Sunday, February 6, 2011

A day on the westside...

and I do mean day (as in long). I managed to haul myself out to Santa Monica for the LACBC "I Love the Westside Ride", hosted by Ted Rogers of BikingInLA fame. This was a great way to reacquaint myself with some territory I have not ridden through in ages, and some others I have never pedaled through. The ride took us along bike lanes, bike paths, sharrows, and high speed thoroughfares lacking in any bicycle infrastructure, even though they are important transportation corridors. 

The ride included stops in the various municipalities through which we passed where representatives of either, government officials or bicycle advocacy groups within those cities, gave brief talks about existing infrastructure and potential future infrastructure enhancements. At one stop, along the Ballona Creek Bike Path, fixed-gear guru Richard Risemberg of Bicycle Fixation, gave a short talk on native plants and habitat. Other stops included Culver City, Beverly Hills (the region's least bike-friendly city), and Westwood. I imagine there will be a more complete recount of all the day's speakers at BikingInLA; I had no writing materials, and there is no way I could remember the names of everyone. 

There was a distinct little quartet of Los Angeles County bicycle literati present on the outing. Beside the two already mentioned, Gary Kavanagh of Gary Rides Bikes, was there, and of course, yours truly. If all that is not enough highlight for one day, there were other things that stood out as well: the stacked-up stones all along Ballona Creek, the nice weathering steel bridge over the self-same creek, Culver City civic center, which was very interesting from a landscape design perspective, cutting through the VA, which I used to do frequently when riding over to the coast from the Valley, riding along Rodeo Drive with all the perfect people gawking as if we were some sort of circus sideshow come to town, and perhaps best of all, finally joining LACBC

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