October 27, 2019:
We kept a city street map tacked to my bedroom wall. The kind you bought at gas stations, accordion-folded. The city was big enough even then that we needed two of them tacked carefully side-by-side, one showing the west side, one the east. With a black Papermate Flair pen we'd carefully highlight each street on which we'd ridden our bicycles, where the goal was to cover the entire city black.
We did pretty well. From our base on Cowley Way we blanketed Clairemont, Kearney Mesa, University City, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Normal Heights, and the streets nearby the Zoo. We'd choose routes and destinations specifically to cover new streets, and we'd meticulously blanket entire neighborhoods, going down one street and up the next just to draw each of their their lines satisfyingly black. We made it as far east as Flynn Springs, north to Oceanside. Mostly we wanted to fully blanket the west-of-I-5 neighborhoods and our own on the suburban mesas.
There were repeat destinations we loved. One was Mr. Frostie on Garnet. 25¢ for a giant one that fueled most of an entire trip. We'd decide on Mission Beach or La Jolla just to stop there. Then we'd climb Foothill to Cardeno to La Jolla Scenic to the cross on Mt. Soledad for an epic view and a more epic ride back down the mountain. Another was the snack shop across from the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park, over the high chain-link fence from the Children's Zoo. There it was hotdogs, fries, and perhaps a walk to the Model Railroad Club, or perhaps locking the bikes to the drinking fountains at Roosevelt Middle School to climb the fence into the Zoo itself, near the elephants. There was Shelter Island, where we were both somehow more mesmerized by the Polynesian décor of the hotels there than with the aircraft carriers tied up at North Island, something of an oddity for 14-year-old American boys. There was Ocean Beach Pier; the Cabrillo Lighthouse; Mt. Helix; Montgomery Field; La Jolla Cove; La Jolla Shores; the candy store in Old Town; Belmont Park; UCSD; the fairgrounds in Del Mar.
We tended to alternate bike days with basketball days. Sometimes we invited the neighborhood kids to basketball. We only ever rode by ourselves, no-one else, me and him in near-perfect sync.