Los Angeles River Ride 2006

For the past six years the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has been sponsoring a ride along the L.A. River. The latter is no longer a real river but is in fact mostly a large, all concrete drainage ditch used to keep the former watercourse from flooding the L.A. Basin. Back in the day the river would change course and even caused a massive flood or two.

los angeles river ride 2006

Despite the aesthetic challenges, some find it attractive.

The ride ends up in Long Beach, and the full round-trip is 70 miles. Earlier today I did that, but with the ever-so-slight variation of taking the train for 25 miles of the return journey, thus making it just 45 miles. That's nearly a half-a-century, goldarnit.

The ride is wonderful chance to rub elbows with roadies, together with various granola-oriented types who favor bikes over cars or who are trying to save the world one drainage ditch at a time. Since the section of the ride between downtown and Long Beach is high-crime to very high-crime in spots, it's also a chance for many liberals from the Westside to go somewhere they've never been, even if they've had a hand in creating it.

I got to the starting line a bit late so rather than face the crushing defeat of having everyone else pass me I didn't spend much time taking pictures, and the one above is the only one that is slightly OK.


United States
34° 2' 60" N, 118° 14' 24" W
May 21, 2006 – 3:11pm