So, like other prophecies of doom, the nightmare of Carmageddon never occurred. Evidently everyone stayed home, or skipped town. Traffic was thin, and so was the air.
This picture of the 405 freeway at the Sunset Blvd. overpass was taken on July 17th, at about 10 a.m. Minutes later I was speeding down the same empty freeway on my Buell XB9S, more or less within legal limits. Despite the strong temptation to tuck and twist the throttle wide open on this ordinarily gridlocked stretch of road I just sat upright and cruised. The CHP was everywhere and had little else to do aside from watching me, and a handful of other motor vehicles pass by. It’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.
But, the real joy of riding a motorcycle in Los Angeles is not so much about top speed. It’s all about carving the bountiful canyons in and around Malibu. I’m convinced CalTrans designed these roads with riders in mind— they are literally of world-class quality and quantity. World Superbike Champion, Max Biaggi chooses to live in the ‘Bu, and entertainer, Jay Leno describes a 13 mile loop in the Hollywood Hills as the race track in the City of Los Angeles. Leno, with whom I chatted one day while he was filling his antique steam driven car, commented on my XB, “I have one of those in my collection— they’re most fun you can have from 60 to 100 mph!” Yes, indeed.
So my typical Sunday, inclusive of having breakfast under trademark Southern California sunshine at a Santa Monica cafe, and then tooling through the Malibu canyons afterward wasn’t altered at all. This, because those frightful predictions of a traffic-snarled weekend scared drivers off the road. Aside from zipping down the 405 freeway before it had officially opened, and breathing a bit less carbon monoxide, Carmageddon turned out to be just another day in LA.