Passage #255: 25 June 2014
The One That Got Away
So, okay, we've been doing this thing for five years. And if you look at our cumulative route map, you'll see that we've been down remarkably close to every block of every street in a several mile radius around the donut shop at which we meet. Extend the radius out a few miles further and, sure, there are a lot of blocks left uncovered, but we've been down at least some stretch of most streets. At around 8 or 10 miles, the gaps get wider: we may have passed through each neighborhood, but much of them remains as of yet unexplored (by us!). And then, at twelve miles out, you've reached the limit of most of our routes. Certainly, a few outliers extend further in each direction (except SW, as the ocean stands there as an -- as yet -- impassable natural limit), but generally that is as far afield as we venture.
However, beyond our perhaps pathological roadway completism, lies an even greater urge to seek out and ride across/through the other infrastructural excesses of the urban terrain -- the bridges, the tunnels, the stairs, and the alleyways -- the things that are not "roads," but are indeed passageways (and not even always inconvenient ones per se). And so, after having done this for so long, it can sometimes feel like we've got those pretty well covered, in toto, for quite a radius indeed.
And yet, precisely because this study of ours has proved increasingly longitudinal, it is not uncommon to find that the city itself has changed over the course of our explorations. On one hand, we have more than once found that a path we've traversed before has been closed off or erased in one fashion or another since last we were there. On the other, with new development comes new channels for movement. It is not every day we are gifted a new tunnel or stairway, but it most definitely does happen.
And then there are the ones that we've just plumb missed. Some aren't even all that far away; some we are actually well aware of. We just haven't done them on the ride before. And it is a little surprising every time we come across one of these instances, but it really isn't all that uncommon. L.A. is a big, complicated, messy place, and it is easy to miss something here or there. But that's what keeps it interesting. And so we keep looking, because our curiosity keeps being rewarded, and rewarding.