Good Ol' Speed

Friday, October 14, 2005, at 04:06PM

By Eric Richardson

I don't know exactly why, but my trip back from JPL tonight was fast. Back in July, when I first got my bike computer, the JPL to Downtown trip took me 50 minutes and 21 seconds -- but that was with the clock only counting when I was moving. Tonight's trip took me 46 minutes and 33 seconds, and that's with the clock running the entire time. My average speed was 18.4mph, again with stops counting against the average.

Best part of the trip was just after I came off the Salvia Canyon hill (Google Maps says Canyon... I think the road sign says Canon with the squiggle on the first n). I came to the bottom of the hill behind a delivery truck; I had to slow up a little to avoid trying to squeeze by it when we went two lanes to one. On the flat now, I kept having to ride my brake to keep from getting too close. I thought the truck was going slow, and in the dark it was tough to see my speed. Then I did see it, and I realized I was going 32.5 without even trying on a stretch where I'd normally work to go 24 - 25. I now realize the power of drafting.

Just north of the river I came across two ladies on bikes. They asked directions to the Cornfield and told me about N.E. LA Critical Mass, which I already knew about but hadn't made it out to.