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To The River’s End

IMG_1957It’s a cool, clear Sunday, a perfect day for a bicycle ride and a personal challenge (test). I’ve been riding my bicycle from our home in La Habra to the town of Seal Beach, on the Pacific Ocean, for several years. It’s an enjoyable ride, and when I finish, I often meet my wife there for brunch (a late-morning meal, a combination of breakfast and lunch) at O’Malley’s, an Irish restaurant.

Today I have a new goal: I want to make the ride – about 18 miles (29 km) – in less than one hour, something I have never done before.

The first seven miles (11km) are on city streets – usually busy, but not on Sunday. I want to ride fast at the beginning because I know I’ll have to slow down later. Soon the computer on my handlebars (the bar you use to turn the bicycle) tells me that I’m going about 23 miles (37km) per hour.

The city streets take me to the Coyote Creek Bike Trail. I’ll follow it to where it joins the San Gabriel River Bike Trail I wrote about last year and continues to the Pacific Ocean.

IMG_1227When I ride onto the trail, I’m greeted by brightly colored bougainvillea (a kind of flower) and the sweet smell of orange and grapefruit blossoms from the back yards of houses along the trail. Spring is here! The trail takes me past a large park, where I see the Easy Runners, a mostly Asian American group, who walk and jog (run slowly) along the trail every weekend.

After passing the park, the trail crosses to the other side of the river. It’s an older trail here and much rougher, so I have to slow down. I’m glad I rode as fast as I did at the beginning.

A large nursery (a place where plants and trees are grown and sold) appears on my left, followed by a tree-filled cemetery (a place where people are buried) and more parks and soccer and baseball fields. There are few other riders here, so I’m able ride on the smoothest parts of the trail and keep my speed as fast as possible.

About 15 minutes later, and about five miles (8 km) from the ocean, I come to where the Coyote Creek Trail joins the San Gabriel River Trail. For the first time I begin to smell the ocean. The trail is new here and much smoother, but there is more traffic, and I begin to fight the wind from the ocean.

It’s difficult to keep up my speed. For the first time my legs begin to tire (get tired), and I have to work to keep from slowing down. A glance (quick look) at my computer tells me that I can’t slow down too much.

river's end restaurantThe river is deeper here, and filled with dozens of water fowl (birds), like sea gulls and egrets. Soon I can see the marina (a place where people keep boats), which is filled with yachts (large personal boat) and sailboats. And beyond the marina I can make out (begin to see) the palm trees that surround (are all around) the River’s End Restaurant at the end of the trail.

When I arrive at River’s End and check the iPhone app I use to track (follow and record) my ride, I see that I made the ride in 58 minutes – about 19 miles (30 km) per hour. I did it! And now it’s time to join my wife for brunch!

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English web site.

Photos by W. Ediger.

30 Responses to “To The River’s End”

  1. Dan Says:

    Hello Warren,

    Congratulations! Nice ride.

    I visited your town with Street view on La Habra Blvd. Looks good. Very nice place. Very different from where I live here at the foot of the Alps.

    Right now over here -Brusimpiano- Italy is an explosion of green. I am surrounded by green mountains. The average eight is 1000 meters.

    Since over here is Labor day and it is a holiday, today and tomorrow I am not working.
    This morning I went up hill running and there were lots of cyclists going up. Between them you can even see several old people.
    They are like little kids competing against one another.

    I am not crazy when running. I just take it easy and enjoy nature and the geology of the place.
    Think that some of the mounts in the region are 300 million years old! There are many fossils.

    To see a place similar to La Habra, I have to drive south toward the so called Padana planes where the mountains disappear.

    With Street view I was even able to enter the Irish restaurant. Enjoyable place!

    Thanks and next time say hi to the ocean for me.

  2. Aécio Flávio Perim Says:

    Glad I’m the first fellow to write my message here. The episode is very interesting and useful. Riding is good for the skeleton and muscles, it keeps you ready for the daily work and you feel like to go and go forever. Riding is the second exercise to make you feel good, only swimming is better than riding. When you swim you move all your system of bones and muscles, but the problem is that you have to be careful of tiring exercising and drown. Don’t go too far from the shore. Go to the place you feel you can come back safely.
    The sightseeing described by WARREN EDIGER with flowers and palm trees is overwhelming and it makes someone wants to go there and enjoy the trip.
    Sorry I can go and live the adventure.
    Aecio, from the country that still has the best sightseeing in the world, with blue sky, green forests, blue oceans, long rivers and so on, like you can imagine widely.

