MetroLink, Montalvo to Union Station



One year ago today, i was on a solo loop from Pacific Grove, out and around thru Arroyo Seco into Ft. Hunter Liggett up and over Nacimiento Ferguson Rd. down to the coast on HWY1 and back home.  a 57hr loop in total.  Today its The Pug and I on MetroLink, Montalvo to Union Station in LA to visit family for Halloween, see my nephews, and maybe get to see some freaky LA types during the adult hours.


So far i have to say that im totally stoked to get on the train with The Pug.  One thing is that the 4” Endos dont like to fit the bicycle tie down system they have on MetroLink, but im more than happy to even be able to take the bike on the train.  Next time i will bring extra tie downs to help keep The Pug secure, as it is, i locked the brakes, and so far so good.  I love how Avid Mech discs have the dial adjustment.


The train experience is all about people.  its about the communal experience, its about the joy of sharing the bike rack, talking with your fellow humans, lashing the bikes together, and sharing the experience.  While still within a steel box, a person obviously doesnt have to give attention to the task of driving, but instead they are free to do whatever they like.  for myself, its jotting down a few thoughts, iPod in ear, while groovin to the Killers.  6am on the bike, Ventura is a bit of a ghost town, i had the neighborhood streets to myself, 51F i had to put on my fav set set of full finger DeFeet gloves, a first in the more than a month since i’ve arrived.

The train bumps, jiggles, rolls, and speeds along.  I sit with my thoughts, digi cam, laptop, with a goofy grin as we speed past cars.  Yes!  zooming past cars, with bike, and not even putting out the effort.  the train blows its horn, the rail guards drop, lights flash, and cars wait.


Ventura County has these moments of beautiful landscapes, even quiet moments.  the train is like that too.  6am in Montalvo is quiet, the train empty, the sun rises, the landscape comes to light, more people load on the train, the chatter rises, more bikes, etc.  its great!

And wow!  the beautiful girls on the train!  and i ask myself, “at what point do i not like living here?”  I love how the people sit next to each other, they chit chat, skills in social graces play out before me, so much different than those social skills of car bound, typically played out on the gas pedal, a flash of lights, and the annoying blast of the horn.

Speeding along, as we come into Simi Valley, im amazed at the housing.  SoCal is unfolding before me.  Mega housing complexes, giant culverts to channel the winter rains run off, and yet goats, horses, and corals mingle in this matrix of nature vs humanity.  Humanity and its insatiable desire to tame everything.  pave over the world, run rail, domesticate, make slave, husbandry in all forms, even the skies have been pioneered.

along the railway i see remnants of hobo camps, soot up the sides of rocks.  even an equestrian along the way!  who’d have ever thought?  as another train, AmTrak blares past less than 10ft away, certain death as i stop to realize the energy behind all the tons moving at 50mph. 




Union Station LA


Here i am on train 113 return to Montalvo from Union Station LA. 


 I think the total is going to be about 38hrs round trip.  Last year for Halloween i had done a 57hr solo loop around from Pacific Grove, out to Arroyo Seco, into Ft. Hunter Liggett, then up and over to HWY1, and straight home.

This year it was a trip to visit my siblings, nephews, mom and brother-in-law in LA, whom live right off of Melrose Ave, near Fairfax Ave.  My brothers and i have always been into bikes by various necessity, and/or virtue of our lives in general.  Myself and my two brothers, Dylan and Dallas had ourselves a typical brother’s on bikes Halloween in Hollywood kind of a time.  From the moment i arrived at their place, it was on the bikes riding all over the place, hang out here and there, and “mosh” as Dylan calls it.  Basically its just ride around town, go all over the place and i guess get down into the pit with the cars, and mosh.


First its over to pick up, or just simply check out what Dallas is up to over at Power Plant Choppers where he works on Melrose, and sure enough, its the typical day, he’s doin the little daily things tinkering around with motorbikes, tools, and the shop in general.  I admire Yaniv and his +5yrs of effort and commitment to run a biz.  and a big thanks to Yaniv(sp?) for letting me get some pics.  Power Plant Choppers.  Yaniv you are awesome!  


On a side note, my 2 brothers, Dallas and Dustin are in Vogue, the Fall-Winter 2007-2008 issue, on page 98 "Bikers"
this is the cover
Dallas on the left, Yaniv (owner of Power Plant Choppers, and family friend.)
Dustin, bottom row, second from the right.


Afternoon, Halloween we find ourselves with obligations, just as brothers to ride around.  its all over Hwood, and down towards the LA Community College, out by Oragne 20 Bikes, and the Bicycle Kitchen.  a shout out to TJ over at Orange, Tony at the Bike Kitchen, and i think it was Heather at the restaurant.  A totally cool little groove over there on that side of town. Who’d of ever thought that i’d be diggin a grove in a mega city like LA?  Bikes are bikes and bike folk, i dig.  



As the evening started to catching up, we found ourselves rollin Hollywood Blvd.  Once we stopped and hung out with a “crash unit” as Dylan called them.  some cops in those crazy dark blue crown vics, some suburbans with huge running boards along the sides and rear, as it was obvious cool cops, watchin the scene, some kind of special ops group, like crowd control of some sorts.  I had to ask which one was Jake and which is Ellwood.  their reply all of us!  and im all about dribbling out Blues Brothers scene, its got a cop motor, cop tyres, & cop brakes.  


At Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Dylan is all about Captain America,


 and we get mega laffs, damn near falling off the bike as we ham it up in front with the world to watch.  Later i catch Dylan rocking out to Bon Jovi, Wanted Dead or Alive.


Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose was beyond packed.  crazy grip of peeps there.  the Sheriff stopped me, and we chit chat a bunch, funny how i seem to get along with cops, or more like The Pug and I grab their attention.  The Sheriff gives us the “OK” to take our bikes into the mega crowd, but with plenty of advice and fore warning.  the crowd is piling up crazy fast, as if like those wooly mammoths in the La Brea tar pits, the crowd engulfing us, no mater how we make our way against the flow, they pack faster than we can exit, caught in a rip tide of freaky freaks on Halloween, until i put the Vega on flash mode, and do my best Moses, reaching the edge of that sea-o-freaks.


      We find ourselves back to brothers “moshing” around town, aimless, and wondering, we find McDonalds!  yes!  Micky Dee’s on Halloween, took the bikes right inside and ate up.  a first in i have no idea how many years for me.  Mickey D in Century City.  My vegetarian ways, gone, as im mingling in the sea of SoCal, PETA is in my head, scenes of Planet of The Apes flash across my mind, Fay Raye  King Kong, Fast Food Nation, and the shear vast quantity of suffering plays out before me, my taste buds drive the message home.  a cool pic of us 3 boys with the Century City skyline in the back ground,


 after they were so stoked to have apple pies for treats later.


A night of watching the LA scene, we crash out at home, a new day, and time for me to head back to Ventura by the 430pm MetroLink out of Union Station. 


 the time flys by on the train, as i just about pass out iPod and sunset.  Back home the fog has rolled in, twilight, and purple legions.  


a shower, a few words, pics and to crash out.  Tmrrw another day in “care”.  Pop to the MD’s in the am.

and gee...the weekend is upon me...viola!

Its a SelfPropelledDevo Pug’s life...