How to enjoy a sunny semi-holiday: Go on an 11-mile bicycle ride across the city!

Now, I know quite a number of serious bike riders pedal more than 40 miles most days. But the farthest I’d gone on my pink townie was just 6 or so miles — until today.

Today I learned that Presidents Day is an excellent day to go car-free. The impetus for the trip was the fact that my bike was still in Santa Monica, despite the fact that I moved to West Hollywood nearly five months ago. My friend was bike-sitting for me because there’s no place to keep a bike in my tiny West Hollywood apartment.

But my boyfriend had space for my bike at his place, and serendipitously, he managed to break the chain on his own bike last week. So we walked to Santa Monica Blvd., loaded his chainless bike on the Metro Rapid 704 bus, was forced off the bus prematurely because it was a short line that didn’t go all the way to Santa Monica, got on the Big Blue Bus 2 and continued down Santa Monica, got back off again at 26th, and walked down a block to Helen’s Cycles, where the bike was given a new chain in under 10 minutes!

Then we biked down to Sara’s and all walked the five blocks or so to Thyme for a fresh lunch. After that began the bike ride home — down Pearl, then down La Grange, then down Santa Monica Blvd. to West Hollywood.

I’m proud to say that after 11 miles of biking, I feel pretty good! The pace was leisurely — My ride’s a townie, after all — the weather beautiful, and the traffic not too bad, since many people get today off work.

Of course, being a freelance writer, I had a day’s worth of work ahead of me once I was done with the half-day bus-bike adventure. If I were concerned about efficiency alone, moving the bike from Santa Monica to West Hollywood would have been a lot faster with the help of a big car.

But if I'd driven my bike to West Hollywood, I'd be less happy, less healthy, and less excited about life in L.A. Plus, my pink townie wouldn't have gotten to fulfill its daily destiny as a transportation machine!

What did you do this Presidents Day?

Celebrating Presidents Day car-free
MNN's lifestyle blogger left her car at home for Presidents Day -- and crossed Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood by bus and bike.