  3. Aécio Flávio Perim Says:

    Correcting the text above:
    Glad I’m the first fellow to write my message here. The episode is very interesting and useful. Riding is good for the skeleton and muscles, it keeps you ready for the daily work and you feel like to go and go forever. Riding is the second exercise to make you feel good, only swimming is better than riding. When you swim you move all your system of bones and muscles, but the problem is that you have to be careful of tiring exercising and drown. Don’t go too far from the shore. Go to the place you feel you can come back safely.
    The sightseeing described by WARREN EDIGER with flowers and palm trees is overwhelming and it makes someone want to go there and enjoy the trip.
    Sorry I can’t go and live the adventure.
    Aecio, from the country that still has the best sightseeing in the world, with blue sky, green forests, blue oceans, long rivers and so on, like you can imagine widely.
    There were two gross mistakes: line number 5, instead of wants read want; line number 6, read can’t instead of can.
    Thank you!

  4. Genji Says:

    Hey, Warren,
    how old are you, in your 30′s, 40′s ?
    If you are around my age(68), I would admire you for your effort.
    Genji from Yokohama-city, Jp

  5. Genji Says:

    Wow, Amaizing.
    You really Did it! Made it!
    You are really a man who deserves to enjoy Wonderrful Brunch with your Wonderful Wife.
    Please, keep teaching & riding…To The Life End.
    Looking forward to reading your blog.
    A 68 old student of ESL,…from Yokohama,JP

  6. Betty Says:

    Thanks Dear Warren

    First of all, please let me congratulate you on the success of your bicycle ride.

    I probably could ride a bike at a speed of 10 miles per hour in my crazy young teenage age. I never rode fast again after my junior secondary school.

    Please Warren, please let me follow you on one of the rides if I come to LA to visit you. I have very short legs and so my bike will be small. I won’t be able to do 19 miles an hour but I don’t mind how long it takes as long as I can complete the ride.

    On a second thought, I should persuade your wife to let me join her and wait for you at the restaurant. She can teach me some English pronunciations while we wait for you.

    Many thanks again Warren for such an enjoyable article which set my mind on a wide dream of riding a bike in LA, and sitting inside O’Malley’s eating some yummy Irish food.

    Best Regards
    Betty :)

    P.S. I hope you don’t mind me asking. In your article, in the sentence “There are few other riders here, so I’m able ride on the smoothest parts of the trail and keep my speed as fast as possible.”, should there be a preposition “to” between the two words “able” and “ride”? Thanks.

  7. Tania Says:

    Hi! Excellent bicycle ride! I envy you your courage.

  8. Tania Says:

    Hi! May I talk about “The Catcher in the Rye” about J.D. Salinger?
    I have read the book again. We can understand it better or in other way when we grow -up.

    The title of the novel comes from Robert Burns’s poem and song.

    Coming Thro’the Rye

    “Coming through the rye , poor body
    Coming through the rye,
    She dragged all her petticoat
    Coming through the rye!

    If a body meet a body
    Coming through the rye,
    If a body kiss a body,
    Need a body cry?

    If a body meet a body
    Coming through the glen,
    If a body kiss a body
    Need the world know?”

  9. Tania Says:

    Hi! But the boy sings “If a body catch a body coming through the rye”.
    The child’s version of the song inspires Holden’s “catcher in the rye” fantasy.

  10. Tania Says:

    Hi!
    “I keep picturing all these little kids, playing some game in this big field of rye and all.
    Thousands of little kids , and nobody around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I ‘m standing on the edge
    of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff –
    I mean if they’re running and they don’t look they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.
    That’s all I’d do all day.
    I’d just be the catcher in the rye.”

    I think we translated the title more poetical. We say “”On the Watch in the Rye Field”. I like more our version.

  11. Tania Says:

    Hi! Holden wanted to stop children before they entered the world of destruction, corruption,
    saving children from losing their innocence. It’s his thirst for purity and never- ending innocence.

  12. Tania Says:

    Hi! Holden’s concern for the fate of those ducks in the lagoon when it was frozen over is
    the expression of Holden’s loneliness and estrangement.
    It’s Holden Caulfield’ idea to retreat into a fantasy world of innocent childhood for he wants to remain a child.

  13. Tania Says:

    Hi!
    “Hey, listen”, I said.
    “You know those ducks in that lagoon…? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know
    where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know , by any chance?”
    I realized it was only one chance in a million.

  14. Tania Says:

    Hi!
    “Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.”

    We must learn to play by the rules.
    Holden is the rebel and the victim in his inability to behave according to the strict moral and social code of the day.

