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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

CicLAvia-100000 smiles take to the streets of LA

I hope some of you made it downtown this weekend. Don’t worry if you didn’t, the next one is October 14th 2012 so plenty of time to dust off your saddle and oil that chain. Here are some pix for those that missed CicLAvia on Sunday
After much debate of train vs. car we decided to drive, it’s only 3 miles and whilst it seems antithetical to the whole biking thing to drive, with 2 smalls and 4 bikes to squeeze into crowded carriages I’m glad we took the car option, especially at the end of the ride when we had 2 tuckered out little people !
For an adult with regular sized wheels it is not a challenging ride but for little legs on little wheels negotiating both the (gentle) hills and the sloping gutter of the street it’s a good workout.
We arrived just before noon and were back in the car at squack on 3pm
They weren’t exaggerating about miles of smiles. Cycling seems to bring out the best in folks. Waves and smiles replaced the usualirritable car horns, and I heard ‘sorry’ more than the morning after a bachelor party!
At times it got quite crowded but everyone did their best to be aware and considerate, lots of spills but people were more likely to be injured from the rush to help a fallen rider than road rage.
I always thought it was the weed that made the Dutch so cheerful, but perhaps it’s thatthey’re all powered by pedal joy!  LAPD Joined in the spirit of the day and showed off some well toned calves.
I got some much needed hope for the future when our five year old the “shouty pink one” turned her fiercely determined spirit to some furious pedaling. A 100000 big people on big bikes and sloping street gutters, that threatened to derail her training wheels, were not going to be allowed to dampen her spirit. She channeled her stubborn streak and gamely kept up for 3 hours without a grumble

 Handy Hints with little ones

*If you live locally drive. We paid $7 for parking and whilst the train is great, it’s hard getting on a crowded train with a bike, as a family you may have to get on through separate doors and once on stay put, so this is unnerving for small  children and can make disembarking a challenge.
*Park around little Tokyo. It’s flat and the beginning ride is uphill which means at the end of the day, you can coast downhill ending in a flat plaza. Bonus-Lots of places for frozen yogurt, bobo and coffee, for an end of the ride treat.
*For a young rider set them on a line to follow, otherwise the curve of the gutter tends to pull them down and it’s hard to get back up the slope and means cutting across bikers.
*When the youngest member says they are done, it’s time to head back. Don’t push it, you still have to get back to the car or train and it’s better to leave wanting more.
Big bike news for Angelinos -We’re all getting bikes!
Angelinos will be the proud new riders of 4,000 bikes located at 400 kiosks throughout the metropolis. Over the next two years stations will be installed in bike-friendly neighborhoods like downtown LA, Hollywood, Playa del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made the announcement Sunday morning, saying, “We know it’s what LA needs. As we’ve seen with CicLAvia’ Angelinos are aching for a day without a car,” reports LA Streetsblog.
The initiative is being spearheaded and funded by Bike Nation, a Southern California bike share. Bike Nation’s site outlines the cost to use bikes. Membership subscriptions ranging from 24 hours ($6) to one year ($75). Once you’re a member, every 30-minute trip is free, and a one-hour jaunt starts at $1.50.
There are already similar bike share programs in place that deploy thousands of bikes in San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York and Chicago.

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