EDD to Lockout Redoubt Challenge
by Dante DeAmicis
Alright, I suckered you in. This is another Transit Strike article. Excuse me. “Strike” is the wrong word. As of this writing it is now a “lockout” since the drivers have voted to return to work.
My Lockout Redoubt Challenge began with my notification for an unemployment eligibility interview.
I was locked out by the Great Randy himself long before the Union strikers were and filed accordingly on August 3rd.
The interview scheduled for August 27th is a monkey wrench that will delay benefits. The notice had all kinds of union references which have nothing to do with me. I thought “I need to write one of my incisive articles to clear this up before the interview and send it to EDD.” Silly me. I found out there is no way to get information by e-mail or FAX to EDD before an interview. Maybe someone confused me with the strikers, ya think?
There was a small chance that the Lakeport EDD office had a back door FAX to their phone temple in San Diego and could place my missive in a file with my number on it before the interview. So on the 7:05 Clearlake to Lakeport bus I went, with my bike. A replacement driver was behind the wheel. He was pretty good. He only made one mistake at Kitts Korner, rubbed a curb, and forgot to turn on the stop request.
The EDD was mostly empty. The hoards of locked out bus drivers had been processed the previous Friday. My hopes were dashed when the clerk confirmed that there was no way to contact the phone center before an interview. I was just going to have to wing it on the day of the Inquisition. Now it was time for the Lockout Redoubt Challenge. I knew it compared poorly to our Konocti Challenge but even they started as the “Peddle Around the Puddle.”
EDD launch time was 9:16 a.m. I should note that I am not one of those neon spandex-ed out riders who weigh out every gram of weight they carry. My cargo list included two knapsacks with two computers, my usual complement of papers and books, and enough consumer electronics to sponsor a space mission. Not an energy bar in the load.
Leaving Lakeport I zig-zagged through farm country, around Finley, and up to the 24 hour store in Kelseyville (9:57). Now I’m on my usual Highway 29 route. Up to Kitts Korner (10:39) where I slammed down a lemonade to start the last official leg to the finish line at the Lock Out Redoubt in front of Lake Transit (11:21), for a Lock Out Challenge record of 2 hours and 5 minutes. The sign pumping crowd went wild as I turned for my victory lap, leading a field of none back to the coffee shop.
Expect to see more Lock Out Challenges around the Lake with enthusiastic sponsorship by Corporate America. It could be the tourist attraction of the future.