  15. Tania Says:

    Hi! Holden is the one who really needs to be caught.
    Mr. Antolini guesses that Holden feels disconnected from his environment.
    Mr. Antolini is trying to catch Holden in the midst of a “fall”.
    Holden goes to Mr. Antolini , because he feels he can trust and confide in him – it seems to be his final chance to save him.
    He says to Holden:
    “I have a feeling that you’re riding for some kind of terrible, terrible fall…
    The whole arrangement’s designed for men who , at some time or other in their lives, where
    looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with..
    So, they gave up looking.”

  16. Tania Says:

    Hi!
    I didn’t find the book in English at my public library.
    For this reason I can’t tell you all the quotes that I like very, very much.
    Especially those from the chapter 26, the last chapter of the book.

    Thank you for your patience to read my lines.

    Best wishes,

    Tania

  17. Betty Says:

    Sorry for my typo.

    “Many thanks again Warren for such an enjoyable article which set my mind on a wide dream of riding a bike in LA, and sitting inside O’Malley’s eating some yummy Irish food.”

    Should read as:

    Many thanks again Warren for such an enjoyable article which set my mind on a wild dream of riding a bike in LA, and sitting inside O’Malley’s eating some yummy Irish food.

    “Wild dream”, not “wide dream”

    Many thanks.

    Betty :)

  18. Dan Says:

    Something I am curious about, is whether Warren has ever made an attempt of convincing Jeff of going out for a ride together.

    According to Jeff, for what he says here and there on his recordings, he is not made out for physical activities.

    Beside that, I cannot remember a post of Jeff on the blog about him going out for running or swimming or whatever.

    Thanks and have a nice weekend everyone.

  19. Peter Says:

    Man , you are a gadget boy :) computer on the handle bars ,iPhone
    Hi Warren,
    How have you been
    Remember me ?
    Yup !!!
    You got it right !!
    The pesky boy is back :))
    Please don’t mind me
    Y know sometime I take an idea hear of your posts age try to have fun with it :)
    It must be very trite to use the same bicycle path over and over
    U know I m talking about those men built path on the side of Main Street or around parks.
    They are mundane
    They lack originality
    It is nice to bike off the bitten track and feel the nature
    You know what I mean
    U r a quite an athlete man
    It was a long cycling ,you did
    Very invigorating, I bet !
    I never hopped on an bicycle and braved a bumpy , muddy road
    But , I , myself , am quite an athlete
    I used to do Pilates and cairdio and a bit of weigh training every day till I got athlete feet
    And also I didn’t like the cardio funk . U know I used do all the exercise early in the morning before going to work.
    So , basically , I rushed it fearing I was gonna be late for work.
    Once i was done , I would jump in the shower stall on bare feed , no sleepers or flip flops , ergo athlete feet :)
    Plus , I felt drained out and out of shape at work
    Finally , the exhaustion exhaust me and I quite the world of sport all together and apparently for good:)
    Nowadays , the only except cuss I get is climbing under my comforter while going to bed at night
    Or grabbing the bag of chips while plopping on my big sofa bed and watching some little TV
    Man I put on 10 pounds already
    And ,it is not holiday weight this time :)
    It is just me and my life-time love affair with junk food

    Pete , an ontario kid

  20. emiliano Says:

    You are really a lucky man blessed by God having so nice ride to make exercise but even better
    joining your wife at the end of the ride for a bruch together in such good O’Malley’s, Irish
    restaurant.
    I can´t imagine a better Sunday´s morning than this one you told us dear Warren.

    Again you are a lucky man Warren blessed by God, something very good have you done to deserve
    a Sunday´s morning like this.

    Good for you and your wife.

    emiliano

  21. MMC Says:

    Hey,is Lucy’s birthday tomorrow? (May,4)

  22. Betty Says:

    Thank you MMC for reminding us about Lucy’s Birthday tomorrow, 4th May 2014.

    Unfortunately I can’t say happy birthday to anyone right now because I have been told that I need to wait until 3 months has passed from the day my father left us for good before I take part in any wedding, birthday, or funeral events. This is in accordance to some branch of Chinese tradition. I also can’t go to other people’s house. It is very complicated what I can and cannot do during this period. In a way, this tradition is good because it allows us time to concentrate on sorting out things as necessary.

    I remember saying last year that I should remember Lucy’s birthday because 4th May was a sad day in Chinese history, but then I actually did not remember Lucy’s birthday until I read MMC’s message.

    It proves I am not good at remembering people’s birthday, nor am I good at remembering sad days.

    Have a good day everyone!

