Don’t Sweat it Sprinkles

Remember the Calorie Neutral Challenge? Here’s the latest.

Short of beating my way around concrete blocks in LA, the City of Angles proved a little demotivating for a hack jogger who wasn’t hell-bent on getting any more miles into the legs. Parklands just a few miles to the west of my hotel looked inviting on Google Maps – but a storm-water drain wider than the Murray River and about 20 lanes of freeway put paid what could’ve been a pretty cool run up to the Griffith Observatory.

So with only one day of free-time on my hands I was determined to do something active and unique in LA. I found it in Hollywood Bike Tours. The 7 hours with Scott (ex-bike courier from Philly) was cool and exhausting, as we belted around 35 miles (54k) from Hollywood Boulevard, up to “the sign”, and all the way down to the coast arriving at Venice Beach, through Beverly Hills, Sunset Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, Century City and all that stuff.

Apparently we saw Regis Philbin, some old-dude celebrity, eating at Oprah’s restaurant. He’s got a star you know…

I think I was the single greatest disappointment that my guide Scott has had in a long time. I knew about 2% of the celebrities / movies / songs that are the inspiration for the tours. When he asked me what movies I liked I didn’t have the heart to say The Mission or What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? I should’ve said Zoolander. It IS a killer.

Dr Seuss' Hollywood pad - It figures, right!

Still and all, I was interested to see what all the fuss was about, and particularly enjoyed whizzing by the Adam’s Family home, hanging around Dr Seuss’ Hollywood pad, being shown through a fine-art gallery on Rodeo Drive (where I could’ve bought Picasso or Dali pieces – like his melting clock sculpture for a lazy $35K, which I actually thought was a steal), admiring the folks swinging on rings at Venice Beach and  generally dodging traffic. There was a lot of that!

And what of food in LA? Well, I guess that while cruising around I could’ve grabbed a celeb cupcake at Sprinkles at or a shake at Millions of Milkshakes in West Hollywood started by Shareez Hasan, you know, the owner of !? But no, calamari and chips with a brew by Venice Beach was a suitable alternative during the tour.

But, I’ve gotta say, the real highlight was the soft shell taco’s at this little stand just around the corner from where I was staying. They were about $1.75 each and, with red pepper sauce, jalapeños, and a micro-salad of sliced radish and limes, they were simply delisch.

And the Calorie Neutral Challenge ? I reckon up about 1.5kg over my weigh-out total, but that might be optimistic! Not quite calorie-neutral, but I can cope. A couple of weeks on the carrots and old tracks will fix it.


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