A reader sent the following email about crashing Marathon last Sunday by racing the course at 4:30 in the morning with the Wolfpack Hustle. And in the process, getting a reminder of why he rides.
I saw your post about the “bikeless” marathon. I was disappointed to find out there wasn’t going to be a pre-race bike ride this year, but then I saw this:
I dragged myself out of bed to go race with these hardcore L.A. riders, not really sure what to expect, and behold – just under 400 riders showed up for a 4:00am race/ride! I have to say it was an amazing time. I also have to say, I have never ridden so hard in my life; these ”kids” can ride! I was really impressed by the fixie riders and the pace they were able to maintain over the entire distance…(here’s to being young). In addition to the huge fixie/single speed contingent, there were a handful of lycra clad roadies as well (myself included).
As slightly unorganized as it was, we were not bothered by the police at all – most people out setting up for the race (or just out for that matter) were cheering everyone on and/or just baffled by the mass of riders pouring down Hollywood Blvd. at that early morning hour. By the time we rolled out at about 4:30am, the street closures were just starting to take effect, but the entire route was not closed yet. Given the time of the morning though, traffic was a non-issue.
I was impressed by some of the riders sense of teamwork as well. I ended up in a group of about 5 or 6 riders for the last 8 miles and we pushed hard as a group all the way to the finish. I definitely felt a passion for cycling from everyone who took part and will definitely be doing it again next year.
On a final note, I took off for home from the SM pier at about 6:30am. I was by myself and it’s about a 10mi straight shot down Pico to my house. At one point, just as the sun was starting to make its presence felt, I looked around and for just a moment there was nothing but green lights and silence. No cars, no pedestrians, nothing, just me rolling solo early on a Sunday morning. In that instant, I was again reminded why I ride.
L.A. County plans to use a $32 million public health grant to create nearly 20 Transit Oriented Districts along Metro’s Blue and Green lines, creating bike and pedestrian paths and amenities near rail stations to help fight obesity, as well as programs to combat tobacco use. Funding will also be provided to conduct environmental reviews for the county’s new Bike Master Plan.
And Metro’s Doug Failing talks bikes, rating Los Angeles C- for bike friendliness, and saying the city needs an A-list bicycle transportation system.
Thanks to County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, via Dr. Michael Cahn, for the heads-up.
More on StreetsSummit and NYC DOT superstar Janette Sadik-Khan. Damien takes a last look at last Saturday’s event; a call to action one step and one cycle at a time; and a Times critic compares L.A.’s innovation-resistant DOT with Sadik-Khan’s Bloomberg-backed reinvention of the Big Apple.
New Zealand correspondent the Trickster reports that an Auckland cyclist was killed in a classic right (our left) cross collision, the driver reportedly “did not see” the academic superstar she killed before she turned into his path; MSN NZ responds by asking if bikes should be banned from the roads.
Note to MSN — it wasn’t the bike that killed someone.
The city finally repaves a troublesome intersection on the (hopefully) future bike boulevard. Metro says the right thing after nearly curbing one of the city’s leading cyclists. Actually, red light cameras do reduce accidents according to the LAPD. Attention Department of DIY: Painting your own bike lane could mean big trouble. A look at Long Beach’s new found bike friendliness. San Diego botches a patch job on a popular cycling route — one I rode frequently when I live down that way — that has already claimed two lives. A Bay Area Jewish group will be “people of the bike” this May; while a “non-kosher” NYC bike shop now offers a bike gear vending machine. A good look at contraflow lanes, and an animated look at wheel sucking and totally cool bike commuting. Now that’s what I call a cargo bike. Idaho’s proposed three-foot passing and anti-harassment laws are done for this year. A 17-year old Chicago cyclist is killed when an 86-year old driver crosses the center line to hit her and two other riders head on. Actually, “avid cyclist” is a perfectly good term if it accurately describes what you are. Time to tell the GOP’s anti-bike lawmakers what you think. The current auto-centric perspective has roots dating back to the birth of cycling; but at least they don’t horsewhip us anymore. A Canadian driver dismantles his truck to avoid arrest after killing a cyclist and fleeing the scene. Danish police prematurely seize unabandoned bikes and deliver them directly to a landfill. Aussie cycling champ James Williamson’s recent death was due to an undiagnosed heart problem. York — the old one, not the New — urges Respect On Our Roads. Amazingly, a UK pregnant driver who fled the scene after hitting and killing a cyclist at 70 mph receives the equivalent of probation so her baby won’t be born in prison; trust me, the baby would get over it. A driver who killed an Irish racing champ while rushing to catch a plane is sentenced to five years. Seventy percent of Taipei cyclists don’t wear helmets, while 70% of survey respondents think they should be forced to.
Finally, a Florida real estate agent was moonlighting as a cab driver last year when a passenger attacked him; when passing motorists ignored his please for help, a Spanish-speaking cyclist loaned him a cell phone to call 911. Now he’s returning the favor by giving away free bike lights to anyone who needs one.