April 21, 2002, Part 4
Mingling with the Beautiful People
Malibu is an odd place. As you no doubt know, much of it is off-the-charts ritzy. I imagine that each of these beach houses is worth more than I will earn in my lifetime.

But you think Malibu and you think disaster--fires, floods and mudslides, mostly. I think the locust swarms have pretty much left them alone.

What a strange life these folks must live: in the lap of luxury and on the brink of disaster at the same time. I guess you learn to live for the moment.

Malibu has its own university, Pepperdine. 

No, I don't know what a Ventura County Fire helicopter is doing on the front lawn. 

Here is the clearest sign yet that I am getting closer to home. These angels were decorated by artists and arranged around Los Angeles a couple of years ago. Some very logical thinker decided that the city of the angels ought to actually have some angels in it. Anyhow, this angel turned up near the Malibu Municipal Center. I figured it warranted a photo opportunity with my bike.
I also know that I am getting closer to home because the traffic is getting heavier. At Will Rogers Beach, I get off PCH and try the bike path.
I cross under PCH at West Channel where there is a pedestrian tunnel. These were once used all over the Los Angeles area, but many were closed in the 60s and 70s due to fears that crimes (robberies and sexual assaults, mostly) were being committed in them. Nobody really defended the dark and smelly tunnels.

But I think it's time to reopen some of the closed tunnels and build new ones too. Robberies and sexual assaults are extremely serious crimes; I'm not downplaying that. But there is great social value in giving people an opportunity to cross busy streets without having to worry about being nailed by some jerk driving along eating nachos or talking on his cell phone.

Anyhow, I'm glad this tunnel is open and getting a lot of use.

I take San Vicente across Santa Monica into Brentwood. There is a usable bike lane and managable traffic.
Westwood is a toughie to cross on a bicycle. I throw caution to the winds and ride past the high-rise luxury condos and apartments on Wilshire. 
By contrast, Beverly Hills is a piece of cake (albeit really, really expensive cake) to ride across. Elevado crosses just about the entire city east-west and I highly recommend it for bicycles.

This photo is a glance up one of the modest little side streets off Elevado.

It makes me think of that line in the Beverly Hillbillies' theme ... "Swimmin' pools 'n movie stars."

Showing more tolerance for stunt riding than usual, I decide to ride along the Sunset Strip (the alternative was  those short, steep little hills they have below Sunset in West Hollywood) and then make a left at La Brea and a right onto Hollywood Boulevard.

The area around Hollywood and Highland is really busy these days. Finally, after decades and decades, Hollywood (or at least this part of it) appears to be coming back.

Here's a nice Sunday afternoon crowd at the Chinese Theatre.

 

Mid-afternoon, I am back in my own neighborhood. My journey is almost over.
Today's total is 94 miles even. That surprises me. On the map, the coastal route looked longer than the inland route.

I don't know which route I like better. But I do know that this will not be my last Southern California bike journey.

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