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Driving in LA Sunday, April 08, 2007

Todd Spoth (left), Shawn Lynch and Corey Perrine change a flat tire en route to shooting boxing in La Habra, Calif., Apr. 5.

This is the first time I've spent an extended period in the Los Angeles area. Sports Shooter Academy is based at a hotel in Irvine (in Orange County, east of downtown), but we've been traveling all over the east side to photograph events: La Habra, Fullerton, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Irvine for me.

I haven't been driving, but I have been riding with, and sometimes navigating for, others who are also unfamiliar with the area.

Thursday was particularly challenging. After our morning classes, Shawn, Kasia, and I piled into the Corolla that Todd and Corey had rented and headed off to find La Habra. Vague directions, unanticipated exits on the left, unsigned splits in the road, and a flat tire all conspired against us. The pit crew did a great job on the tire, though, changing it in less than seven minutes. And even with the 55 mph limit on the tire, we arrived at the gym ahead of the SSA faculty.