Allow me to think out loud. It’s tough for me to start with an angle on the LA River Ride.
Is it because I now work for LACBC? No, that’s not the problem.
If you’ve ridden it before, I’m compelled to write you something that’ll get you high off the fumes. On the other hand, if you know nothing about it, I’ve got a lot of explaining to do, so where do I start?
How about I just babble and you sort it out? Cool. We’ll do that.
Even before I became a serious cyclist, I had heard of the LA River Ride. My bigger question at that time was, “we have a river?”
Yes, I was ignorant enough not to realize that the imposing concrete channel roaming the southern portion of the valley had a prior life as a natural habitat.
Fast forward to a time that actually matters: I finally decided to join the new millennium and bought a road bike three years ago with the river ride always in the back of my mind.
Since that point of inception, Mr. CiclaValley got to riding. Riding a lot. Riding everywhere. I grew a liking to doing a bunch of hills, because it’s part of my name, so you may think a relatively flat ride along the river is beneath him.
Then you haven’t done the LA River Ride.
First of all, cycling is fun and communal. Everyone is out there because they love riding a bike and doing it around Los Angeles. It’s not hard to catch that spirit from the other riders, volunteers and people on the side of the road cheering you on.
Another part you’ll love is no matter what pace you want to go, you’ll find someone to ride with. Whether you want to push it like a gearhead or casually saunter to enjoy the atmosphere, it is totally up to you. I did the century last year at almost full throttle and had that perfect feeling of being gassed when I got home.
What makes the ride so special and impossible to describe is based off of one word: the future.
Every year, the river gives us glimpses of hope. You’ll instantly recognize the difference along the Elysian Valley with businesses and new developments rejuvenating the area. Even when you travel through Chinatown and Boyle Heights, you’ll see how Angelinos are making old neighborhoods flourish after an almost decade lapse.
Los Angeles is transforming and it’s apparent that the river is playing a role in that. By doing the LA River Ride and sharing your stories helps speed up the process.
Like I said earlier, I cannot write an article to properly share the magnitude of this ride. You’ll have to experience it yourself.