    Betty

  23. Narges Says:

    ?Dear Warren,
    Congratulation, as you were describing the ride, I felt how much it was thriller. Of course, i’m afraid of speed.
    But, won’t you be sad if i say i feel a little jealously when i was reading it. Because we don’t have bike trail in my city and my city is near the mountain and streets are very dangerous for riding.
    In that weekend, my family and me went to our little garden near the city. The pink blossoms of peach trees and white blossoms of cherry trees were amazing. I can say spring is here too.
    We planted some beans and zucchini.

  24. emiliano Says:

    Dear Lucy, as every one here Cuca, Gatufo and emiliano wish you a nice happy birthday
    hoping that future will be good for you and your family always.
    Please spend a good time in the best company of the world and have some nice gift
    in this your birthday.

    With love, emiliano

  25. MMC Says:

    Happy birthday dear Lucy!

  26. emiliano Says:

    Another different virtual ride.

    This night emiliano was moving his legs on his static bicycle, he was not riding
    in fact what he was doing was watching a concert of Eagles on the TV screen.
    It was a blue ray of Eagles´s Farewell Live Tour I Melbourne, a incredible concert
    of one his favorits groups.
    The sound was fantastic, an Onkyo amplifier of 120 wats with more that 15 years,
    two B & W Matrix Speakers with the same years and a Sony 3D blue ray player
    and a TV screen of 40 inches high definition system.

    emiliano´s record, (he has on the bicycle a device that measures lot of things.
    Kilometes made, speed, total kilometer made along a long period of time, kilo-calories
    wasted, heart´s beats for minute, and the final measure of kilometers when you finish)
    has been 12 km. in half an hour, 24 speed kilometers by hour.
    The songs were great and the time past cheerfully while Cuca was sitting on her
    wheelchair playing with her computer listening to the music at the same time.
    Yes, it has been a nice evening inside home.

    emiliano´s heart beats strongly but less than 96 beats when he was at 25/26 km. hour.

    Since February 12th emiliano has virtually ride 1250 km. without leaving home
    and he is proud of this lot of kilometers that could transport him till Paris.

    So yes Warren, this is another story, and you can understand now what I said
    you before.

    ++

    “I can´t imagine a better Sunday´s morning than this one you told us dear Warren.
    You are a lucky man Warren blessed by God, something very good have you done to deserve
    a Sunday´s morning like this”.

    ++

    Some how I envy you dear Warren in the best sense you can imagine.

    Enjoy your time every one of you dear friends, the same like Warren, life has lot
    of surprises, don´t lost a single day, a single hour to be happy.

    My best to you all.

    emiliano

  27. Narges Says:

    Dear Lucy!
    Happy birthday!
    I wish your dream become real.
    Narges from Iran

  28. Narges Says:

    Dear Emiliano
    Your virtual ride was fantastic too.
    Narges from Iran

  29. Fardowsa Dayib Says:

    Congratulation for achieving your amazing goal you have planned. There is many times I made exercise goals and I failed to accomplish them. Exercise is important for our health and it needs a lot of effort and time management since we have busy life. Accomplishing your 19mile of riding your bicycle has really motivated me and it gave to think about doing something similar to your goal of my exercise program. It showed me you have strong decision and you follow your plan until you have accomplished. I also found that you are strong on doing this type of goal alone without socialization. For me, exercise is boring if I don’t have partner; which is hard to find in most cases. I am also scary person, so I am afraid something strength happen to me while walking or joking outside alone.

  30. emiliano Says:

    Thank you Nargest, usually I don´t like to let my wife alone at home so to make exercise I bought the
    static bicycle and move the legs as fast as possible.
    First it was just a little boring to be ten, twenty or more minutes without moving by the country lands
    or the street, I was accustomed being a child to ride with a little bicycle through Madrid´s streets when
    there were not cars by the streets, now it is nearly impossible as you may lost your life riding this mad
    city.
    Also when my daughters were children the three have bicycle and we ride near a house my parents have
    in the countryside close to Madrid´s mountains. It was very funny to see the father, the three daughters
    and my two nephews riding in the open air withouth any danger.
    All past, life past, the daughters are women and the father, me, is old and need to care his wife. So
    my trips needs to be vituals. So I turn on the tv, screen and watch a rock concert while moving the legs.
    The longest time I have been watching a concert and riding has been 60/70 minutes doing 24 kms.
    what is a record to me.
    Thinks I am more than 68 years old.

    Thank you Narges and Fardowsa Dayid, I hope to see you here frequently we need all of you, and thank
    you also to all the people from Iran as they are writing here a lot, it seems to me English is a language
    many youngs love in Iran, that´s really good.

    Just a pity not to go and see your beautiful country, it has to be marvelles to be in Ispahan walking by
    its streets.

    emiliano