Monday, August 24, 2009

Celebrity Cycling Sighting Today

After spending entirely too much time at my desk today, I escaped for a late-afternoon ride from La Jolla to Moonlight Beach in Encinitas and back. As I rode north on Torrey Pines Road, I came up on a rider who looked pretty tall for a cyclist. In fact, he looked tall for anything. It was an older fella ("older" like me), and he seemed to be working pretty hard. He was sweating a good bit, and had a back brace on that one doesn't normally see on a cyclist.

Seeing the back brace made me think of how fortunate I am to ride relatively pain-free, despite all the things that are "wrong" with my aging body...tendinitis, rotator cuff mess-unknownitis, deteriorating disks, spinal stenosis, blah blah blah. When I ride I feel good. And for the first 50 miles or so I can feel pretty darn young.

Anyway, after I pass this guy, I stop at a traffic light. He catches up and slowly rolls through the red light. I saw trouble coming...and was certain of it enough to say "whoa!" out loud. He spins around in time to avoid disaster, and when he turns back toward me I think, "This guy looks familiar."

As the light turned green and I had a chance to look at him again, I asked him, "Are you Bill Walton, or just somebody who played him on TV?" He gave this funny "deep thought" look for a second and with a smirk he said "both." Bill Walton is a home boy in San Diego. I've seen him at the airport before, but never out on the road. If you know a little bit about the injuries and pain Bill Walton has been through, then you can appreciate what an effort he was making to get out and ride the coast.

I remember meeting Robin Williams on the road when we were climbing Torrey Pines Grade a couple years ago. Even Robin Williams gets quiet when working the hills. So I didn't bother launching into a diatribe with Bill Walton. I could have told him how my son is now going to UCLA where Walton was such a star. Or how fun it is to see such a basketball legend (a UCLA, Trail Blazers, Clippers, Celtics) cycling around the neighborhood. I just said, "It's great to see you out here, have a nice ride."

It's nice to see everybody out there. (You, too!) Have a great, safe ride.


  1. Awesome! I'll be looking for him!

  2. Ok, now I have no excuse not to get out there more. I'm inspired.

  3. Hey, did you know that the photo in your blog template is George Washington on his horse at the entrance to the Boston Gardens at Boston Common. fyi. ; )