Readin’ & Ridin’

Well, you missed it, but those of us who did show up—braving a barely-noticeable drizzle and smooth gray skies that made LA look almost like Paris, or would have, if we had been drunk—those of us who did go, had a fine old time.

The occasion was Nick Richert’s Los Angeles Public Street Libraries Ride, an irregular get-together that sees hardy lovers of the the book and the velo riding from Little Free Library to Little Free Library, dropping off various works of literature, and sometimes picking up a stray tome or two for our own cozy shelves at home.

“Little Free Libraries” are a growing phenomenon, now somewhat organized, that inspires regular folks to put up little libraries on a stick in front of their homes or businesses, where their neighbors can drop off or pick up books to read. Here’s Nick’s photo of one in front of a dentist’s office in Larchmont Village:

And Nick is the host of Bike Talk, a “KPFK and Killradio.org podcast” dedicated to—you guessed it—bike talk.

Also with us for the occasion was Joni Yung, peripatetic cyclist extraordinaire, and herself host of yet another podcast, “Yogachat with the Accidental Yogist.”

We met up at Flying Pigeon LA, which hosts a Little Free Library right in front, bothered Josef for a while, then pedaled on to storied Stories, the bookstore café in Echo Park, where Joni met us. Although Nick and I had brought books of our own (including a couple I wrote myself), Stories generously donated a few more to fill our bags, which you see Nick and Joni holding in this snap I made of them:

Then we rode down Sunset to Micheltorena, where we stocked the LFL outside the school there, following that up with a stop at Intelligentsia at Sunset Junction, where another LFL was in dire need of books. From the Junction we rolled west to the EcoVillage (original home of the Bicycle Kitchen), which naturally hosts an LFL, where I fired off the phonecam once more:

Replenishing the Ecovillage’s library required a great deal of standing about and chatting, but finally we tore ourselves away and visited a tiny LFL on Ridgewood, a residential street near Wilton, where Nick grabbed a couple of books for his middle-school kids, and then finally made our way to our last stop, the dentist’s office on Larchmont, where a rather grand Little Free Library waited for our attentions.

An exhausting afternoon of pedaling lazily around the city and gawking at books required that we replenish our own bad selves at Pinches Tacos, indulging in literary discussions (eg bad puns) and good Mexican food.

And we helped disseminate the sort of information that the powers-that-be hope you won’t bother with, in the best data delivery system ever devised to interface with human wetware, the written word.

Join us next time! You say you want a revolution? It starts with words.

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