At first, it was cold and overcast. Before long, after many handless level roadways and one fun downhill over the 101, people emerged. One woman crossing the Ventura intersection with no shoes, wrapped in a blanket, called out “Why are you coming from that way?” I thought, “Why wouldn’t I be?” but passed too fast to answer.
So many sights of beautiful bikes in flat black, deep down sparkling gold, pinks, white, and silver. Different bells and booming music and voices. Scents of tomato sauce, grilled onions, pastries, and patchouli. Dogs in backpacks and on shoulders; babies in handlebar seats; sunflowers emerging from bags and helmets; street art painted, stenciled, stickered, pasted; random dudes giving me open palms for me to smack with enthusiastic force; three cyclists getting running starts to climb two-tiered mutant bikes; two drunk and insistent cyclists offering me bottles of IPA that I later dumped in a bus stop trash can due to the LAPD presence.
Seven hours later, I laid down next to my dog and replayed the wonder of people reclaiming the asphalt for pedestrian and pedal mobility. Most of all, I paint the bicycles cruising, parked, tethered around lampposts, awaiting friends at the valet, and maneuvering joyously through an uncommon course.