It was the weekend before we left Los Angeles to return home. It was a glorious sunny hot California day. Venice Blvd from downtown to the sea was closed to car traffic. And we were a mighty tribe of four: Ben on his cruiser, Laura on her mountain bike, Amber on my shopper and me on my rollerblades.
The best day out I had in LA.
I had no idea there were so many cyclists in this town. The road was literally packed in both directions. There were pelotons, road runners, roller bladders, low riders, tall bikes (yes, we saw him), plush bikes, serious cyclists, costumed day trippers… It was heaving and delightful and joyful and hot as hell.
And extraordinary to discover in safety and at foot level what the artery between our humble little home and the throbbing downtown looks like. Local businesses were selling lemonade, pumping out music, cheering us on. It was an event.
After 15 miles inland, we stopped at MacArthur Park for lunch. Laura and I introduced Amber (South African) and Ben (British) to tamales and pupusas at Mama’s Hot Tamales and we ate them under a tree, watching the tens of thousands of cyclists who were taking advantage of this extraordinary opportunity. Nom.
15 miles homeward. 30 miles total. A magnificent finale to six months of carlessness in California. I’m sorry I’ll miss the next event on 23 June, when the cyclists take over Wilshire Blvd from downtown to the Miracle Mile to enjoy the iconic architecture the lines that route.
Dear heaving metropolises of the world: please do this. If the City of Angels can do it, you can too. More information at their website.