photo block

Saturday, February 26, 2011

bus 260

Bus 260 goes up and down Fair Oaks Ave in Pasadena. It’s a great route for me. It goes somewhere else after hitting Huntington Drive at the south end of Fair Oaks but I don’t pay much attention to it after that.

It’s super easy once you figure it all out and get over the mental blocks to transit. It’s a dollar fifty each way. Almost expensive but pretty reasonable if you go at least a few miles. Get on a few blocks from home. Get off a block from Club 72. Get half off drinks and see a few friends for a while and then reverse the same route to get back home. Not a bad evening.

Also, on the northern end of the route it goes all the way up to the top of Fair Oaks, way up there to the top of the foothills. I haven’t done this yet, but someday soon I’m gonna take an adventure bus ride up the hill and go for a hike on Echo Mountain (the trailhead is just a few blocks from the top-most stop) and then after the hike walk right down into the best veggie restaurant/grocery in the world, well, in my world, Oh, Happy Days…

Why would someone so into the bicycle be posting about the bus? Well, it’s because of rain (and in the case of hiking, the hills prior to the hills and a bit of that continuing OCF, one-car-family experience.) But “it never rains in Southern California,” you’ve heard. Well, that’s just so wrong I can’t even tell you. It can rain a lot here. Five centimeters (2”) just last night. Mostly it rains all within a few months and it’s true that there are stretches through the summer when we get very little or none but that just makes what we get, our annual, all the heavier.

I’m sure you’ve heard that Portland, Oregon gets a lot of rain. It’s one of those rainy places in our mental geography. Well we here in three-blocks-north-of-LA get as much rain or more than Portland through the winter. And we get it super concentrated into a few storms per season. I know you don’t believe me, but I honestly believe that I’m speaking the truth.

So… when it’s raining here, it’s really raining, it’s the monsoon. And no matter how much you like to ride it’s no fun to ride in the monsoon. You get soaked, super soaked, double soaked.

Last night was actually a multimodal (walk/bus) trip into Old Town. Walking up I was reminded that I’m one of those people that can’t go out in the rain without getting soaked. Some people have a knack; they go out in the rain and somehow, miraculously, they stay dry. In fact, most people seem to be able to pull off this magic trick. I however, can’t figure it out. I get so soaked, so soaked. It’ll stop raining and I’ll think, “hey, okay, I can shoot out real quick and be right there and I’ll make it clean and dry…” No. As soon as I hit the point of no return the deluge arrives and I end up walking or riding around like a drown rat – wet, wet – and then it will let up and everyone will be staring at me because I’m the only one that’s soaking wet and they’re all dry because they’ve been inside and inside their cars and they’re all like, “why’s that guy so wet,” and I’m all, “dude, because it’s raining…”

So when it’s raining it’s really nice to take a break and ride the bus. “Get on the bus” as they say. One tiny little push button pop out umbrella will keep you mostly dry for the sprints on either end. It’s probably healthful, even, and humbling to allow yourself to be a little less mule (stubbornly forging ahead) and a little more mindful (flexibly aware with the moment). That’s the story of Bus 260, a good monsoon season friend of Mindful Mule and Me.

No comments: