Sunday, March 27, 2016


CicLAvia is a unique local Los Angeles event all cyclists ought to bring their families to. It is not a training ride, but a 5 mph cruise into the culture of this great city.  Started by former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa after he saw similar events in Bogota, Colombia and Mexico City, CicLAvia shuts down the streets to cars and allows only human-powered contrivances. Now four years old, occurring three times a year, most typically start in downtown, although the one earlier

this month was out in Pacoima, deep in the northwest San Fernando Valley. 

As usual, CicLAvia brought out kooky bikes, inventions, lots of families, and funny people. Below, see me making a strawberry margarita on the stationary Blender Bike; the fold-up, public-transit-friendly Halfbike; a 100-year-old suspension-seat bike; a kid on a Trail-a-Bike who let his dad do all the work (reminded me of my son about 15 years ago); and a 72-year-old Japanese woman with an umbrella crouching low on a skateboard.....and some of the coolest mural art work I've ever seen. My favorite: the Mexican Mona Lisa......
By the way, the coolest bike I've ever seen at CicLAvia remains my Facebook title photo: The amazing Super Low Rider from the Real Rydaz Bike Club.

Hike the Grand Canyon in a Day

Hike the Grand Canyon in a Day

Spring is the perfect time to cross a major bucket-list item off the list:  The Grand Canyon.  My neighbor Hermant Pandit invited me to join him and his friends in a one-day round-trip from the South Rim to the Colorado River and back, and doing so made me wonder why I never thought of it before. No mere photo or postcard can capture the otherworldly vastness you see when you drop nearly 5000 feet down into the canyon -- and climb back up.  You don't need to be a super athlete.  If you have 11 hours to spare, read my L.A. Times story and plan the trip.....

Our photos: 

Sunday, March 6, 2016



O.C.'s legendary 800-foot plunge out of the Santa Ana Mountains comes after you climb 1394 feet of Santiago Canyon Road, Modjeska grade, and the Santiago Truck Trail. It's a 90-minute, 7.7-mile loop. Start it at Cook's Corner, as Ed Korb, Krampin' Kennedy and I did this morning, and you pit-stop at Flag Hill, take in the ocean view, and blitz down the Luge -- 1.5 miles of pure, unadulterated mountain-bike mayhem. Actually, it's not that dangerous if you keep the adrenaline in check and make sure your brakes work. Then you celebrate not flying off into the canyon a few minutes later at Cooks with all the REAL bikers (i.e. riding Harleys with tattooed women in the back) with a burger, a beer, and a funny, right-wing sticker for your rabid anti-Obama friends.....

1. Krampin Kennedy leads Ed up singletrack above the STT.
The first three-quarters of the ride is climbing.

 Ed tops out at 2500 feet and begins the descent to Flag Hill.
 Krampin Kennedy barrels down to the flags.

Flag Hill is the place to stop, take in the ocean view (see the sliver of blue at the far left), grab a bite and shoot the breeze with other mountain bikers.From left-- Roy, Kennedy, Ed.
It also marks the official start of the fabled Luge,

The Luge is bumpy and steep. Keep your adrenaline in check and your focus pure. That's Doug Weller on the green bike, who we met on Flag Hill. Roy is next in the blue shirt.

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