Thursday, December 19, 2013

Torrey Pines Madness

Tom:  Hey, Carlos.

Carlos:  What?

Tom:  It's finally over!

Carlos:  What's finally over?

Tom:  How can you ask that?  I've been talking about it for weeks --

Carlos:  Talking about what?

Tom:  The Bikeography, man!  I thought it would never end.  Dude just kept going on and on about all his bikes and stuff --

Carlos:  You mean that stupid bikelist thing?

Tom:  It's "Bikeist," and YES!  He's going to start blogging in real time now that he's laid out his entire biking history.

Carlos:  Oh, like VeloNews -

Tom:  Nothing like that!  It's a blog and is about regular every-day riding, not professional cycling.

Carlos:  I don't get it.  Who'd want to read something like that?


For those of you unfamiliar with Tom and Carlos, they are recurring characters I stole from an entry in the Urban Dictionary who first appeared in my original, substantive, post "Origins."  A hardcore Bikeist follower like Tom wouldn't need this to be explained, but, if you're new to this blog, and don't have a weekend or so to devote to reading the entire, epic "Bikeography," I recommend pulling up (the now legendary) Post #2 to get better acquainted with Tom and Carlos and an idea of what this blog is all about.

Now that the Bikeography is officially "in the can," it's time to wow you with some hard-hitting, unadulterated bikeism.  I hope you are all ready to have your minds blown!  Ready?  Brace yourselves.  Get this -- there's this hill in La Jolla that bike riders are not allowed to bike down.  Really.  

OK, somebody give Tom some smelling salts.  I know, I know -- shocking beyond belief! (And, yes, I do realize that the battery on my iPhone is dangerously low.)

So, The Bikeist's position on this decision to ban bike riders from going downhill within Torrey Pines State Reserve?  --- AGAINST!

Was there any doubt?  

For those of you unfamiliar with this iconic stretch of asphalt, Torrey Pines grade (inside and outside) is one of the most popular ascents/descents in all of SoCal.  The steeper "inside" hugs the coast inside Torrey Pines State Reserve, while the "outside" lies on Route 101 which parallels the park.  The spandex clad hordes flock to this grade on weekends to do "repeats" (repeated climbs and descents of the hill to help build their climbing "base"), and anyone desiring to explore the North County coast on bike from San Diego must tackle this grade to get to and from the fabled rollers from Torrey Pines to Oceanside.  


I have gone up and down this grade more times than I can count since 2001, and have actually never gone down the route through the park.  I take the inside only when I'm looking for a more challenging climb than the long, but not so steep, 101 route.  However, I can see why many cyclists are incensed by this arbitrary new policy.  If you are someone prone to doing "repeats," and want to do so with minimal interaction with the four wheeled motorized things designed to obliterate bikes and bikeists, the best way to do so on Torrey Pines grade, is to climb up the outside along 101 (headed North), turn right at the top of the hill and head down through the "inside" on the ocean side, and then "repeat" along the 101 sholuder.  A dedicated repeater can do this all day without needing to cross the highway.  With the new diktat, it is impossible to do repeats without pausing to cross high-speed traffic to descend along 101.

See "cyclists,"  I have your back!  This blog is truly for everyone.  But, why should "everyone" give a crap about whether bike riders can go up or down a hill?  Well, because this is blatant fascism, and nobody likes fascists or their related "-ism."  According to this article - - some Ranger at the Reserve unilaterally issued this ban based upon some "close calls" between bike riders and (clueless) pedestrians on the park road.  According to Ranger Clay, based upon these close calls, “It was clear we were going to have a fatality.”  Really . . .

Us bikeists are so unfamiliar with close calls.  If close calls with something that might instantly kill you is just cause for a complete (or partial) ban, then why do we allow automobiles within the park or anywhere for that matter?  What gets in my craw is that, while most would consider curtailment of cars to be unreasonable, a ban on the much less lethal bicycle is taken in stride.  WTH?!  (What the Heck!)  Bikes should be allowed to use any road that an automobile can use.  The real problem at Torrey Pines is not bikes, but clueless pedestrians who saunter in the middle of the paved area frequented by cars and bikes.  Police THEM Ranger Clay!  Bikes should be free to descend that fantastic stretch of pavement free of impediment!  Paint some lines to designate pedestrian and bike/car areas, and all will be good.  This ban is the lazy way out.  Anytime the knee-jerk "solution" is to ban bikes from a bonafide park, we have lost our way.  Bikes and parks (vice cars and parks) go hand in hand!


Tom:  That was awesome.

Carlos:  What was awesome?

Tom:  The Bikeist, dude!  He really stuck it to Ranger Clay!

Carlos:  Whatever . . .

Next up:  Whatever --

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