Dear movie set security dude:
I did not mean to be a dick this morning.
But I’d already been climbing a 7% grade for almost a mile when I turned onto the publicly accessible fire road above Commonwealth Canyon that you had been set out to guard. It was 6 a.m., pitch black and I was puffing like a … well, like a fat old man.
“‘Scuse me, sir, you can’t go up there,” you said – nicely, I must add.
“It’s a public road,” I panted.
“You can’t go up there, there’s a movie shoot!” you retorted, as if the Pope himself were in the house …
“There’s been 20 movie shoots up here and no one’s ever stopped me before,” I gasped, granny-gearing it past the truck – determined to reach the top on my regular Thursday ride without having to stop for some civilian who lacked both authority of and familiarity with the law.
“It’s a public road, there’s nothing posted, and no law that says you control this road.”
“You’ve got to stop! I can’t let you up there?!” you spluttered, now bursting out of your truck, all wild-eyed like I was some sort of terrorist.
“Sorry, man, but I’ve been up here when there’s movie shoots dozens of times, and no one’s stopped me, you don’t have the authority to stop me using a public road.” I’m pretty ticked off at this point, but instead of getting into it further, I just keep pedaling.
“I’m gonna have to call the guys up at the top and get them to stop you!” he’s fuming now.
“You do that!” I mutter, and continue my climb up a totally deserted fire road.
No one’s here, not even the usual craft-service and honeywagon guys setting up – nothing.
I get to the little clutch of live oaks at the very top where I usually do my fat old man stretches, and there’s nothing, no one there, either
I go ahead and do my fat old man stretches and then ride down to the helipad at the cliff edge where the city lights spread across the dawn in a panorama of mercury-vapor stardust.
There’s a fat bunch of light cables lining the fire road, attached to nothing. And there’s a Hyundai or some other little jellybean sedan on the helipad – apparently the other security guy, who gives me a friendly, “Hey.” No muscle, no mace, no threats. And no sign of a shoot.
I sit for a few minutes, breathing in the dawn air, and then take off down the hill toward home. Now cars are pulling up alongside the road and parking for the shoot – and other hikers and bikers are coming up the road, too. Hmmm.
Here’s the thing, movie set security dude: We’re all grown-ups. I’ll agree not to try to jump in your movie set and steal stuff and disrupt the shoot and bother the actors and grips, if you’ll ask your boss for a little better instruction next time on what your authority over public roads might be.
Next time, if you post it as closed or can cite a city ordinance that lets you personally control the road – or hell, post a uniformed peace officer with the actual authority to do the same, I’ll be glad to stop.
Otherwise, I’m just riding my bike.
Hope your day went better from then on, in any case.