In Yahoo groups, Mang El shared his experiences, after reading Victor's run of bad luck (3 flats, and inadvertently causing a mom cyclist to panick and fall -- by saying the usual "on your left" ),
He says the most flats he got in one trip, was going to Seal Beach: 7 flats. At that time he had a patch kit in his back pocket & a hand pump. Now a days he carries 3 tubes, glue-less patch kit, 4 CO2's.
As for accidents, he's had a few.
Once he hit a simple bump on the bike trail (near El Dorado Long Beach) causing him to tumble 20 feet down the embankment all the way to the the river bed , bad enough to ruin his front wheel. He was OK.
In another accident, after he hit a bump, he aimed his bike toward the rocks, and ruined both wheels. He was was OK this time again.
But his luck would soon run out.
In yet another incident, a "rookie-wanna-be-racer" was going too fast while making a sharp turn, and ran straight into El's lane, knocking him down. El suffered 5 broken left ribs. That was very painful, and he could hardly breathe. He managed not to pass out. He recovered alright.
Then there was the attempted mugging in Pico Rivera golf course. El wanted to pee, but he was waiting for this man who was loitering in the area, to leave. The man then approached him and said he wanted El's Colnago. The man was wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
El replied "I'm going to put a fight first before I give my bike to somebody else". The man was holding a stick and swung it toward El's face, but he deflected it, causing it to land between his left shoulder & neck.
Next, El stepped forward & pushed him, and the man almost went down but managed to run away. El could not chase him with his cleats on. Fortunately, El did not suffer any broken bones from the hit.
Nowadays, El yells or whistles while approaching joggers/bikers or groups of people. Most of all he is super alert and watches out carefully at those hang-out areas (park/rest stop) where they could surprise & jump you. He advises, in the tunnels make lots of noise. Always watch the road for broken bottles or debris. He has been using this trail since 1980.