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The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time #255 - The One That Got Away

06.25.14

One or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives
for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities,
and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the
encounters they find there.

It's a bike ride.

Started by user nathansnider and user theroyalacademy.

It meets every Wednesday at 8:30pm
at California Donuts #21.
We ride at 9pm.
We'll endeavor to return before the last red line trains (around midnight),
but often it is not possible.

On this bike ride, you might expect:
- inconvenient passageways
- oblique strategies
- Oulipian constraints
- disorientation
- reorientation
- "cover" versions of other people's rides, performed with amateurish enthusiasm
- amateurish enthusiasm
- pool halls
- bowling alleys
- karaoke
- geocaching
- full moon picnics
- traffic median tea parties
- rivers that no longer exist
- smell tourism
- Couchwick v2.0

Furthermore:
- usually 20-35 miles
- usually some hills
- a medium pace (probably not for beginners; certainly not a hustle)
- few stops, short stops
- but we're not in a rush; we don't need to run every light
- victory donuts!

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This week:

The One That Got Away


So, okay, we've been doing this thing for five years. And if you look at our
cumulative route map, you'll see that we've been down remarkably close to
every block of every street in a several mile radius around the donut shop at
which we meet. Extend the radius out a few miles further and, sure, there
are a lot of blocks left uncovered, but we've been down at least some stretch
of most streets. At around 8 or 10 miles, the gaps get wider: we may have
passed through each neighborhood, but much of them remains as of yet
unexplored (by us!). And then, at twelve miles out, you've reached the limit of
most of our routes. Certainly, a few outliers extend further in each direction
(except SW, as the ocean stands there as an -- as yet -- impassable natural
limit), but generally that is as far afield as we venture.

However, beyond our perhaps pathological roadway completism, lies an even
greater urge to seek out and ride across/through the other infrastructural
excesses of the urban terrain -- the bridges, the tunnels, the stairs, and the
alleyways -- the things that are not "roads," but are indeed passageways
(and not even always inconvenient ones per se). And so, after having done
this for so long, it can sometimes feel like we've got those pretty well covered,
in toto, for quite a radius indeed.

And yet, precisely because this study of ours has proved increasingly
longitudinal, it is not uncommon to find that the city itself has changed over
the course of our explorations. On one hand, we have more than once found
that a path we've traversed before has been closed off or erased in one
fashion or another since last we were there. On the other, with new
development comes new channels for movement. It is not every day we are
gifted a new tunnel or stairway, but it most definitely does happen.

And then there are the ones that we've just plumb missed. Some aren't even
all that far away; some we are actually well aware of. We just haven't done
them on the ride before. And it is a little surprising every time we come
across one of these instances, but it really isn't all that uncommon. L.A. is
a big, complicated, messy place, and it is easy to miss something here or
there. But that's what keeps it interesting. And so we keep looking, because
our curiosity keeps being rewarded, and rewarding.

(~30 miles; not much climbing)

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For the latest information about each week's ride, join our mailing list:
groups.google.com/group/the-passage-announcements

For more information about past rides, visit our website:
ThePassageRide.com

For miscellaneous images, information, and links, take a look at our tumblog:
thepassageride.tumblr.com

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All cities are geological;
you cannot take three steps
without encountering ghosts
bearing all the prestige of their legends.
 


Posted by theroyalacademy