AUTHOR: linda TITLE: Instead of training-- bikeride DATE: 1:15:00 PM ----- BODY:
With such an incredibly sunny day upon us, and having a late start to the morning, and being on track with training anyway, I decided to postpone the 9-miler till next week and opted for an afternoon beach bike ride instead.

Getting to Ocean Beach is an easy breeze downhill on Kirkham for 38 blocks, sailing through stop signs under the blazing sun and through blowing wind, with the advancing Pacific, was taking and giving hit after hit of oxygen.

At the beach, it's like another world. Skateboards and surfboards; and dogs and sunbathers. Kites, early evening bonfires. Sightseers, runners. Everything slows down here by a few paces.

Past the Cliff House to the top of Geary, across the street to Sutro Heights, a leisurely roll to the lookout to take pictures and capture this brilliance. The water is captivating.

Heading down from Geary through the Avenues in Outer Richmond afforded a chance meeting-- a souped up 1969 Chevelle, parked in a driveway at 41st and Anza, stopped us and we circled in for a closer look. The proud owner was not far away, and emerged from the garage to describe each part he had lovingly detailed himself, and out of his own checkbook.

The gravely-voiced Richard Madden is one of a lost era, when blue-collars populated this city and could afford this simple beauty by the ocean. He has the hair of an aging be-bop hipster, a stub of a cigarette burning at his fingertips, an ankle-biting dog yelping behind the makeshift fence. He mentioned his wife, three daughters and checkbook twice in the conversation, so we had no reason not to believe him state that this vehicle appreciating in value, is his own personal bank account.

A dramatic white roll bar structure is inside, there are racing-type seat belts secured on the front seats, custom-ordered rims on the wheels, yellow and red flames blazing from the front hood. In the middle of the back seat is mounted a screaming daemon mask, to which Richard Madden simply pointed to the dashboard where STREET MONSTER had been printed.

What a wonderful day in the neighborhood.