Today’s ride, on which I question my cultural identity

Maybe it’s because of my lifelong affinity for the comedy of Mel Brooks and pre-Hannah, pre-Soon Yi Woody Allen.

Or maybe because I’ve long believed that the Catholic faith I was raised with is actually the fourth branch of Judaism — Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed and Really Reformed.

It could be due to the 10 years I spent working in the jewelry business, where Yiddish is a second language — which I picked up easily, thanks to the lingering influence of my German-speaking Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother.

Maybe the fault rests with couple rabbis I’ve known, who loved to egg me on because it was so funny to hear Jewish expressions come from such a goyishe punim.

Or it could be I’m just the reincarnation of a Borscht-Belt comic.

But even I was surprised when a car edged out from a side street while I was riding today, and the driver looked directly at me as he pulled out further to block my way entirely. And I heard these words pass my lips as I braked hard to came to a stop just feet from his open window:

“What am I, chopped liver?”

Oy gevalt.


A reader asks if there’s viable route to ride from Santa Clarita to the San Fernando Valley:

I reside in the Santa Clarita valley and I do plan to go on the “Silent Ride” Saturday.  My comment is that there does not appear to be any reasonable way to go from the Santa Clarita valley to the San Fernando valley by bike.  There’s the Old Road and Foothill Blvd.  Both are plagued by little to no shoulder and a number of blind curves.  I’ve seen cyclist on Foothill and I take my hat off to them.  Never on the Old Road between Sierra Highway and Balboa.  Once you get to Balboa things are good.  I assume this would be a L.A. county issue or maybe CALTRANS.  In any event, I wish something could be done about it.  If you have any suggestions or comments that would be great.  Thanks

Any suggestions for him? Or anyone planning to attend the ride, that he could join to ride back to the Valley?


BOLO Alert: Keep your eyes peeled for Joe Linton’s blue Trek, which was stolen last night from in front of an Internet café on Wilshire near Normandie:

So… friends and fellow travelers… be on the lookout for my bike around town… it’s the blue one in the photo (below) – it looks more-or-less like that picture, though it has more stickers and new kinda-bulky black plastic mountain-biker pedals. It’s a big frame (I am 6′3″) light blue Trek, 24-speed, about 3 years old. Bontrager (sp?) black/gray puncture-resistant slick road tires. Lots of stickers – C.I.C.L.E., FoLAR and others. There’s a faded green paper flower and a large Chinese bell on the straight handlebars. There’s a basic black utilitarian rack on the back.

I hereby resolve to lock my bikes really really well in the future.

Be On The Look Out for Joe Linton's blue Trek

Be On the Look Out for Joe Linton's blue Trek


Joe Linton takes over for new daddy Damien on Streetsblog to discuss planned sharrows in Hermosa Beach, and promote the upcoming David Byrne bike round table — and yes, I’m planning to be there. Green LA Girl notes that meetings are being held for four bike plans around the area; just pick your city. Continuing with the color scheme, the Green LA Transportation Working Group defines what Living Streets means. A new group ride rolls through the Eastside. A 65-year old KC cyclist was intentionally hit by an impatient driver. Boston Biker offers advice on how to avoid the door zone when riding in a bike lane; plus advice from Philly on how to pass in one — though you might want to signal and announce you’re passing, as well. Finally, good advice on how to share the road from north of the border.


  1. Jeff says:

    I wouldn’t ride on Foothill to get to the SCV (or back to the SFV) but I’m comfortable on the Old Road. The part south of Sierra Highway and before Balboa seems to be quite scary, but once you get on Sierra, there’s a nice, wide shoulder to ride on.

    Other than that…well you could always ride up Little Tujunga, up over Camp 9, and down into Sand Canyon Road. That’s a hell of a climb though- 3,000 feet!

    Thanks for coming to the ride. I wish Metrolink had a train that arrived early enough. You can always get a ride home on Metrolink.

  2. nobody says:

    re: viable route to ride from Santa Clarita to the San Fernando Valley:

    Believe it or not, that stretch of Foothill and the Old Road between Sierra Hwy. and Balboa is still in LA City Limits. Therefore, they’re the guys you have to talk to for action (which means they’ll likely do nothing, based on what they’ve done elsewhere in the city).

  3. MTS says:

    Going from the SCV to the SFV via Foothill is much easier than the other way around (I do both regularly). Going into the SFV, there is a decline before you start heading uphill. You haul ass downhill and you build up enough momentum to almost make it to the top of the hill. A little more pedaling and you crest. What welcimes you is a short 30 mph downhill.

    Going back the other way is much tougher, though, and should not be attempted by noobs (found this out the hard way). I still prefer the Foothill route to the Old Road. Neither route is for the faint of heart.

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