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Old 07-31-10, 06:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stoogeswoman View Post
As discussed in another thread, today I got my Schwinn Hinge Folding Bike back from the bike shop (Metropolis Bikes in North Hollywood), where I'd left it for a tune-up, and was pleased to find that they'd not only done a thorough job of checking it over, they also installed a metal bottle cage on the handlebars, free of charge - thanks guys!

I drove it a few miles to Valhalla Memorial Park, a totally cool cemetery with great views of both the Burbank airport and the Amtrak/Metrolink train station. It's also the perfect place for out-of-shape folks like me to exercise - because there are NO HILLS! Yes, it's totally flat! And bonus - since it was a hot day, the sprinklers were going; making it the perfect place to test-ride my newly restored folding bike!

I took it out of the trunk and unfolded it. The hinges have always been a little clunky to use and they still are, but the Metropolis guys put some oil/lube on them so they worked as well as they're ever going to work. Once I got it set up, I adjusted the seat, put my feet on the pedals, and started to ride ...

... when what to my wondering eyes did appear but a COYOTE - yes, a real live coyote! - headed straight for me!!

Well, I was a little nervous but what that coyote didn't know was that I'd spent a hectic morning chasing a pack of wild Chihuahuas away from my yard at home, and figured, hey, a dog is a dog, right? I'd gotten rid of the evil dogs by running towards them at full speed, yelling and waving a stick, which did the job quite nicely (also works for Jehovah's Witnesses btw ).

Anyway, so back at the cemetery, I figured I'd just do the same thing. Rather than turn wheel and run, I pedaled harder, directly TOWARDS him, shouting, "Bad dog! Bad dog!" That was all it took - he turned around and ran (followed closely by one of the cemetery groundskeepers, who'd been keeping a close eye on the situation from his tractor a few feet away).

All in all, I was quite pleased with my Schwinn Folding Bike's performance. Sure, the seat is still a little uncomfortable and it's a little hard to pedal. But it keeps the coyotes away, which is pretty much all I ask of any bike, folding or non-folding.

I am surprised that people are allowed to still cycle in cemeteries around Los Angeles. Most of the time, it is my experience that the security guards or the caretakers if no guards chase bikes away-i.e. Forest Lawn, Glendale last resting place of music star Michael Jackson. I am glad that Valhalla lets people visit there no matter what mode of transport you use. Perhaps I will be able to visit a close friend lost to me many years ago who is interred there soon with one of the bikes. It will make going across the grounds-using the paved roads only of course-much easier for me.

Coyotes are becoming more of a problem around here as people either destroy their hunting grounds by overbuilding, or feeding them thinking that it helps them. I like to leave them alone, and they leave me alone. I zipped passed one on my bike about thirty-five years ago. We both headed very quickly in opposite directions.
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