Over the past number of weeks, I have been testing the waters on a new aspect of our beloved sport. It has surely increased my mileage… I’m doing nearly 80 miles/week now!
First, a little background… About a month ago, in my car, I waited through three green lights as an ocean of bicyclists passed by at about 11pm. Why did I have to wait? There was an LAPD officer parked on the crosswalk in front of me. No, not a funeral motorcade for a cyclist… quite the opposite. Every rider was smiling ear-to-ear, many waving and thanking motorists for waiting, and all obviously having a good time. I’d heard about “crank mob” type events that include hooligans that tag and such, but this was different. They weren’t a “mob” or gang, but a group of cyclists just seeking a good time. Of course, you may share my sentiment at the time… “all that fun, and no unicyclists?.. REALLY!”
I was drawn to this culture and the idea of night riding, and went to a couple of board meetings of one of the organizing bodies of these rides. Since then, I’ve gone on a couple of rides per week, and had a fantastic time mixing it up with the 2-wheelers on my 36’er uni. There are actually about 4-5 of these types of rides (ranging from 50-1000 riders) per night in LA, although just a few per week that I consider to be unicycle-friendly (I’ve got some stories to tell…heheh)!!!
The larger events roll slower… 12-14mph averages which is perfect for a 36’er at any distance. They usually range from 10-30 miles, with a number of stops. They “roll” at times ranging from 7pm to 11pm depending on the event. A good example of the perfect ride was a couple of weeks ago. DaveyKim and I “rolled” with about 300 cyclists from a park at the intersection of Culver and Venice boulevards at about 8:30pm and rode for 6 miles, enjoyed a live band (outdoors), and repeated the above for three more legs and bands. 24 miles total, decent entertainment, and a great night out in LA.
DO YOU SHARE ANY OF MY MOTIVATIONS?
- I want to promote the single wheel revolution – putting the “wheel reduction act” into motion…lol
- BUILDING A LOS ANGELES UNICYCLE CLUB - I would love to find a core group of guys who want to do distance regularly and promote the sport with me! These rides may be a good starting point.
- Cool weather (less sweat) and zero sunburn risk!
- A great way to see hidden LA… there are things you see at night that you would NEVER see by the light of day
- I can do it within my schedule. During the day I have four teenage daughters and a wife and where and when to ride is a huge challenge.
These events are free!
UPCOMING RIDES AND LINKS. I will be doing all of these. Feel free to send me a PM and we can discuss transportation/carpooling if you’re interested.
3/20/2011 and annual: LA MARATHON CRASH RACE
-THIS SUNDAY MORNING @3am
-Likely turnout of 500+ riders
-One-way course - carpool/public transportation info available upon request
-Near Dodgers Stadium - assemble @3am, roll at 4am
3/25/2011 and the last Friday of every month: LOS ANGELES CRITICAL MASS
-The largest group ride in LA
-LAPD does rolling road closures (motorcade style)
-Wilshire/Western - assemble at 6:30, roll at 7:30pm
4/2/2011 and monthly - schedule announced in advance: FMLY RIDE
-Ride ALWAYS includes bands at stops (see my “perfect ride” example above)
-About 20-30 miles total
-Live music at every stop
-Culver/Venice boulevard at “Crank Mob” park - Assemble at 7:30pm, roll at 8:30pm
Here’s a few that I haven’t committed to yet but are unicycle-friendly that I’ve chatted with organizers about…
3/18/2011 (tonight) and third Friday of every month: RIDE WITH NO NAME
-25 miles total
-Meets at 8pm and rolls at 9pm Third and Traction (downtown LA Arts District)
-Meets at the RiteAid at Sunset and Fairfax at 7:30pm every Thursday
-A very nice gal that goes by the name of Kat organizes and leads this ride… routes vary
-Meets at Crank Mob Park and rolls at 9pm every Tuesday
I’ve left out ones that I’ve done that were and are a bad idea… like I said… stories to tell, heheh.
PM me for contact information, and ride on!