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The Earth Moves

Three people, an assortment of full- and part-time jobs, and two cars has meant that I’ve often ridden my bike this summer to the Pike in Long Beach. I show up a few times a week for a retail job.

Eight miles, the ride to work is a pretty straight shot down the bike path that runs along the Los Angeles River. Without stop signs or traffic lights to punctuate the ride, I use the time to think.

Bike path sign

The demographic on the bike path ranges from hell-bent cyclists on a high-dollar bikes and outfitted in fancy bike outfits, to thin, grubby sorts struggling to balance Hefty bags jammed with cans and bottles on the handlebars of a wreck of an old Schwinn. Small encampments of homeless people dot the path,  tucked in beneath underpasses and in the brush.

Someone used these expanses as a canvas.


Graffiti IISome kind of big dig is going on along the path now.

Front end loader

Passing this site reminded me of Christopher’s childhood fascination with big machines that gobble the earth. When he was about 2-1/2, I took him to the demolition site of an old department store almost every day. He was always fully equipped with his hard hat. We’d watch as the huge equipment bit into the bricks of the old building and took it apart. Who needed video games?

Christopher has ridden his bike to work some of the time this summer, too, but without his helmet, I learned last night. I’m going to show him this picture and remind him that he was more concerned about avoiding head injury at 2-1/2 than he is now!

Christopher at demo 1998

About treacycolbert

I make my living by writing about health care. I've always written about life's chastening effect, but just as a way of sorting it out for myself. After years of doing this and keeping these essays quiet, I decided to put some of these impressions out there on this blog. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think.

4 responses »

  1. So cute!

  2. What a great way to commute. Interesting demographics out there.

    It strikes me that this is one of those experiences in one’s life that is brief but end up having lasting significance. Remember the year I biked to work? .

    • Sally, this summer was a strange reprise of biking to work as a college student. I worked in an office those summers, so I biked to work in a (heavy 70s polyester) dress most days! Can’t imagine that now.

      • Ooh, that would be rough! I never have biked to work, but I did walk to work for several years back in Fort Wayne. I lived a mile from work.

        Well, now I walk to work…about sixty feet from the bedroom to my home office! 😀

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