Palos Verdes fixates me. It's a pain in the ass to get to, and even more of a pain in the ass today, but once I'm there...I just wanna make the wheels spin. I wanna stay.
I don't mean I wanna live there...what did MacArthur say "Old soldiers never die, they just...fade away." ? The PV pennisular paraphrase is "Old Republicans never die...they just... Palos Verdes." I just like to do loops and feel the wind and the chill it often holds. A cloud hangs over it.
The hills call me, there's a wildness still to the place, the cliffs on the near side of Portugese Bend -which if you come to LA are the one piece of nature you should see, LA Crest and the Santa Monicas be damned- the roads are always collapsing and houses shifting and people falling into sink holes (oddly enough the closer you get Trump's national golf course empire which owns the coast just above San Pedro - another little So Cal gem of town)- but you can ride around the place for hours and hardly see a soul not in a car. Its so odd: money and California. People just hole up. They stay indoors or they're in transit or shopping. Unfair of course but I've gotta have ridden thru PV 100 times and there are homes Ive never seen anyone in, around, or coming out of. They're investments.
Which let me say when you're cruising around on a popsicle stick of a bike is just fine. Fewer surprises, free agents and fools, the better.
So it's 15 miles to get there, well from my current pit of an apartment it's 25 but you do a flat warm up and then on mile 30 you're climbing 8,9 degrees and sometimes more and you can do that for ...however...and then a flat spin back.
Shit roads, crap bike path, sand heaps blown into access roads, the usual mad melange of ear bud walkers, skaters, bozos on a stroll ( "hey try the pedestrian path where I'd be arrested if I rode my bike on- it's right there!") bikers with their dogs on a lease stretching across the entire path. Geniuses all. Liberty and its fallout victims. Learn to slalom.
But run that gauntlet and you can climb a switchback as lovely as a ski slope and stand by the Pacific coast road and watch porpoises and seals gambol in the surf. You'll get headwinds on some of the descents that will scare you cold but you'll also get tailwinds that'll lift you right to the crest and push you home.
Home....funny to use the word in LA.
PV - A beauty of a place to ride thru. Got a soft spot for it and its El Rancho aesthetic.
call it 65 miles.