#195 Go On a Late Night Bike Ride

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I’ve ridden my bike at night plenty of times. Mostly it’s after a night of drinking after work and I have to ride home semi-inebriated which is probably not the safest thing to do because sometimes you get crazy ideas like, “Hey! I bet I could ride on the freeway for one exit!”

But I’ve never just taken a spin on the bike late at night just to ride.  It’s gotten a lot cooler recently and I hadn’t done my scary thing for the day so I decided to do just that tonight.

This could also be considered Part 2 of Riding a Fixed Gear Bike because that time I only really rode around the block for fifteen minutes which was enough to get a sense of what riding a fixed gear is like but not the full experience.

Things started off in not so great fashion when I couldn’t even figure how to get on my bike.  I ended up using a running start but I misjudged the position of the pedals so that they pushed me up and I landed hard on the seat.  Right on my nuts.  Not good.

After I was done singing soprano, I settled into riding when I saw some rough road ahead. Normally, I stand up on my pedals and coast over so it doesn’t damage my balls.  If you haven’t guessed, a lot of bike riding is about protecting your manhood. But you can’t coast on a fixed gear bike. So when I stood up and tried to coast, the pedals almost threw me off the bike.  Fun.

Sherman Oaks is pretty dead after 10pm on a weeknight.  Tonight was no exception.  There were hardly any cars on the road which made me feel a bit safer riding around.  I thought I would head over to the Oyster House, one of my favorite bars in town. It’s just a cool, old school place where it’s not too loud and no one gives a shit how you’re dressed.  They have strong, cheap drinks and old, grizzled waitresses.

Inside there were only a few regulars. A guy with a guitar was playing live music in the corner. He was pretty good actually. I had a beer and just messed around on my phone for half an hour. I listened to a dude tell his friend how he met two russian chicks, one of whom was only 19 (he was in his 40’s) and wanted him to buy her drinks. He wasn’t falling for that one again! Because what kind of guy would he be if he illegally bought alcohol for a girl? But banging her apparently would be no problem as he so eloquently put.

After that, I cruised around the downtown area. It’s weird because even though it’s dead most everywhere, there are pockets of activity at very specific places. I saw a bar/restaurant I had never heard of and the joint was jumping.  But all around it was completely quiet.

LA at night is eerie. There are so many people here and not seeing any of them around is disconcerting.  Everything takes on a dreamlike quality.  It’s peaceful in a creepy kind of way.

I started getting slightly more comfortable on my bike.  Braking and stopping were a bit of an issue as you have to worry about pedal position. Also, my legs started to get really tired. I never realized how much I coast on a regular bike.  Now my legs had to be constantly moving. Another thing was my nuts started to hurt. Not from what happened before, but because  normally I stand a lot and coast to relieve the pressure down there. But I didn’t feel comfortable standing on the pedals yet.

I passed by a large film crew on a side street, working into the night. I wondered what film they were shooting.  If the people were pissed off they had to work so late. I felt bad for the one security guard, standing watch at the end of the street.

I passed by the place where I hit my first golf ball, had my Psychic Reading and the Scientology center where I let aliens probe my mind. It became sort of like a trip down SYED memory lane.

Eventually I made my way home. It was a nice change from my standard weekday night. As for my fixed gear bike… it’s really going to take some getting used to.  Part of me wants to give up and convert it back to a singlespeed free wheel bike.  But that would be too easy, I think, so I’m keeping it the way it is.  My balls are not happy.

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