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Monday, October 10, 2011

CicLAvia Brunch Ride

Over the weekend in downtown LA several miles of roads were closed to car traffic and specifically open to bikes and peds and skaters and lots of freaks for the third or forth time now over the last year or two – what we call CicLAvia – based on the original Ciclovia, which started in Bogota, Columbia and has been adopted in many cities around the world to promote healthy, active, and safe streets for the people. Ciclovia played a big role in improving all-around conditions in Bogota by giving people public space to enjoy and recreate and celebrate every weekend. And I think it will be great for LA (and all the other cities practicing) too. Right now LA is doing this a few times a year. It’s a lot of fun and should be experienced by all in the area.



The Brunch Ride, on a somewhat smaller scale, has a similar aim. Get people together on Sunday morning to go for a ride and grab some brunch somewhere we’ve never been before in the area, exploring new roads and people, and communities, and restaurants and such and such… The Brunch ride has been active for a few months now. We’ve been pretty good at aiming for every Sunday but miss a lot of dates but that’s okay. Like I said, we’re pretty small. I think our record attendance so far is 4. This time we had 3. I’m hoping to pump it up to 6+ some day so if you’re interested, please join us.

This Sunday’s Brunch ride took advantage of the CicLAvia route. We rode about 10 miles to the “Bicycle District” on the west border of Silver Lake right next to LA City College. The “Bicycle District” is a semi-informal distinction that has been gaining steam over the last few years. It’s basically a 50-yard stretch of road that includes the Bicycle Kitchen Co-op, a bike shop, and about a bike rack every 5 feet adding up to something like 40. I’m not a part of that scene but it does seem to be a scene there, a bike scene. I guess people meet there and rides start/end there, etc. The ice cream shop seems popular, too.

From there all the way down through neighborhoods and along parks and past historic buildings everything was closed, the roads that is, and tons of people were out riding them, probably like a hundred thousand people or more over the approximately seven mile stretch that we rode. It’s really fun to ride through downtown. Really awesome old buildings and nooks and crannies down there. And little shops and restaurants that you’d never knew existed if you didn’t hit the streets with your feets. Wish I could have gotten some better photos but it’s kinda hard from the bike and who wants to stop just to take a picture?

After a couple hours of riding we’d worked up a nice appetite and were ready for brunch. We call it brunch but really it could be lunch for some or breakfast or well even brunch – I guess that’s sorts the definition of brunch anyway but just didn’t want to be falsely advertising. We couldn’t really get our act/brains together about where to eat with so many possibilities so ended up with the classic spot, Philippe’s, just outside of Chinatown and Union (train) Station. Would you believe me if I told you they invented the French Dip Sandwich?! Any place with sawdust on the floor is okay in my book. I had a great slice of boysenberry pie to fuel our return trip back upstream to the hometown pub for an afternoon of endless beers and ice waters… That’s the Brunch Ride…


“Totally 80’s” says, "Try the pie at Philippe’s!"



4 comments:

Kristina said...

That sounds like an amazing way to spend a Sunday! I'm still a sub-par rider, at best, but with roads closed - I might actually feel safe enough in the city to venture out and about.

mindful mule said...

Funny thing about that is that I had more close calls in an hour of CicLAvia than I would in weeks or months or years on the “real” road. There’s a bit of chaos out there.

Kriste said...

what a cool thing!

mindful mule said...

Kriste: Yeah, super cool. Can't wait for the next one...