Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ciclavia Pasadena! 5/31/2015

Today I headed out to Pasadena, as I do about 5/7ths of the days of the week, but this time it was for the first Ciclavia completely outside the city of LA on the shortest route to date (3.5 miles).  As anticipated, it got rather crazy and the route kinda didn't feel long enough. This Ciclavia was advertised as being the "most walkable Ciclavia ever!" which I think was code for "hey, it would be cool if you don't bring your bike because bikes do take up more space than people and you'll probably end up biking back and forth on the route approximately 5 times while just leisurely biking all day." or something to that effect.

In other words, it was pretty busy! I took the Red Line, which wasn't too busy with bikes, but by the time I got to Union Station around 8:45 and went to the Gold Line, the platform was already pretty filled with bikes. To say the least the Gold Line train itself was pretty packed, but I have to admit that on the way to Ciclavia, people are pretty excited, so being on a packed train with bikes wasn't the worst thing in the world. Amazingly, I actually knew of the movies people were talking about ("Breaking Away" with the grumpy old man who hates bikes as much in real life as in the movies, which is something I unfortunately found out quite directly from my own experiences with said grumpy man actor and another documentary called "Slaying the Badger" about Greg LeMond. Thanks, boyfriend!) Still, I decided to get off the train in South Pasadena and biked the rest of the distance into Pasadena.

From there, I met up with a friend pretty much immediately and we set out on the route! I don't know how many times we went up and down the route... I think we hit the Colorado part nearly 5 times. I managed to run into a few people I knew, including unplanned coworkers (and also managed to miss planned coworkers! Bah.) Unfortunately, I left my Holga at home and realized this as soon as I was out of cellphone signal range on the Red Line. Luckily, this was resolved by a special bicycle delivery a couple hours into Ciclavia, but my photo shooting was decreased dramatically as a result. I did see someone else with a Holga taped to her bike though, so someone else was shooting with one! I also had left my Yashica Mat at my work during the week, so I used that some, but it is a little less spontaneous when it comes to taking photos while biking. Film photos to come!

In retrospect, I kinda wish I had taken photos of all the people dressed as food advertising for businesses because I think I saw 4 or 5 more...

 This was about 9:30, before tons of people showed up..

 I go on this street pretty much every day I'm in Pasadena and it was so awesome to see it people-on-bike filled over people-in-car filled...

I had noticed this weird thing in the past and wondered what on earth it was since it's just randomly in front of McDonald's near PCC. Then I learned last week that it's an old stone highway marker from the early 1900's for the 220/222 block of Foothill Blvd, which eventually became part of route 66. Thanks Militant Angeleno! Now it serves as a table for McDonald's snacking (also starring a decorated bike wheel!)

 Only 10:15 and Lake and Colorado already looked like this!!!! This Ciclavia got crazy quick.

So this was just weird and surreal. Lake is rather wide and usually filled with many cars and suddenly it was safe and empty enough to sit in the middle of the street. 

 Muir High School drum line

!!! Yes, yes it does.

This was called the "Bling Bike". The guy that decorated it works in a store with vintage jewelery, so he used some of it to cover this bike!

 On Colorado looking toward Old Town

Not only were there tons of people biking on Colorado in Old Town, but the sides of the streets were covered in bicycles all over the place. I'm sure the businesses, especially food related, were thrilled with the number of visitors.

 This was at 3:30, 30 minutes before Ciclavia was over and it was still super busy!

Gold Line on the way home....

Overall, this Ciclavia seemed pretty well attended (KPCC reports that the Pasadena police counted about 40k ppl.) It wasn't as bad as the Venice route in terms of congestion, but because of the length of the route and the number of dismount zones, it felt like you never could bike very far without having to get off and walk. The Colorado portion of the route was way more busy than the little spurs off of it. I saw a couple of small accidents, but overall, it seemed like people were pretty safe. I also feel like I still saw a large variety of type of bikes and other vehicles, although I didn't see some of the groups of people that seem to be at most of the previous Ciclavias. The police presence was very different than the LA Ciclavias.... I didn't see any bicycle cops, but there were some police positioned kinda on the edges of the route. I also noticed some cameras on poles attached to boxes and I'm not sure their purposes, but maybe it was remote monitoring?

 I don't know if this was my favorite Ciclavia in terms of the route, but I had my own appreciation for it since it was on streets I've spent a great deal of time on over the last 11 years, but never with so many bikes. Overall it seemed like another successful event!

More Pasadena Ciclavia Photos

1 comment:

  1. Nicely covered, photos & info. Was wondering how the short ride was going to be, the NoHo ride was nice but there were long stretches of dismount areas.

    I noticed the same thing commuting via the Red line to the NoHo ride - the rail cars were busy in the morning & noone around from Metro for those of us who are unsure how-to use the tap/daypass vending machines. And wow in the afternoon the rail cars were stuffed to the gills with bikes, by yea it is fun sharing the ride with fellow cyclists. I handed my bike in the car & others just passed it back to the aisle.

    Great that the rides now always team up with Metro, well location wise anyways. So its totally doable to have a car-free adventure.