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Writings from the Road: Not-the-Usual Rides in LA

March 16: Made several calls this afternoon centering 'round"concerning" is more concise; written concision keeps readers the idea of planning a major bike ride this summer, most likely alone as the group appears to cost too much, and my friends wax unenthused. TisA contraction, archaic, of 'This is'; best left out of formal writing, which of course this isn't possible I could start riding from Oregon, rather than from Missoula, thence heading to Colorado; that line of thought leads directly tobegs the question of my attempting to ride up to Oregon first, rather than being transported. Bus to Astoria is $55; this plan will have to be kicked around for a bit.

Shall need to take a weekend camping trip to give a further idea. We'll be riding to Newport Beach this weekend but camping not.

Also called (in addition to bus and plane lines) the Sierra Club, whowhich—It may be an entity but it ain't human will be sending me brochures. As will the LA Wheelmen.

March 19: The Sierra Club sent incomplete information. I wanted to hear more about their impending trips, not their—parallel construction high-flown ideals (though forsooth they have their place). Had not known how long they've been in existence—since 1892!

Tomorrow David and I shall ride about sixty miles up to Oxnard, where live his brother and good wife. We may not return till Monday.

Spring—March 21: We decided to come back today, accordingly leaving just before noon, into about four hours of total misery, and vows ne'erAnother archaic contraction. Do we have a time traveler here? to set tail on a two-wheeled device again, for such thoughts are apt engendered when one is riding into the mouth of an unmitigated gailgale—spelling counts. (Or so it feels, after walking-pace miles.) Although most of the first third of the way was flat, it felt like a ten percent gradeWe must, but should not have to, assume she meant an uphill grade. When the wind was hitting us steady head-on, it was treacherously whipping off center to one side or another to practically throw us off balance. Any little hills we did get to go down felt like just slightly less of a grade, and anyway it usually seemed in such instances that the wind contrived to redouble its efforts, thus robbing any hint of relief we might have been afforded. At that juncture we still had two passes to face, having taken the inland route back.

March 22: Incident on the way home tonight.

Just past Beverly Hills a dark The omission you're sensing is that of a hyphen from between the modifiershaired, foreign-looking and celebratory-scented man sat down in the adjoining seat, presently attempting a bit of somewhat thick-tongued and obviously unfamiliar English conversation with me, accompanied as much by hand gestures as by voice.

At about the same time I both divined his accent and understood him to be saying he was from Argentina. I nodded and smiled.

Every once in a while he would say something more, but he was having such a hard time formulating and enunciating English words that finally, when he asked me for whom I worked, I could not resist answering in Spanish as follows:

"Para abondigas."

At the uncomprehending expression on his face I loudly elaborated:

"Muchas abondigas. Cuarenta y cincoforty-five (45)!"

With the good humor of South American people he gave a little shrug and lapsed into contemplation. It was a couple of minutes before I suddenly remembered that the word for lawyers in Spanish is abogados, not abondigasWups!, and I made haste to correct my statement.

Until then, he must have been wondering which 45 meatballs I worked for.

These notes from a journal are generously provided, from time to time, for my criticism and your consumption by a young lady who at the point we begin is preparing for a planned cross-country trip.

I quite agree; it is indeed difficult to prepare for an unplanned trip.

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