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Road Trip: Bishop, CA [Paradise] – 61 Miles

Bishop is where people who live in LA go to rock climb. It’s actually where lots of other people go to rock climb too, but the LA people are easy to identify becayse they walk around the grocery stores, tan and shirtless, with bleached dreads, saying “bra” and “sick” a lot. They like to use climbing terms for everything. Like “Do you have any beta on this marinara sauce, bra?” and “I just redpointed the oatmeal isle… is was SIIIICK!” I once took a break from being a lousy cyclist to be a lousy climber. But it didn’t last long, because I look awful shirtless and they asked me to find a more “clothed” sport. I prefer high-strung cyclists to laid-back climbers, anyway. 

The Place: The place I rode through is called Paradise, which might be a bit of a misnomer. It’s really nice. I just like to imagine paradise having more palm fronds and white sand. They had a restaurant there. It’s also called Paradise. Paradise (the restaurant) was one of those places that did “fancy” in a very 1950′s kind of way. Like canned green beans with bits of bacon in it. I like to imagine Sinatra eating there and ordering a Jell-O mold with canned pineapple floating in it, then getting irate when they bring him orange Jell-O instead of lime, and having one of his goons “whacK” the waiter. That seems like something Sinatra would do. In Paradise. Anyway, it’s closed now. So you’ll have to get your faux fancy food somewhere else.

The bike: I rode a 51cm Bataglin frame built for someone 9 inches shorter than me. It was built in 1984 for the LA Olympics. I don’t think it’s been ridden since 1990. I don’t think it’s been inside since 1995. It’s been outside, in the rain, and the Suntour Superbe Pro components were all rusty. The bike itself looked strangly like Keith Richards, if Keith Richards were lugged (“lugged” is not slang for “intoxicated”)

The Ride: The ride was as pleasant as a ride on a rusty undersized bike can be. The scenery is beautiful. The roadsides were still snowy, but it was sunny and warm. The route went through a popular cycling area called Round Valley. Past Paradise. Then continued up on a ridge high above Rock Creek mountain bike trail. Which is also beautiful and fun with lots of bridges varied terrain. But I had to stop because the snow got too thick. And because I am a sissy.