Peck Road Park to Fletcher Park

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This morning I ask myself if I want to ride my Xootr scooter at all, from Peck Road Park to Fletcher Park. It’s hot, supposed to be in mid 90’s in the afternoon. Fires burning east of Sierra Madre, in Azusa, have filled the air with smoky haze. We’re shut down in the midst of the Covid-19 quarantine.

And me… here I am, 80, with stiff knees as I get out of bed, a little back pain, and I have to lean against the wall as I get dressed so as not to fall down.

What’s the sense of it?

I decided I should make the ride anyway, it’ll be good for me. The heat? I went first thing in the morning. The smoke? I chose a trail south from home, not so close to the fires.

A trail south from home.
A trail south from home.

Plus, riding the Xootr scooter happens to provide a brief time when everything works right. No back pain. No leg pain. No foot pain. The plantar fasciitis right heel pain that’d cramped my style for three months starting in January is completely resolved thanks to better fitting shoes. Merrell Jungle Mocs.

Just go, and whir along the beautifully paved path from Peck Road Park in Arcadia, CA, down the Rio Hondo Trail to Fletcher Park in El Monte, just south of the El Monte Busway terminal. 6.2 miles RT. Average speed: 7.1 mph.

I’m a lucky guy to have everything working well enough to do this

Yes, it’s warm, but no problem with a bottle of water in the side pocket of my cargo shorts. I see the usual scatter of homeless people along the trail, some with their dogs, a few families walking with their kids, bicyclists of all ages including a dad on his bike and his son on training wheels…. first time I’ve ever kick scooted past anyone on bicycles, I tell them!

And upon my return to the parking lot at Peck Road Park, I have a wonderful sense of well- being, for having acted in the arena of life today, with the promise of more rides to come.


As we get older, it gets tempting to think no, I don’t feel like it today. However, if you think no today, and tomorrow, and enough days: then you can forget about whatever it was you were thinking about doing. So do it. Stay alive. Celebrate the joy of life while you can. Like on a Xootr Mg kick scooter!

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Jonathan Kelley
Jonathan Kelley, 80, was born in Boston, and educated at Exeter and Princeton, then Harvard Medical School, after a year teaching English in Cali, Colombia. He was a Navy anesthesiologist during Viet Nam. He spent the middle decades of his life working in a community hospital in Northern California. Besides his career in medicine, he’s a chef, pianist, and actor in his artistic life. In the kitchen, he specializes in croissants and cooking with coconuts. At the piano, it’s boogie woogie and Joplin rags. As an actor, he’s done fourteen seasons in a Mexican Christmas play in Los Angeles, plus the occasional movie role, as in the soon-to-be-released feature film “Amor en 266 Millas,” where he plays the hippie patriarch of a desert commune in the Antelope Valley. He has two books available on Amazon, “Counting Backwards from 100: My Life as an Anesthesiologist,” and “Short Stories by Jonathan Kelley.” Searching for improved balance and leg strength at age 77, Jonathan came by chance upon a Xootr scooter. Jonathan’s wife is the lovely Puerto Rican actress Gloria Laino. Their mix is like Puerto Rican arroz con gandules served next to New England style cranberry sauce.

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