Turning right onto Bonita brought three riders into view, when I caught up to them just before Casa Colina, they turned out to be a trio of young women with one beach cruiser and two more substantial roadie bikes between them. Outside the Old Stump, Mike's Wednesday Pedal Power group was waiting to get things going. I cooled my heels while a freight train rumbled past on the first train crossing at Fairplex and Arrow, and then made one of those big exasperated exhalations at the second crossing, where a Metrolink train carrying folks home from downtown LA sped past. A few wayward riders cast adrift from the Bud's Ride cruised along Puddingstone before I turned off onto the little parallel dirt trail which I was expecting to be the highlight of the evening ride. Longer shadows at the end of August. A couple of couples slowly rode through the park while discussing what to do next. One roadie began packing up his bike on Wright while, a little further on, another sat on the curb working on the cleat of his left shoe. Back at Fairplex and Arrow I caught up to Jenna and Jeff, stopped at the light and said hello until our light turned green; they continued on up to Sal's to meet Richard and the rest of the Loopy bunch for pizza. A couple blocks later I slowed to let a wee lass riding her trike in fancy party dress and pretty pink helmet cross the street, dad walking behind. As she got to the top of the corner accessible ramp she exclaimed, while sounding amazingly like Boo of Monster's Inc, "I did it!" She did, and made it look easy - a future climber. That's the highlight. Back in Claremont, a driver, already halfway through the crosswalk, grudgingly gave way to a young boy walking his mountain bike across the street, a look of frustration at having to wait clearly etched on his face. Sigh. People walking through the Village, and cars parked, a lot of cars. A guy jogging with a cute little black and white dog, I don't know what kind. Some loud music and practice taking place on one of the roof-top athletic fields. A murderous gathering of crows, all for one little hawk perched on a soccer goal. Looking left I see a family approaching on their bikes; swing around and wait for the photo op, and am caught in the act, the photo turning out to be blurred anyway. And then the sun, almost slipped from the sky, a bloated orange/red fireball in rapid descent. Finally, two turns from home a boy walking with his dad, a big, enthusiastic wave impossible to not respond with a smile and wave of my own.
I haven't often made it out on Wednesday evenings this summer. I am glad I did tonight, there was a lot to see.