making the rounds of LA transit

Friday, June 11, 2004, at 05:59AM

By Eric Richardson

Yesterday I managed to travel every rail line in the Metro rail system in a single trip. I first needed to get to Pasadena City College, where I thought I would be taking a summer class, so I biked over to Union Station and hopped on the Gold Line. Sure it takes a little longer, but I had a book to read (I've been reading Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam) so I enjoyed my time, as I always do.

Errand done at PCC I decided that my bike was really driving me crazy and that I needed to take it back down to the REI in Manhattan Beach. To get there it was Gold Line to Union Station, Red Line to 7th/Metro Center, Blue Line to Imperial/Wilmington, and then Green Line to Douglas. I think total trip time was right around an hour, with a good half of that on the Gold Line. It was my first trip south of Washington/Grand on the Blue Line and my first trip of any kind on the Green Line. All in all I can't say it was a bad experience, though people like to deride the Blue Line as 'Ghetto Blue' and the Green as the line that goes from nowhere to nowhere. Well, for me it went right where I needed to go and that worked out just fine.

I left my bike in the very capable hands of REI's bike service people, who are going to be installing a new rear cassette, a new chain, and new brake levers. Hopefully this will clear things up for a while. Doing a little math with the guy working on the bike, I realized that if I ride my commute 3-4 times a week (which I intend to do once the bike's behaving properly), plus through in a couple miles extra here and there, I'm looking at up to 50 miles a week. Over the course of a year that's 2k - 2.5k miles.