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March 10, 2007

Acura Bike Tour: Getting to the Starting Line

NOTE: For latecomers to this series Part 1 can be found here ( And leads to succeeding parts, all, up to this point, about my day at the Quality of Life Expo. )

I'll have you know that, without a car, living in Orange County as I do, and having to make a late night journey, by bus, and bike, into LA, took some planning.

Even then, it didn't go quite as planned. ;-D

Listen my fellow cyclists and you shall be told
Of the 21 mile ride of a bicyclist bold,
On the 4th of March, in 2007;
Nary a TV Reporter was anywhere near
Who covered that famous day and year.

Bike_t02

He said to his Cat , "I set off now, my friend,
By bus and bike from Santa Ana to-night,
I will stop for breakfast, but not at the golden arch.
Of the darkness, and  neighborhood I will not be afright,--
One route by Westminster Blvd., and the 2nd  by Long Beach;

And I will sleep on the 1st, but the 2nd awake I will  be,
Ready to ride thru a dangerous place keeping eyes open to see.

Through Beach city,  and South Central I live a life of charm,
For no-one can touch me, on my steed, or cause me harm."



Then he said "Good-night!" and hugging his friend once more
Silently headed out the door,
Just as a minute after midnight signalled a new day,
Where on the corner the 1st bus stop lay
The Orange County Transit, making one night run more;
A mightly vehicle stopped with a screech
Ready to take him to the beach.
And there was another hulk, that was prepared to go the rest of the way
In its mission to carry him into LA.........

Actually my journey began around 1230am, and Nikita just looked up, yawned, licked my hand good-bye, and went back to sleep.

Bike_t03 I had planned to get off the 2nd bus at a part of Martin Luther King Blvd cut off from the main MLK, near 41st, at 3am, ride west on 41st, and a couple other streets, to re-connect with MLK, and head to the USC Campus.

It was a shorter ride than going into Downtown LA, and dashing south, 45 minutes later.

Alas I could not tell where 41st was, and so played it safe by going into Downtown.

As I got my bearings I saw a fellow cyclist who, it was clear to my, um, well-trained, 4 eyes, was headed toward the Bike Tour.

So I followed him, and a couple of blocks later caught up with him.

After confirming he was heading my way I introduced myself and, as we rode down Figuroa, we chatted about Blogs, bicycling, and the fact that he was going to be doing the marathon after riding the bike tour!

Yesterday, a comment was left to one of my reports, and it was then that I learned the name of this brave individual, and the fact that he is a fellow blogger who, among many other things, writes about cycling.

William Campbell, writes the Blog called [Sic] ( Yes, just like that! ), and is based in LA County.

His reports on his Marathon Exerience over 4 posts, with pictures, beginning here.

In just over a year as a blogger he has a collection of 73 posts on cycling, and counting.

Bike_t04_1

Once there, I went off to check out the quality of the Porto-Potties before heading over to the starting line.

At 4am, people were just beginning to arrive, and one could be forgiven for thinking that there was no-way 15,000 bicyclists would be in this, several block long, staging area by the start of the ride at 550am.

Over the next 2 hours I contented myself with taking a few pictures, and talking to my fellow cyclists about the ride, and about The Cycling Dude.

In the process I helped an Hispanic guy, with limited English, figure out his camera so he could take a panoramic shot, took a couple of photos of an African-American cyclist, and 1 of a Caucasian mother, and her son.

Bike_t05

Yup, not only is the tour of the city a multi-cultural look at LA, but so is the make-up of the ridership each year.

Young, and old, single, and with family, low income, middle income, and upper income, they all come out for the cameraderie that is this famous ride. ;-D

I had a great time checking out the variety of folks, and the variety of bikes, from tandems, and recumbents, from fixed-gear to beach cruiser, from mountain bike to road bike, and hybrid to racing bike.




Whole clubs came out in force, the main one being, of course, the Los Angeles Wheelmen, who always help lead the ride as it gets underway.

Bike_t06

As darkeness gave way to dawn, sure enough, 15,000 riders gathered and, as the Star Spangled Banner was sung, eagerly prepared themselves for the journey ahead.

Bike_t01




21.6 miles  beginning with a jaunt down MLK, then into the Garment District, over to Boyle Heights, then back downtown for a look at the Jewelry District before heading west, then south, in the KoreaTown area, and back to USC.







Next up: The ride gets underway.

March 10, 2007 in Riding Los Angeles County | Permalink

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Comments

Wow what an awesome experience, thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Jesus | Feb 7, 2017 4:08:10 PM

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