PCH In Summertime

My daily commute from Malibu to Santa Monica takes me along some of the busiest stretches of the Pacific Coast Highway. Summertime in Malibu creates some truly gnarly traffic conditions topped only by Laguna during the summer art festival. Beachgoers park by the hundreds along the highway and make insane errors in judgement while trying to negotiate U-turns and parallel parking. The CHP is out in force and tow trucks have a field day with the poor shmucks who fail to put the right side wheels off the pavement. (If I’m elected Governor of California, the first thing I’ll do is ban that ordinance!)

So this morning I’m cruising to work with the top down just listening to my CD player when a motorcyclist blows by doing about 80 MPH. He’s riding your basic Kawasaki crotch-rocket, decked out in standard Malibu biker garb: helmet, t-shirt, board shorts and Nike running shoes. I think to myself, “Man that looks like fun. Those guys have it all figured out.” Not ten minutes later I’m stuck in a traffic jam at Sunset Boulevard, wondering where the three firetrucks and two ambulances are heading. Eventually I creep up on the accident site and there is Mr. Moto laying on the pavement surrounded by dozens of firemen and paramedics. The bike lays partly crumpled under a Honda Accord whose driver is still sitting in the front seat in apparent shock. The biker is in a neck brace and appears to be remarkably intact, speaking to his attendants. So much for my Easy Rider fantasies.

My oldest son will be driving PCH in three years. It’s probably not too early to start having nightmares.

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