Sunday, April 15, 2012

CicLAvia, 15 April 2012...

Other than the all-encompassing "supercalifragilistecexpialidocious", I am not aware of another single word in the English language that even adequately describes what cicLAvia is. That said, a single picture can supposedly be worth a thousand words. If I were to attempt it, this photo would probably come pretty close to that, and does a suitable job of summarizing everything that the largest bicycle event in the City of Angels stands for. 

I turned just in time to catch the end of her feet on-handlebars-coast. I don't know who you are, but you are definitely my photo for the day.

Once again the family and I, along with fellow Claremontonians, and even some people from surrounding communities, loaded onto the Metrolink and headed into Union Station. There were a number of familiar faces and some new ones. Getting the departure schedule correct makes a huge difference and we arrived well before cicLAvia officially began, and so we were able to relax a bit around Olvera Street and the Plaza area, have a coffee, Mexican hot chocolate and baked goods. Within minutes members of one local bike club rolled up on their custom rides, as well as members of a local roller derby team; the city of Los Angeles speakers podium came out, the channel 7 news van arrived, and things got underway with a few speeches and some photo ops. Gradually riders, singly or in small groups rode off from the plaza, and within no time the streets were filled with a colorful, swirling mass. There was sounds of laughter and talking, always underlain by the whir of bikes. Every once in a while you would pass someone with a boom box or other musical device on their bike, or a street corner where a dj had set up, and music would grow, and then fade into the background and the distance. The whir of wheels and chains would take hold again.

All three of us saw people we knew, from the larger cycling community, from school - it is always a pleasant surprise spotting someone (or having them spot you) out of that large, constantly shifting mass of faces. Besides all the riders there was, once again, so much to see and do - giant chess in the middle of the street, jump ropers, bike polo, make-your-own music, live bands, local cuisine (had lunch at the Spring Street Smokehouse & BBQ), a Bike Snob NYC talk at Orange 20, parks, architecture, empty bike corrals (LA's new bike share, Bike Nation, seemed to be doing ripping business, and looked to have rented all they had brought), etc. When we had had our fill, it was a true pleasure to be able to re-board Metrolink and relax for the return to Claremont. No fighting traffic - just chilling, talking with neighbors and fellow riders. A fantastic Sunday.

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