The 2nd Annual BikingInLA Holiday Spectacular!

FADE IN:

SANTA MONICA PIER — LATE NIGHT

The pier is oddly deserted. All the shops and restaurants, bars and booths are closed, the lights are out; the Ferris Wheel sits dark and silent, a ghostly shadow looms over the beach in the moonlight. The tourists, barkers and buskers are gone. A raggedy man huddles in a doorway, turning his face from the cold night air.

It’s Christmas Eve.

A lone cyclist pedals onto the pier. He rides slowly, savoring a rare moment of quiet and solitude amid the bustle of the city. He pauses next to the carousel; it flickers briefly to life as he gazes into the distance. He doesn’t notice, distracted by a familiar sound off in the distance.

SFX: SLEIGH BELLS

A shadow flits across the moon; he looks up in anticipation, but it’s only a flock of gulls passing by. Yet the sound continues to draw nearer.

SFX: SLEIGH BELLS SOUNDING CLOSER

A very large man appears in the glow of a street light at the foot of the pier, struggling to pedal his bike with the large red bag stuffed with packages slung over his shoulder. He’s flamboyantly dressed in non-PETA-approved fur, a brilliant red from head to toe. His breathing is heavy, his brow damp, his beard soaked with sweat.

He’s not happy.

SANTA CLAUS (MUTTERING UNDER HIS BREATH)

Damn…customs…!

He looks up and sees the cyclist standing there.

SANTA CLAUS

You again!

BIKINGINLA

Hello Santa. (ADMIRING THE FAT MAN’S BIKE) I see you traded in your Flying Pigeon from last year…

SANTA CLAUS

Hmmmph. Damn thing couldn’t really fly.

BIKINGINLA

But still, a Pashley Gunvor is a nice step up.

SANTA CLAUS

Yeah, you should like it, kid. It was gonna be yours.

BIKINGINLA (BRIGHTENING)

Mine…?

SANTA CLAUS

Don’t get excited. I said it was going to be yours. That was before ICE confiscated my sleigh at the border. Freaking bureaucrats. I mean, just because Rudolph has a runny nose doesn’t mean it’s the swine flu.

Now I’ve got just this side of 6.8 billion deliveries to make by morning. And my butt already hurts. I mean, it’s not like I do a lot a riding back home.

A light flickers in the nightclub next to the carousel; as if by magic, we see Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra singing a Christmas song through the window.

FADE TO COMMERCIAL BREAK

FADE IN

BIKINGINLA (CRESTFALLEN)

No Pashley for me?

SANTA CLAUS

Oh, get over it, already. You got plenty of gifts this year.

BIKINGINLA

Yeah, you said that last year.

SANTA CLAUS

I can’t help it if you don’t appreciate things, you ungrateful little…

BIKINGINLA

Such as?

SANTA CLAUS

Like a Transportation Secretary who supports bikes, for once. You think that just happened on it’s own?

BIKINGINLA

Well…

SANTA CLAUS

Then there’s the local Transportation Committee that backs biking, and that proposed anti-harassment ordinance. And even Mayor Villaraigosa says he needs to do a better job to support cycling.

Never thought you’d see that, did you?

BIKINGINLA

Yeah, I think the devil had to put on an overcoat that day.

SANTA CLAUS

And who do you think got Asst. D.A. Mary Stone assigned to prosecute Dr. Christopher Thompson? And got a sympathetic jury, even if they don’t ride bikes?

You could show a little gratitude, you know.

A window in the restaurant across the pier springs to life; David Bowie and Bing Crosby appear in a holiday scene.

FADE TO COMMERCIAL BREAK

FADE IN

BIKINGINLA

Okay, okay. I am grateful…

SANTA CLAUS

About time.

BIKINGINLA

But what about you? What do you want for Christmas?

SANTA CLAUS

No one ever asks what I want. It’s always gimme this, gimme that. Nothing for the jolly old fat man…

BIKINGINLA

Okay, so I’m asking.

SANTA CLAUS

Hmmmmmm. I want to be able to marry my partner.

BIKINGINLA

Your…?

SANTA CLAUS (ARCHING AN EYEBROW)

Not a lot of difference between jolly and gay, if you ask me. Would’ve thought the red suit would tip people off.

BIKINGINLA

But Mrs. Claus…?

SANTA CLAUS

Ever see La Cage aux Folles? Name’s Bernie. Voted the Artic’s best drag performer 14 years in a row.

BIKINGINLA (NODDING)

Got it. Anything else?

SANTA CLAUS

Yeah. Remember we’re celebrating the birth of a man who taught peace, understanding, love and forgiveness. So stop using him as an excuse to do just the opposite.

Once again, the nightclub magically comes to life. Inside, we see a young Bruce Springsteen and the East Street Band perform their holiday classic.

FADE TO COMMERCIAL BREAK

FADE IN

The conversation draws to a close. The old man climbs back on his bike, winks and starts to pedal away. He pauses as if remembering something, and circles back to the homeless man sleeping in the doorway. He pulls a small package out of his bag and carefully places it under the sleeping man’s arm, then remounts his bike and pedals into the darkness.

The cyclist watches, then reaches into his pack, pulling out his wallet. Inside is a single dollar bill. It’s been a hard year; maybe next year will be better. He hesitates, then removes the bill and tucks it into the man’s hand.

BIKINGINLA (WHISPERING)

Merry Christmas.

From off in the distance we hear a reply, echoing softly across the deserted beach.

SANTA CLAUS

And to all, a good night!

SFX: SLEIGH BELLS

FADE TO BLACK

………

L.A. Bike Coordinator Michelle Mowery gets punked with a fake Twitter account. Damien explains why the Festival of Rights matter, and why city officials can’t legally ban cyclists. LACBC reports on last weekend’s Larchmont Village Family Holiday Bike Ride. Sometimes, you wish drivers would just hang up and drive. L.A.’s proposed anti-harassment ordinance is on cyclists’ radar. A local cyclist calls for help, leading to an unlikely run-in with a motorcycle cop. Great rules for respect on the roads; they’ll work just as well for L.A. cyclists as they will in Springfield. A lawyer notes that bike injuries are up in Colorado. Austin cyclists debunk the myth that bike infrastructure will hurt business. From Chicago, a video report on how bikes and buses can share the road. A wish list for better cycling laws in the DC area. A London cyclist shares what has to be one of the world’s worst bike lanes; the Guardian offers other examples that make L.A.’s limited offerings look good. Cycling paramedics save lives in Sheffield. Building bike activism in Bangalore. Britain proposes doubling the penalty for dangerous driving. World Champion Cadel Evans rides onto the scene just moments after a fatal cycling collision. Finally, naked New Zealand cyclists are told to go home and get a helmet.

Best wishes to all for a joyous holiday season, and a better year in 2010.

4 comments

  1. sistaP says:

    love it!

  2. TheTricksterNZ says:

    Hey, just want to say Merry Christmas for Friday. My excuse is I was 1 1/2 hours away at the parents.

    Hope you had a good one :D

    Got some good riding done down there too. 205k for the weekend.

    • bikinginla says:

      Back at ya, my friend. Hope you had a great Christmas. And there are far worse ways to spend it than getting some good miles in. Or kilometers, as the case may be.

  3. TheTricksterNZ says:

    Haha, just read about the Whangamata incident. (nice town but ‘”partay” central’ in summer, expect a possible drunken riot in t-minus 76hrs 20mins from the local teens) Didn’t even hear about it here. Someone did that a few years ago in the centre of Wellington though. Hahaha.

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