Monday, June 1, 2009

Cruising Down the Arroyo Seco

Last Saturday, 100 bicyclists of all ages and abilities came together for the first Tour de Arroyo bicycle cruise along the 9.6 mile urban portion of the Arroyo Seco.


First, to honor the memory of Pasadena bicycle activist, Dennis Crowley, who died suddenly last fall at the age of 60. Dennis excited everyone he met with his vision of an Arroyo Seco Cycleway that would allow commuters to ride on a Class I Bicycle Path between Pasadena and Los Angeles (or Los Angeles and Pasadena, depending upon the starting point) without the hassle of street crossing or street riding.

Secondly, to enjoy the varied terrain that surrounds the Arroyo ~ starting from tree lined streets in Pasadena to the in-channel bicycle path from the South Pasadena border to Los Angeles' Montecito Heights Recreation Center through graffiti tagged industrial areas of LA over the Spring Street Bridge with a destination of the new Cornfields State Park, nestled next to Chinatown with an amazing view of the LA City skyline to the south and the San Gabriel Mountains to the North.

Thirdly, to build awareness of the importance of an Arroyo Seco Bikeway in advance of tonight's (Tues. 6/2) meeting with Los Angeles County planners on such a route, slated for 6pm at the Los Angeles River Center, 570 W. Avenue 26, Los Angeles, CA 90065.

Most of all, TO HAVE FUN!! And fun we had ~ a perfect overcast morning in the 70's, no flat tires, no accidents, and lots of laughter. Even the novice riders proclaimed: that was easy!

Upon reaching the Cornfields, the bicyclists held a short rally honoring Dennis' memory and talking about the importance of a commutable cycleway, especially needed in light of Los Angeles' very poor options for on-street bicycle riding with any degree of safety.

After the rally, some bicyclists cycled back to Pasadena, stopping at notable spots along the way, including the Southwest Museum (LA's oldest), the Audubon at Debs Park, and the Lummis House (built entirely from Arroyo Seco river rock).

Others took the Gold Line 'sag wagon', the terrific light rail service between Downtown LA and Pasadena where passengers can ride with their bikes.

A few of us though couldn't resist a feast of dim sum at Chinatown's Ocean Seafood Restaurant ~ yum~yum!

Best of all, we captured it all on videotape and our ride leader, Dan Sharp, even got his 15 seconds of fame aboard his monster bike on the early local television evening news.

In case you missed this ride, you'll have another chance to ride along the river ~ this time, the Los Angeles River, this Sunday, June 7th as part of the 9th Annual LA River Ride:

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