Our Ambitious Plans to Ride to the Sea
When we first heard about the event CicLAvia: To the Sea, we had great ambitions. We were going to take public transportation to Downtown LA and then cycle the whole 15 miles to the sea. An opportunity like this, with so many miles of road closed to car traffic, does not happen often and we wanted to take advantage of it.
We had participated in another bicycle event last June. Sonny and Daddy rode 15 miles along the Los Angeles River in the Family Ride portion of the 12th Annual LA River Ride. I stayed back with Doobie for the kiddie ride and activities because he wasn’t old enough for the other one. (You can read about it here.) This year we felt Doobie was old enough for us all to ride together.
As the big day approached, we reconsidered our plans. The thought of riding to the nearest metro stop in Culver City and then somehow getting our four bikes on the train, along with everyone else and their bikes, was too daunting. Instead we decided just to join the ride where it passed by our neighborhood, which wasn’t too far down the street. It did cut off many miles (about 10) but we still had many left until the sea, and then we might make it back again too without too much anguish. Also, there was a bike festival along the route at that point that we could explore.
Then when the big day actually arrived, it ended up just being Doobie and me who participated! Unfortunately, Sonny’s bike had a punctured tire and we had no way to repair it. I was disappointed that we had to leave Sonny and Daddy at home and it wouldn’t be a family affair, but Doobie and I ventured out eagerly anyway.
We made our way down to the CicLAvia route and were met by a happening Motor Avenue BikeFest—live music, lots of food trucks, a freestyle bike show, a petting zoo and pony rides, and bounce houses. We could easily have stayed there with no need to move on. Luckily, I was able to move Doobie on with the promise of a shaved ice upon our return.
Joining the ride was actually more difficult than I thought it would be. There was a steady stream of cyclists going by and we had to find the right time for Doobie to enter and not cut someone off. Once we got in, it was smooth sailing, until we had to stop at the occasional red light where traffic was allowed to cross. Sometimes, we got really bunched up because the green light wasn’t long enough to let all the cyclists get through.
Doobie and I did not ride all the way to the sea. When I learned it would just be the two of us, I quickly changed our plans. My goal was for Doobie and me to make it to the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market Hub, and we did! Once there we parked our bikes and explored. The farmer’s market was thriving. We tasted all sorts of yummy produce, especially strawberries and oranges, and enjoyed the music of street bands. We bought kettle corn and saved some to enjoy on the way home again.
We made it back to Motor Avenue BikeFest much faster than we expected. We totally missed the opportunity to sit along the route and eat kettle corn while watching other cyclists pass by. Doobie got his much earned shaved ice right away. I enjoyed tamales from one of the food trucks. We watched the freestyle show some more. Finally and slowly, we made our way to our house.
I am so proud of how Doobie handled himself on the ride. We rode over 7 miles. Some of it was dodging pedestrians and obstacles on sidewalks, some of it was riding in bike lanes along with traffic, most of it was riding along the CicLAvia route which was very crowded and required major control and concentration and sometimes patience, which can be tough for a 6 year old. And then to top if off, he had to ride uphill the last half mile home. He never complained. Though initially I was disappointed the whole family couldn’t do it, it was a fabulous Mommy and Doobie day. I also look forward to the next time when the whole family can do it.