As worldly as you’d expect CiclaValley to be, there are some vital cycling experiences that should of already been checked off.
Critical Mass is one of the most obvious omissions from my life and I finally got the chance to represent.
Technically, I’ve done a few in San Francisco on roller blades, but let’s call them hockey skates to make it sound manlier.
My friend Rap was in town from Reno and he’s always up for some new discoveries and now you can make the case that so am I.
Since this was loosely planned, I would be providing Rap a bike, but not without fanfare.
I drove to the NoHo Station where I’d transfer two bikes from the Red Line, to the Purple Line exiting Wilshire / Western.
Taking my two heaviest bikes along with a filled pannier caused great challenges in movement making me feel like Woody Allen playing a cello:
I didn’t know how well organized this ride was going to be, but it was easy to spot the 20+ ride marshals wearing vests.
I would say this gives you an idea of the size, but we were in the front half at this point
There was no formal ceremony to start, but a couple of support vehicles set up at the corner and the group was off.
Right off the bat, the street was ours as the group commanded the full extents of the roadway.
Nice way to take in a sunset
The pace was normally a comfortable 10 – 15 mph depending on conditions which was great because that was about the tempo Rap could handle.
For a group of this size, rolling through intersections was the way to go, as I know there would always be some over eager cyclists that would roll through red lights.
This pissed off some drivers being stuck at a lights for an extra few minutes, but there was a far higher proportion of people taking photos and cheering us on along the way.
You could tell the route was thoughtfully planned as we rarely got stuck behind any traffic.
Who’s going to stop Bike Share out here?
Rap was impressed how much we saw rolling through Hancock Park, Mid-Wilshire, Culver City, Palms, Mar Vista, Westwood, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Hollywood.
Along the way, there were a couple of stops that leaned towards 30 minutes where you could purchase food and drinks while also donating to the cause.
The great part about this ride was that every demographic was covered including a wide range of ages and bike types.
There was also no need to bring your own music, as there were several on hand that provided their own high powered soundtracks.
Hard not to miss this set up.
Were there a few people riding outside the rules? Sure, but not any more than you’d expect for a ride of this size. I just stayed towards the right side of the road and made sure my front wheel was protected and all felt fine.
Bottom line people felt safe, happy and made a lot of new friends.
He was pretty impressed that you could see this much city and how experiencing it on a bike made it look more on a human scale.
Logjam in West Hollywood
As for this wanderer, I will definitely be back at some point because who doesn’t love to ride, especially when the street is all yours?
Cycling is an amazing gift that only grows when you share with others. For Los Angeles, this is the perfect forum to bring this city together.