the day after the bean's nike athletic adventure, i got my shot at some swooshing fun. they'd partnered with that weekend's cicLAvia event, which was scheduled to close off a 3.5-mile stretch of wilshire boulevard to cars and buses and allow bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, runners, walkers etc. to run free. i thought it sounded fun, and decided that i'd make it extra easy on myself and take the metro to get there. at 6:30am on a sunday morning, i pretty much had the train to myself.
as always, it was fantastic to just sit back and relax as we whizzed through the stops on our way to union station, where i transferred onto the next train and went a few stops further to the start line. when i emerged from the station, i found myself right in front of the wiltern theater.
there were lots of people there already, checking in and stretching and warming up and whatnot.
it was a really warm day, and the sun was relentless already at 8am. the temperature was already hovering around 80 by the time we finally started.
the route took us past the site of the brown derby, the iconic old hollywood restaurant that was shut down years and years ago. it's where the cobb salad was invented and was a big hotspot for celebs back in the day. now, the only place you can eat at a brown derby restaurant is at disney world.
i couldn't help but smirk a bit when i came upon a booth sponsored by the girl scouts of greater los angeles. i haven't mentioned it here, but i've got quite a bit of lingering hostility and frustration with this organization that i'm still processing and will likely share here soon, but i'm not ready yet. but not to worry - the bean is still a scout and hopefully will stick it out till she earns her gold award.
and then i found myself in front of a very familiar spot that i haven't seen or thought about in years and years. back in the day, when i passed the proficiency exam that gave me my freedom from high school, i found myself in a little bit of a pickle. i wasn't really feeling like going to traditional college, yet i didn't really know what i wanted to do. i ended up getting suckered into a computer programming course at a trade school, finished the program and received a certificate of completion. but because i was barely 18 with nothing on my resume but jobs at burger king and target, no one took me seriously and i never got hired to actually put my new skills to any use. and then of course, the program i'd learned to write and debug became obsolete...rendering that certificate basically useless. oh, the memories that came flooding back at the mere sight of this door:
and just past it was the old bullocks wilshire building. this used to be a pretty upscale department store, and then like everything else it was bought out by some conglomerate, shut down, and the building was bought by southwestern law school. it was weird to peer in from afar and see rows and rows of books instead of a retail store.
there were lots of tents and booths being set up by various vendors and organizations along the route.
metro had a fun-looking booth set up too, but i was so hot and sweaty and icky that i just wanted to finish. oh well, maybe next time.
as we neared some of the steeper downhills, the folks on bicycles were required to dismount and walk down.
it was nice to finally reap the downhill rewards of the steep hills we'd had to climb along the way. except that we had to come to a rather abrupt stop to let traffic cut through. boo.
and just across the street, we were done. yay!
because i was in the last corral (since i'm a slowpoke), there were tons and tons of others who'd finished already. i couldn't get close enough to any of the photo ops, so i settled for a selfie instead.
i did suck it up and ask some dude to take a picture for me, though. i had to get at least one decent shot.
there were a ton of people on bikes. i thought about checking out the booths, but after nearly getting run over more than once, i gave up and made my way towards the metro station.
hello, channel 7 news van!
i don't remember why i was making this face. i guess it doesn't really matter.
the gold line train was pretty empty, which made for a nice ride home.
despite the heat and humidity, i'd had a really great time! i got in a nice run, enjoyed my ride on the train, and got a free t-shirt. not too bad for solo sunday funday.