Thursday, November 22, 2007

I know a place where no cars go.

I took a ride today down into Balboa Park, down to the Prado area--the pedestrian-oriented complex of museums near the San Diego Zoo. Since it is Thanksgiving today, I figured the roads would be pretty bare, and for the most part I was right. The picture above is at the intersection of Park Boulevard and Village Place. Park Blvd. is normally a very busy north-south thoroughfare through the park, but not today. There was some traffic, but not much. Once I got to the park, I was surprised to see quite a number of pedestrians strolling about, despite the fact that the museums were all closed for the holiday.

I saw joggers, bikers, pedestrians, people walking dogs, kids with scooters, you name it. Although I was kind of hoping for a post-apocalyptic level of quiet, I was also really pleased to see so many people eschewing the turkey coma and football stereotype that has become so common for this holiday.

It would have been a near-perfect ride, but for the fact that there is no good way to get from one side of Balboa Park to the other, unless you're driving a car. The canyon that runs through the center of the park is steep, and there are no sidewalks on Morley Field Drive, the main connector between the two sides. I made it about half-way up the hill on my bike before three speeds proved too few, and I had to bail out and haul my bike over the curb and onto the steep, rocky path that has been worn onto the shoulder (see photo above).

In terms of bike performance, I'm still getting used to shifting and getting the cable tension right. I had a couple moments of heart-thumping when the peddles freewheeled forward in second gear while I was in the middle of the street (one reason I wanted to go for a ride on the holiday). I think I've got everything adjusted now. Also, I charted my course on my Google map, which you can click at right.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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