Los Angeles might not have the bike-friendliest of streets, but it has a thriving rider culture.
Tuesday nights there is a group of people who get together in a Vons parking lot and ride for miles. It's a highly social activity, with plenty of stops at liquor stores and bars, and it's called Tuesday Night Special.
I decided one night to go just to meet new people and kill time, but I didn't realize that this night could turn me to view bicycling as a passion. The most exciting part of the night was, of course, the ride. The group took up a whole car lane, dressed in bright colors and waving at cars. Going downhill was like riding a leg-powered roller coaster; it was so fast and just a little dangerous. To go so fast though the partially-lit streets powered only by your adrenaline is more than exhilarating.
Now I bike everywhere I go. I don't even need a car when I have the uninhibited speed and swiftness of a two-wheeler. I don't need to pay for parking, gas or insurance, and I get karma points from the environment. Now I consider myself a passionate bicyclist, and I bring other people to these night rides to try to awaken their passions.
Pretty cool right?
1. Research what kind of lizard is local. It's impressive to catch a lizard, but even cooler to know what it is. Shown above is a blue bellied/western fence lizard, or Sceloporus Occidentalis.
2. Go hiking. It's fun!
3. Pick a long piece of grass or bring unscented dental floss to tie to a stick. Here, I took the wheat off a a long strand of wheat grass.
4. Tie a noose in one end. Yes it's fine, it won't hurt Lizardo.
5. Keep your eye out for lizards. You may not find that many, but your company might point out a few.
6. Don't let him/her see you. It's important not to let your shadow get too close because shadows are the major way that they see. Also, of course, no sudden movements. With blue bellies, you're more likely to see a male. If they've seen you, they'll start doing pushups, but you can still try to catch them. They do push ups to show you that you shouldn't attack them because they're so macho.
7. Slowly slip the noose around his neck. Yes, he'll let you do it! This is because he's afraid of animals and people, not grass. even if the grass hits his face, he still won't care!
8. Yank the trap up quickly and then hold the lizard in your hand. Again, this won't break his neck or anything. Just pull him up kind of fast. He'll squirm, and with your other hand just hold his body.
9. Take off the trap. You can loosen it or break it.
10. Show all your friends. Now you can tell them what you've learned about this lizard! In the case of the blue belly, you can tell them about the parasites behind their cheeks, or look at the little turquoise scales they have.
Photos by Shanna Renee'.