Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Like a Movie

I was living in California when the movie "L.A. Story" came out. I thought it was hilarious because it REALLY captured the way people are out there. One particular scene often comes to my mind, when Steve Martin leaves his house, gets in his car, and drives just one or two houses down the street, to see someone he knows. :) It's making fun of how Californians often use their car to drive such short distances, but I'm sure they do, just like here.

In fact, it happened just the other weekend when I got together with a friend. I biked to meet her at a bike store in Arlington so she could test ride some high-end bikes. After a few hours, she decided on a pretty expensive racing bike and racing wheels. She had her old bike in the back of her car. We had planned to get some dinner, so I suggested we just bike to some place nearby. She said, "Bike??" I said, "Sure - there's lots of places nearby." She said, "But, will they let us into the restaurant in our biking clothes?" I said, "Sure - no problem." (It's not like we were going to be eating at a 5-star restaurant!). She said, "But, how do I carry my things?" I asked her what she needed to carry, and she said her wallet and keys. I told her that I had my bike bag and also back pockets in my jersey. Then she said, "But, what will we do with the bikes when we get there?" I smiled and said, "Well, we'll lock the bikes up." It didn't dawn on me that this could actually be the FIRST time she had done such a process. She was a bit flustered and hesitant. I didn't want her to be nervous about it all, so I gave in, and put my bike in the back of her car, and she was quite happy about that resolution. We leave the parking lot and I kid you not, we drive just a block or two, and pass a Mexican restaurant to eat at, and she pulls over to park at a metered spot. She pays $2 to park at that meter and we walk across the street to have dinner outside. I was thinking how funny it was, and that we could have easily biked there in about a minute.

When we finished dinner, I got my bike out of her car and she asked where my next "adventure" would be. I thought maybe she meant perhaps an upcoming bike trip or something. No, she meant where was I headed off to right now. :) I said that I wanted to go downtown to see the Cherry Blossom Festival fireworks that were going to happen at 8 p.m. I had my reflective vest, blinking lights and headlight, so I was set. She asked if she could drop me off somewhere, and I said no, I'd be just fine. It was a nice night out and the riding would be enjoyable. She looked at me kind of funny/oddly and said she couldn't live without her car. I guess she'd feel vulnerable or something? I know being in a car, you feel somewhat safe and protected. But I feel comfortable and happy on my bike, and I feel safe, as long as I'm not out way late - when some of the "crazies" come out. :)