head’s still stuffed with wet cotton from this damn cold, so I was forced into mouth-breathing. Still proud of handling that hill. The road around the lake still was pretty wet in patches. I cursed the draining banks and rode slow as I could through the water slicks. Nice brisk day for a ride.

On the way back, got honked at by an aggressive motorist who didn’t want to share the road. We were both coming up on the 8 West on ramp at the bottom of Lake Murray Blvd. Obviously, I wasn’t going to enter the freeway, but I guess he was piqued by having to slow down and switch lanes around me. Dunno what he wanted. Perhaps for me to humbly stop pedaling, pull over submissively till he passed. Gave him the appropriate hand signals in passing. Then–filled with aggression by this unwelcome encounter–I handled the 70th St. climb with brutal committment. No dismounting, no walking–just a standing power ride up that hill that will make powder out of less trained cyclists. Went down a side street and onto Montezuma Road. Some wild redheaded college girl burst out of a side street on roller blades ahead of me. She word skin-tight black cotton leotard slacks and a black sports bra. Her hair was like a long rolling flame bank running down the alabaster skin of her naked back. Tried to keep up, but she was too fast. Split off onto Art Street, feeling too old again. Wondered if the 99cent Chinese Wall Restaurant was open for biz. Nope. It was all dark behind the plate-glass windows as I rode past. Same for Zumwalt’s Cyclery down the street. Rode east, past the 7-11, old Music Trader, new Aztec Tattoo (open till 8 pm. for all the impulsive drunks from the Boulevard Bar 3 blocks east) and twenty or thirty fast food joints on the way back to 70th street. The only store open besides the 7-11’s was the Smoke Shop just before 70th. And I wasn’t going in there. It’s been 4 and 1/2 years since I smoked tobacco. And I don’t need any of the other supplies, either. Coming up on the Yum Yum Donuts, I considered continuing on to Vons in search of celery for the stuffing for my Christmas roast chickens. Just didn’t want to get off the bike. But made the turn after all. Good thing, as a quick Google search confirmed no supermarkets are open today. The chickens are roasting in the oven nonetheless, with cornbread stuffing containing pineapple, jalapeno, olives and onions. The warm smell of roast chicken is filling my place now. Smells like Christmas. Finally.
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