Before moving away from Redondo Beach, where I have lived since 1981, to the California central coast wine country, I took a leisurely mid-week roll around town on my daughter’s townie bike. It’s a very nice lightweight aluminum framed Marin bike with an 18-speed drivetrain. I swapped the original wheels for an old set of narrower and stronger Mavic wheels that I used one summer 10 years ago climbing the cols of the French Pyrenees.
We bought this bike several years ago from Brian at Beach Cities Cycles in Hermosa Beach to replace a mis-appropriated Electra 7-speed cruiser bike. The Electra had a chrome-moly frame and was much heavier anyway.
I rolled north to Veteran’s Park where I found my friend Doug Ball, now retired like me, sitting in his classic VW bus watching the waves. Then over to The Pier to visit with George Freeth and past the local cyclist hangout of Catalina Coffee Cafe.
Then south to Riviera Village where I shop at Trader Joe’s and spend too much money at restaurants. When I first moved here in 1981, Riviera Village was a bit down at the heels with quite a few vacant storefronts, even the TJ spot was empty. From that time it has improved economically every year, dramatically so after TJ’s moved in. No empty storefronts nowadays, but what was my favorite dive bar with pool tables got replaced by a faux brewery/restaurant.
Finally back home along the Esplanade, where I ran into my building manager Jan Larsen out for a ride with his border collie named Tyler. This is a gorgeous and fun place to live, which I say even as I am moving north. But it has also gotten quite expensive with million dollar houses becoming common.