Sunday, June 12, 2011

Biking The LA River With Glendale Mayor Laura Friedman

Last weekend I biked 36 miles with Glendale Mayor Laura Friedman and Transportation and Parking Commissioner Peter Faud for the LA County Bicycle Coalition's annual LA River Ride fundraiser.
The River Ride offers cyclists multiple ride lengths, from a family-friendly 15 mile ride to a spandex-friendly "century"(100 miles!). All of the rides start at The Autry in Griffith Park, follow the LA River Bike Path to its terminus at the 5/110, and then follow surface streets east of downtown before picking up the river path again in the corrupt industrial wasteland of Vernon. From Vernon, you can follow the river all the way south until it meets the ocean in Long Beach. The ride is well organized with lots of support for the riders along the way. Every ten miles or so there are pit stops for riders with snacks, water, bike maintenance and first aid.

Laura represented Glendale and gave an encouraging speech to riders before the 100 and 36 mile rides. She has done an excellent job encouraging Glendale cycling and pedestrian safety efforts.

While she kicked off the 100 mile ride, I took our bikes for free, much needed tune ups from Incycle Bikes. A huge thanks to Incycle for their thorough attention to our bikes. Mayor Friedman and I were both having shifting issues, but thanks to their maintenance our bikes functioned flawlessly on the ride.
Mayor Friedman with LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge and LACBC Executive Director Jen Klausner at the start of the 36 mile ride.
I love these utilitarian bikes.
Banjo serenade!

We rode a modified version of the ride that I figured out last year - we skipped the official turnaround point in Maywood and continued all the way down the path to Long Beach, where we enjoyed some well-earned barbecue at Famous Dave's. Yum. My Dad lives nearby and was kind enough to give us a ride back in his minivan. When we got back to The Autry, I enjoyed a nice glass of Fat Tire beer and live music from local band The Anti-Job (video below). I look forward to riding again next year!

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