The message, stern and somewhat threatening, appeared yesterday on every single door of my daughter Katherine’s apartment building.
“The laundry room is not for personal storage space,” it read. “If those are your bikes downstairs, you have 24 hours to remove them, otherwise the office will remove and dispose of them.”
And that’s how Paired Experience’s glorious, challenging, entertaining, surprising 1,325-mile bike ride came to a somewhat undignified end.
My son Vinnie and daughter in-law Danni met a lot of helpful strangers on their route, and connected with generous family and friends.
They climbed mountains so steep their poor, Midwestern-trained muscles ached for days and rested on plateaus that offered panoramic vistas even more beautiful than they had imagined.
They slept in tents, a covered wagon, an exquisite yurt, a couple of Air Bnbs and a hotel room or two; in campsites, RV Parks, a dune buggy track and the backyard of a kindly couple’s Santa Barbara home.
Just over halfway through their trip, they found themselves marooned by fires coming at them from both directions.
“We had high hopes for quickly cycling the Sonoma Coast last week before rolling into San Francisco,” they wrote in one of their Instagram posts. “But, like a hazard sign, the orange sky warned us to bunker down at a safe campsite for a couple of days.”
After a day or two of recalculating from their base at a $5 a night campsite, they biked to Petaluma, rented a truck, drove past the fires and continued their ride, which eventually landed them in Los Angeles ahead of schedule.
So, after a quick visit with Katherine, they saddled up and rode south, through San Diego to the border and then back up again to Katherine’s apartment in LA, where they parked their weary bikes in a corner of her building’s basement and, apparently, offended management there.
“I am very embarrassed,” Danni wrote and added that they “removed the bikes within three seconds of reading the letter.”
Some day, they plan to return to California to bike the central coast portion they had to skip (San Francisco to San Luis Obispo) due to the fires.
Today, though, they are on a train heading east toward home.
Congratulations to both of them! (And many thanks to Katherine for her superior hosting skills. We hope your neighbors never find out that the offensive bike parkers were related to you.)