November 02, 2009
Cycling Dude's Conquest of Legendary Fargo St. Posted on YouTube!
Every March, for decades now, Bicyclists young, and old, sane, and mad, have gathered on a sacred stretch of road, a 1 block stretch of Fargo Street, in the hills of the Silverlake/Echo Park area of Los Angles for a most unusual, and challenging event, sponsored by the Los Angeles Wheelmen Bicycle Club.
It is a challenge so difficult that many bicycles refuse to attempt it with their owner, forcing the intrepid cyclist to valiantly forge ahead alone...
Okay, okay, maybe not... ;-D
It is simply known as The Fargo Street Climb, and attracts dozens of riders, and spectators, as well as the local print, and TV Media.
At a 32% grade this is possibly the steepest street in Los Angeles, and people as old as their 60's, and as young as 8 years old, have mastered it.
One woman has pedaled it 16 times in 1 day, and the male record holder took 9 hours to pedal up it 101 times.
8 years ago I came here for the 1st time, and marveled at the road, and the spectacle, admiring those who dared to pedal up their way to the top, from which the view is spectacular.
The only event that compares takes place in Pittsburg, Pa., and includes a stretch of road with a 37% grade.
I wrote about both events, in more detail, in 2006: Fargo X 13 in Pittsburg.
Last month I decided to have a little fun, and record my own encounter with Fargo, with my new Camcorder mounted on the handlebar of my bike. ;-D
I present to you The Cycling Dude "Conquers" Fargo St. in Los Angeles!
I am still learning to use my Camcorder, but this is still a fun little video (I figured out how to add a title, and credits!). ;-D
Yes, I made the mistake of not adjusting the camera angle along the way, and if nothing else had happened I would have considered another attempt, but the amusing encounter with the man who earlier drove his car to his house as I filmed the intro, led me to decide to share this anyway.
Wearing my 3 Feet Please Jersey I rode ny bike, this day, in Burbank, Echo Park, and Downtown Los Angeles.
By the way...Fargo is NOT the only extremely steep street in the hills of Echo Park, north of Dodger Stadium, I was amazed to discover (Who says Mother Nature doesn't have a sense of humor!). ;-D
After filming I headed downtown to the legendary Philippe's French Dip Restaurant, a couple of blocks north of the Union Station Transit Hub, for a dinner of a Lamb Sandwich, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, and Macaroni Salad.
See that wall behind me, in the picture below?
The 2nd floor of the building once housed a Bordello, before the restaurant moved in, decades ago, and over the years restaurant customers have taken permanent markers, and other writing instruments, and left their names, and various messages, for future patrons to enjoy. ;-D
While waiting for a bus, later that evening, on 6th Street, just 2 blocks from the notorius Skid Row, an old homeless black man, with a sense of humor, approached the bus stop in the darkness, but kept his distance, at first, saying..."Is THIS close enough?"
I laughed, and he laughed, and we both laughed even harder when I wondered what the reaction would be if I pedaled right throught the heart of Skid Row wearing the shirt. ;-D
For the next 15 minutes we had a nice chat about 3 Feet, and motorists and cyclists sharing the road, until his bus came along.
All in all it was a fun, and interesting day. ;-D
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Bravo C. Dude!!
And you provided a narrative all the way up, too!
You forgot to put your name on the hill.
Go back, do'er again, and inscribe this link for posterity...Yeah right! ;-D
Posted by: Randy Eady | Nov 2, 2009 7:07:55 AM
Only way I could do that is in an ambulance (or a hearse). :-)
Posted by: jaspar | Nov 2, 2009 9:26:02 PM
Your courage and daring are a beacon of courage and daring to all us couch potatoes!
Posted by: Leslie Mehana | Nov 7, 2009 6:15:01 PM