In early March, I went with some friends to a CicLAvia event in Culver City, which closed streets to cars and opened them up for people of all ages to ride, walk, stroll or run as they explore a variety of shops, restaurants, food trucks and more.
Tina Louise, my loyal pug and partner in crime, joined us, riding in a trailer attached to my friend’s bike. She loved every bit of what they day had to offer, but toward the end, she was suffering from a bit of separation anxiety – even though I was literally 2 feet away. So I carried her for a bit and the look on her face was something I’ll never forget.
It was pure bliss. She looked like there was no place she’d rather be than with me on my bike, her ears flopping in the wind. It was a trip full of stories we’ve told and retold in the months that followed, from the guy who offered us some tri-tip that he happened to have in his backpack, conversing as we rode side by side along the carless streets of Los Angeles County and getting lost for what seemed like ages because no one remembered where we parked.
What I’m trying to say here is my favorite part of traveling is seldom the destination. It’s the people (and animals, of course).
The people you meet along the way. The people you meet when you get there. The people by your side throughout the voyage.
Traveling alongside those you care about strengthens bonds in a way that is unique and memorable. You discover things about each other that may go unnoticed otherwise – a common result of being stuck in each other’s company for extended periods of time. Usually, those findings are amusing and noteworthy. Other times, you come across things you wish remained unknown.
Either way, they result in stories that will be shared and revisited time and time again.
Those are the best stories.
The destination is merely the icing on the cake that is the company joining you on the journey.
Pug on board
In an effort to re-create the CicLAvia experience, I ordered a K9 Sport Sack, a specially designed forward-facing backpack dog carrier. I wanted to be able to take Tina on more bike rides while sparing the strain on my arms because, frankly, I don’t have the upper-body strength to carry her for long periods of time. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak because I didn’t eat my fruits and veggies as a child – and as an adult.
The purchase was a success! Despite being in the back instead of the front, Tina was able to revisit canine cycling euphoria.