Another CicLAvia

Posted: August 9, 2011 in Bicycle Advocacy

(This is the second “catch-up” post to my blog that I am completing during my downtime due to my recent injury.)

This past Sunday, 04-10-11, exactly six months after the first CicLAvia on 10-10-10, some friends and I got to enjoy a sunny and slightly brisk day in downtown Los Angeles. Once again, this was to be a completely car-free day for me. I made arrangements to meet Joy on the Blue Line train line that goes from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles. I rode from my house to the station and brought my bike on the train. On my way to the station where Joy was boarding, I sent her a text to let her know which car I was in. Somewhat surprisingly, she had no trouble finding me, and we soon found ourselves at the end of the line at the downtown Metro Station.

Our good fortune with logistics continued when we exited the station at Figueroa Street and almost immediately saw Greg who had ridden from his home to downtown. From there we joined the masses and rode to the west end of the route in the Melrose District. On our way, shortly after waiting at one of the car crossings, I saw some guy on a fixie riding somewhat erratically towards me and just as he passed me I heard, “Don’t take out the leader dude!” In an instant I recognized the voice, it was Lance Armstrong. Just as quickly, Lance and his cycling entourage were passing me. We had to stop again a bit later at another car crossing and Lance was maybe 10 yards in front of me. Greg and I started calling out his name (not many people recognized him) and he turned around. Unfortunately, the quick shot that I tried didn’t come out very well. One thing that surprised me is that Lance is shorter than I thought. He really didn’t seem much taller than me.

When we got to the Melrose District I saw Lance in the distance getting ready to jet off to his next engagement and I saw a local TV news reporter interviewing one of the guys in Lance’s entourage.

Greg and Joy and I absorbed a bit of the scene at that end of the route and then we headed towards the east end. On our way, as in October, we saw a wide variety of cyclists. One thing that we saw that I didn’t see nearly as much in October was fallen cyclists. That was kind of distressing especially since some were being carted away into ambulances. It was still a very small percentage of the total participant but it was still distressing.

It was also a bit more difficult to deal with the crowds this time but I could still deal with it and enjoy the overall atmosphere. We made it to Hollenbeck Park and milled about a bit before heading back towards downtown. On our way we were looking for a lunch stop and we finally went with a “green” noveau asian noodle place. The food was good and the prices were commensurate with its downtown location.

Joy decided to depart as we rolled past the Metro Station and Greg and I headed back to the Melrose District. We did a little more absorbing of the atmosphere and took a stroll through one of the more famous fixie shops in Los Angeles. From there we rode back to the Metro Station and caught the Blue Line heading back towards Long Beach.

The last bit of our day’s adventure was being on a train that was having mechanical problems. Eventually we got off at a station that was about 12 miles from my home. Instead of waiting for the next train (which probably would have been impossibly crowded) I decided to ride home from there. I also decided to go all the way to downtown Long Beach so that I could check out the new separated bike lane on Broadway which wasn’t officially opened yet. It looked pretty good even though there was hardly any traffic on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Overall it was another enjoyable CicLAvia experience and I am looking forward to the next one.

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