Vin Scully. Dodger Dogs. Sandy Koufax. Gettin’ Puigy with it. Uncle Tommy’s Lasagna. Cycling.
While I could go on citing all things Dodgers, there is a new and exciting thing being brought to the park: Getting there on time.
When you drive to Chavez Ravine enough, you’ll realize that the stereotype about fans coming late and leaving early is somewhat of a necessity if you want to keep the total experience under 12 hours.
Setting off from Little Tokyo
Years ago, when Rupert Murdoch wrote Mike Piazza’s paychecks, I tried going to a game biking from the Westside figuring it wouldn’t be any slower than driving.
It took me roughly fifteen minutes longer on two wheels, but that was before the era of Google maps and Mr. CiclaValley owning a bike that provided some level of proficiency. My bigger problem back then was being told to walk my bike around the grounds and no racks to speak of.
Forward ahead to 2015. We now have smart phones, multiple Kardashians and selfie sticks. What a better age we live in.
Coolest painted bus lane in the city!
In my first week on the job at LACBC, I was asked if I wanted to join the team to attend a Dodger game. The answer without pause was yes, but working for a cycling advocacy organization, I secretly accepted wishing we would bike there. Well, the genie came out of the bottle.
Little did we know when the tickets were bought that the vote to pass Mobility Plan 2035 would land on the same day, so the evening started out as a celebratory one at the Far Bar in Little Tokyo.
The majority of the work force had brought their bikes, so it’s always to more fun to ride in a group. Oh, and if you must know, the rest took the bus or used ride share so that’s no money in Frank McCourt’s pocket.
We wiggled our way up 1st street to Main before crossing a few lanes in traffic to make a left onto Cesar Chavez somewhat easily. With the congestion, we were moving faster than the cars next to us.
We were able to make the first pitch. Our friends to the left, not so much..
The real fun hit once we crossed Figueroa and were able to share the Dodger Express dedicated lane with the buses. From there to Dodger Stadium, we rode unfettered while people in their cars sat listening to the end of the pregame show.
The biggest problem one of my colleagues faced was riding her single gear bike up the steeper parts of the hill. Even when she walked part of it, she still beat every car, bus and whatever else Gil Cedillo could throw at you on the road.
Another large advantage of biking: getting to park near the entrance. Okay. There’s one caveat. The first racks we went to were completely full, which might have been a good thing since they were next to some garbage bins.
Car parking: $20
We went to the top deck to look for more racks and found four empty one for our six bikes. I’m glad they were vacant, but we were lucky to grab them as we saw other bikes locked to parking signs. If you’re curious to know where they are, the team has supplied a map.
The last head scratcher was coming into the stadium and being asked to check my helmet. If I made the claim that I’m only wearing it to protect myself from a foul ball, I believe he would have let it in, but I leave those types of histrionics to my dad.
We weren’t the only ones biking to Dodger Stadium
In total, it took us 19 minutes to cover the 2 miles at a super casual pace including stop lights. You’d be lucky to cover that distance in double the time while driving.
Cycling to Dodger games should be an experience everyone tries as we’re finding out our city is getting smaller.
Come from work. Grab a drink at ShortStop. Pull up to the game and take in the San Gabriel’s.
Maybe, I’ll park somewhere else…
Get to the top and you’re rewarded this view. And more bike racks.
No valet, but we’re cool with that.
Only a view you can experience here.
In the words of Vin Scully, “It’s time for Dodger Baseball…”