Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Orange Line

Ever since Metro's Orange Line opened in Fall 2005, Rene and I have been planning on riding our bikes down from Warner Center to North Hollywood. We were excited by the prospect of having a dedicated bike path that parallels the bus route, a rare site in a place like LA where nobody walks (or rides bikes apparently).

Today we finally made good on our plan. This morning, after sleeping an extra hour courtesy of Daylight Savings Time (which I will curse in the spring time next year for taking back this hour from me!), Rene and I brought our bikes out from storage. We kicked the tires, checked the seat height, and made sure everything was in good working order. After eating breakfast, we took off and made our way to the corner of Winnetka and Victory to start our ride down the Orange Line. Technically, the Orange Line bike path starts from Canoga and Victory but since we had to ride our bikes about two miles from where we lived to get to the Orange Line, I figured our starting point was a good approximation of the actual starting point.

The ride itself was pretty easy. The path was flat with plenty of room. It was mostly empty during the time we were there, but we did see other people riding their bikes, rollerblading, or taking their kids out for a walk during the day. The only thing I didn't like were the traffic lights every half-mile, but it gets better after Balboa Blvd. The path breaks up and goes past Balboa Park, which on Sunday is has tons of soccer games in progress. Check out the awesome sky:

Also, the path breaks up after Van Nuys Blvd - instead of having a dedicated bike lane next to the bus route, the bike path is on the side of the road on Chandler Blvd. I'd imagine that this part of the bike path is normally busy during the week, especially on rush hour, but there was a closure due to a Jewish Festival today on part of Chandler.

After reaching North Hollywood, Rene and I rode up and down Lankershim to look for a place to eat. We passed Ha Ha Cafe and the Millenium Dance Complex. Good thing for us neither Lindsay nor Britney were at Millenium today, otherwise we would have had to fight for sidewalk space with photographers.

We ended up eating at Pitfire Pizza, where I had pizza and Rene had spaghetti. We had high hopes for the place but ended up being disappointed with our dishes. Actually the pizza wasn't that bad but the cheese didn't look like it melted correctly. I was going to take a picture of my dish but inhaled it before I could whip up the camera - I got pretty hungry after riding 17 miles to North Hollywood.

We hung out for a few minutes before making our way back home. We ended up getting home about an hour and a half later.

We ended up biking a total of 33.31 miles today. And I won't lie to you, that bike ride hurt a little. I started to feel my quads ache around mile 20 and had to stop and adjust my seat so that I was pushing off with my calves instead. I also regret wearing jeans; I thought it was going to be a nice, slow ride, much like riding down to the corner store. What actually ended up happening was that we were averaging about 12-13 miles per hour and my jeans stuck to me as the day got hotter. Tomorrow's gonna hurt.

No comments: