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February 24, 2007

Acura Bike Tour Travels LA Marathon Route for 13th Year

Between 1997 and 2001 I participated in several Family Friendly Bike Tours, and attend related Bike Shows.

Only 1 such event saw my atttendance twice: The Acura L.A. Bike Tour that occurs each March, in the early morning hours before the running of the world famous L.A. Marathon.

Bike_tr98 Every year, since 1995, 15,000 Cyclists, young, and old, from around the world, begin to gather near the Los Angeles Coliseum, as early as 2 am the morning of the ride, and at dawn they set off for an approximate 24 mile ride through the empty streets of Los Angeles, along most, but not all, of the route followed later in the morning by the runners.

I 1st did it in 1998, and loved the experience so much I returned in 2001 ( Not sure if this year will be a return visit for me, yet ).

*** 7pm: We Interrupt This Post for a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!

The Cycling Dude WILL be at the Expo on the 2nd, and the Ride on the 4th!!

We Now Return You to Our Regularly Scheduled Post***

All who complete the ride get a really cool medal to hang around their necks in pride. ;-D

The ride take participants on a tour that passes through several neighborhoods, and past many famous, and lesser known spots in the city.

While there are the usually contingent of Racers who, un-officially, contend for the honor of being the 1st, and fastest, to complete the ride, most folks take their time, and ride at a leisurely 10 to 12 mph, thus completing the ride well before stragglers are instructed to get off the route because the Wheelchair Event is about to start.

With spectators cheering from the curb the sense of fun, and solidarity in the love of cycling, is strong.

The variety of bikes on display is as varied as the ages, and nationalities of the riders, and is a fascinating part of the spectacle.

Bike_tr01 I like the description from the Official Website of this 1st of its kind event:

"As the day dawns in Exposition Park and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, you can feel the excitement in the air as you mount your bike, surrounded by more than 15,000 people who enjoy riding their bicycles as much as you do. Knowing that the streets have been cleared of all motor vehicles, you look forward to hearing nothing but the sound of your fellow cyclists touring the traffic-free streets of Los Angeles for this one rare day each year.

With a host of celebrities leading the pack at a comfortable, yet challenging pace, the Acura L.A. Bike Tour begins and it is even better than you could possibly imagine. As you pass through the neighborhoods of LA, you enjoy the camaraderie of friends and families pedaling together. Savor just how serene the city can be when you take away the noise and stress caused by motor vehicles. With the impressive downtown skyline rising before you, you feel the anticipation that comes with closing in on completing the 20+ mile ride.

Surrounded by your fellow cyclists, you could not be more exhilarated as you cross the Acura LA Bike Tour Finish Line into Exposition Park"

After the ride you can go watch the Marathon for the rest of the day.

The The Quality of Life Expo is held at the LA Convention Center, Kentia Hall, March 2 and 3.
Friday, March 2 from 9 am – 8 pm.
Saturday, March 3 from 9 am – 6 pm.

I loved the Expo because of all the infomation, and products, one could see on display, and the free literature.

People with money to spend, of course, were buying things left, and right, but I was not among them. ;-D

This year, on March 4th ( A day before my Birthday!  Just like in 2001. ), the Marathon has a different route than it has ever had before, and from the looks of the Bike Course Map, it appears the Bike Tour Ride is different as well.

In the years I rode the ride headed west from the north side of the Coliseum, and made its way north to Sunset, then Hollywood and Vine, then east to Hollywood and Sunset, before heading south again through Echo Park to downtown.

The Acura L.A. Bike Tour proudly supports the YESPAL ( Youth Educational Sports ) after school education program, and the Yes Cycling Club Program.

There is something on the website that is important enough to spread the word about here:

A FEW REASONS FOR INTRODUCING BICYCLING AS  A SPORT IN SCHOOLS:

Bicycling needs a safe venue to practice the sport instead of the streets.

Bicycling must become an organized and recognized sport in secondary schools. Bicycling is a life sport that an individual can actively participate in for the rest of their lives.

Bicycling is the only sport that is a form of transportation for the short to long distances.

Our youth are suffering from obesity because of the lack of exercise and/or mobility.

Bicycling is a friendly sport easy on the joints (low impact), good for developing young bodies.

Bicycling is the best cross training for other popular school sports.

Bicycling can use existing school facilities to stage practices and competition.

Bicycling is an alternative to driving a car without a license.

Bicycling is a cost effective alternative to driving a car.

Bicycling should be subsidized as any other sport.

Some things to think about.

If you live in Southern California, and are looking for a good time for yourself, or your entire family, the Tour, Marathon, and Expo, is a can't go wrong experience. ;-D

The Tour is in its 13th year, and I look forward to riding it this Sunday, and many more times in the future!

***UPDATE - 3/2/07 ***

Read my Expo Preview Post here

***END UPDATE***

February 24, 2007 in EVENT GUIDE (California and Selective Others) | Permalink

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Comments

I can't tell you how much I appreciate this post. I've been searching for sites and/or news items regarding cycling as a high school sport. The few sites I'd seen weren't well organized and were much too local in orientation. It will be a long row to hoe, but I'm going to do my best to get people thinking about it in the K.C. area. Thanks again for the link to YESPAL.

Posted by: Warren T | Feb 24, 2007 7:44:13 AM

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