For the past 5 years, I was never able to participate in the celebrations during bike week, until this year. I remember when bike week would come and go, sometimes without me realizing it until a week later. The only thing I was able to participate in was Bike to Work Day. That just meant I rode to work and back home, like any other day when I commuted by bike. I never had the time to visit the many pit stops around the city. Now that I have free time, I decided to dive deeper into Bike Week by helping out. Here is what I did for Bike Week.
May 10 – Temple City Grand Opening
I got up early to meet Bike SGV to help set up the bike valet, as well as help with organizing the council member bike ride up and down Rosemead Blvd to unveil a couple of statues. One was located at the corner of Rosemead and Broadway, and the other one was on Rosemead and Las Tunas. Temple City would have the first protected bicycle lane or cycle track in the San Gabriel Valley. This would be the second cycle track after Long Beach. This 2-mile stretch on Rosemead Blvd will provide protection for cyclists from passing and parked vehicles. It also serves as a neutral location for the city to plant more trees to improve the curb appeal. I also participated in the 4-mile community ride that was led by C.I.C.L.E. and Eastside Bike Club through the neighborhood. We rode through part of the cycle track north of Las Tunas on Rosemead Blvd.
May 12 – A Taste of Pasadena Ride
Photo by Serena Grace
This was probably one of my favorite events as it included sampling of free food while we biked to 4 different locations. We started off at Memorial Park, where we saw the crowd grow to about 150+ participants. Luckily, we had enough ride leaders to wrangle in about 4 to 5 small groups. Our first stop was at Urth Caffe and Tender Greens. Urth Caffe gave away 3 generous servings of cake and a cup of coffee while Tender Greens had soup samples and bread for each participant to partake of.
Photo by Serena Grace
For our second stop, we rode to Rounds Premium Burgers on Lake Ave. Rounds gave everyone half a burger with French fries. Many people even received seconds as Rounds prepared enough food for an anticipated amount of 200 people.
Photo by Serena Grace
Our third stop was at the Whole Foods Market in Pasadena on Arroyo Parkway. Yes, that’s the supermarket. They had a hearty lay out of food from humus to beef brisket, and other assortments of fruits, as well as coconut water for everyone to indulge. Many people were stuffed to the brim after this stop, but we still rode on towards the final stop.
Photo by Serena Grace
The last stop was at The Luggage Room, a local pizza place located right next to the Del Mar Metro Gold Line station. They quickly ran out of their slices of pizzas. Thankfully, most cyclists had stopped eating at this point. It was here where C.I.C.L.E. raffled off prizes to people who bought tickets.
May 14 – Women On Bikes Night
This ride started at the same place as the Taste of Pasadena ride – Memorial Park. About 70+ women, as well as men, showed up for the ride. I was one in a handful of volunteers who helped women navigate the Pasadena neighborhood to Pasadena Cyclery. Many women came out for the first time to ride with C.I.C.L.E. I also heard that some of the participants had only started riding 3 months prior to this night, when they learned how to ride with C.I.C.L.E. It was good to be riding at night, as Wednesday was one of the hottest days of the year when temperature climbed up to 100 degrees.
Our group arrived at the Pasadena Cyclery where we were greeted by Team Luna Chix, as well as volunteers like Dorothy Wong, who provided a quick safety clinic for the audience and educated riders about what they should do to prepare for night riding. They also gave away many freebies and C.I.C.L.E. raffled away a few items.
We left Pasadena Cyclery and rode back to Old Town Pasadena where we were welcomed by plenty of bike parking at Miller Alley. Several of the riders took advantage of the all-night happy hour pricing on sushi at Sushi Roku. I stuck around and enjoyed the food and company before I jumped back on the train to return home.
May 15 – Bike to Work Day & Handlebar Happy Hour
Los Angeles County held their annual Bike to Work Day on Thursday with several pit stops manned by LACBC affiliated organizations, like Santa Monica Spoke, Walk Bike Glendale, etc. I got up early to arrive at my nearest pit stop, which was on the corner of Flower and Sonora in Glendale. I had agreed to help someone I had met the night before at the Women on Bikes Night to cover her shift because she had a conflicting appointment. Walk Bike Glendale was in charge of this spot as I arrived at around 8:30 or so. I was introduced to Nathalie who quickly showed me the ropes on what to pass out and what to say to the cyclists passing by. Myself and 3 other volunteers, along with Alek Bartrosouf, who has been the face of Walk Bike Glendale (at least for me) and LACBC‘s Policy & Campaigns Manager, spoke to over 40+ cyclists and saw about 100 or so pass by our pit stop. We packed up at about 9:30 and I rode back home to get out of the heat.
There was also a Handlebar Happy Hour that evening where each of the organizations held a happy hour in honor of Bike to Work Day. I decided I wanted to show my support and attend. Instead of riding my bike to the HH, I decided that I would take the bus into Glendale instead. I got there at 5:00 with 30 minutes to spare. I killed some time over at the Americana at Brand before I walked over to Left Coast Wine Bar to meet bicycle commuters and members of Walk Bike Glendale. We enjoyed our beverages for the hour before Tonia, a sweet woman I was talking to, went over to a local Asian fusion restaurant and ordered our dinner. We chatted for some time before I walked back to my bus stopped and hopped on the bus home.
May 16 – Bike-In Movie Night
On Friday, I left my house early with the bike in hopes to visit REI for their big 30% annual sale before I made my way back to Paseo Colorado. I enjoyed the train and Foothill Transit rides, as the air conditioning was much-needed. I seemed to have had a little more time than I needed before the start of the event, so I went to the Pasadena Public Library to repack my pannier. By the time 5:30 came around, I was at the Paseo Colorado waiting for Dan Dabek, Executive Director of C.I.C.L.E. to arrive, so I can help him set up the bike valets. Once we finished with our setup, we strolled down Green Street to Wilson and made our way to the Beckman Lawn at Cal Tech. About 80 – 100 riders showed up before we took the streets of Pasadena and San Marino. We got to Paseo Colorado at around 8PM and the movie “The Goonies” began promptly. It had been a while since I’ve seen this movie, so I was looking forward to reliving each scene. By the time everything was done, and I rode down to the train station, it was 11:30. I didn’t get home until 1AM but it was fine. I felt very productive and happy to be able to help the bicycling community for the last week to bring Bike Week to a successful conclusion. It was well worth the lack of sleep to help make up for the time I didn’t participate in the last 5 years.