I don't like the term "bucket list."
The idea of scratching items off a list of stuff I want to do before I die seems too organized and Protestant-ethic'ish. Why not just do what you want to do, when you feel like doing it?
Which is pretty much how I ended up taking my longboard to southern California this weekend. A dream of mine, though let's not call it part of my bucket list.
Some time ago I'd told my daughter that one day I wanted to land paddle on Venice Beach's boardwalk -- one of the meccas for this activity. Sunny. Warm. Flat. Filled with interesting sights.
I wasn't sure whether I wanted to bring my longboard gear on this trip, though. I haven't been doing much longboarding after gettting an outdoor elliptical bike, a StreetStrider. But when my daughter asked if I was going to do my land paddling thing at Venice Beach, I thought, hell, yes.
Pimped up my ride. Forked out $25 to Alaska Airlines for a checked bag. Practiced at my daughter's house, accompanied by my skilled scooter'ist granddaughter, Evelyn, a first grader.
Saturday morning we arrived at Venice Beach, ready to roll.
The boardwalk started off in a residential area. Noticing the "Walk Your Bike" signs on the pavement, we figured that a scooter and a longboard weren't bikes. So ignored them. Along with almost everybody on bikes. Free spirits rule on the Venice Beach boardwalk.
I changed t-shirts after making a $5.99 buy at one of the shops along the boardwalk. Part of me wondered whether it was cool to wear a Venice Beach skull t-shirt while at Venice Beach. However, I figured that this could be construed as an ironic hipster statement -- so uncool that it is cool.
Near the end of our Venice Beach visit I headed off by myself for a final boardwalk run.
I put my iPhone into a Miveu chest mount. The Miveu case makes the iPhone into sort of a poor man's GoPro camera with a fish-eye lens. It was the first time I'd used the gadget. Worked fine for me. You'll see that the boardwalk had gotten pretty damn crowded by early Saturday afternoon, when I made the video.
I'm deeply proud that I only ran into one person during my several miles of longboard land paddling along Venice Beach: my wife. Hit her on the leg once with the end of the Big Stick. To her credit, she yelled "Hey, dude, watch where you're going!"
Here's my 6-minute land paddling tour of the Venice Beach boardwalk.
[Update: After watching the video again, I realized that it takes on a whole different vibe if you mute the sound on the You Tube video, press the start icon, then play the music from Jaws in a different browser tab while watching my land paddling.]