Wilshire Blvd. Biking

Perfect weather + Family time = Awesomeness

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This morning Natalie squealed with excitement when we told her it was the day of Ciclavia. “YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!” she exclaimed. Then off she ran to her room to get dressed for the day. The kids have looked forward to our Ciclavia outings for the past couple of years. What an absolute joy to ride bikes for 3 hours together, pumping our legs up hills and cruising down hills with the wind blowing in our faces. IMG_3447We began our route at the furthest west end of the event: Wilshire & Fairfax.  9:15am. Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 8.27.30 PMPassed LACMA and the LaBrea Tar Pits. The kids absolutely love this event because they get to ride their bikes in the street. Big streets. All lanes of traffic are closed off to cars. It’s just bikes. Bikes, bikes, bikes. Hundreds and thousands of bikes. I love this event too because it draws all kinds of Angelenos to the streets. It’s a spectacular people-watching event. You have athletic bike riders with their slick street bikes, three year olds learning on their bikes with training wheels, older men with tattoos and long hair on their low-rider bikes and beatbox music blaring from their boom boxes and everyone in between. All ages. All kinds of faces. All kinds of bikes. Tandems, Velomobiles, Unicycles, Mountain bikes, Street bikes, BMX bikes, Beach Cruisers and more. It’s truly a fabulous event.

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The kids were powering up Wilshire Blvd. on its hilly portions. We all especially looooooved the downhill coast towards MacArthur Park. The wind was blowing in our face, the blue sky, the view of the lake of the park and its huge fountain of water spraying looked so refreshing, bikes everywhere. That was a great moment. Loved that moment.

Not too long after that Jacob had an unfortunate fall. Just as he was pumping his legs to climb a hill, the chain from his bike fell off. Doh! He landed haaaaaard on the asphalt. I was certain he was going to get up with a bloody face and/or bits of asphalt embedded in his elbows. Road rash on his left knee- thankfully that was all. He was pretty shaken up. It was amazing- what felt like seconds, we had two police, one Ciclavia volunteer and a road marshall all at our side. They were there as we were peeling him off the street and getting his bike off to the side. The immediate emergency attention was astounding. They talked to Jacob to find out if he was going to be okay, they gave us all we needed to deal with his bloody knee and they helped us get the chain back on his bike. Incredible help just at the moment we needed it. I was thankful. IMG_3460

Could he shake it off? We tried having him continue by walking alongside as Steve walked his bike and Jacob’s bike. But the further we continued on the route it became clear that perhaps it was prudent to make a u-turn and begin the trek back home. We were almost at the 6-mile end of the Ciclavia route…..within 1/2 a mile of the final hub. Ohhhh we had come so close to the end of the route. Steve had just said aloud to me “This will be the first year we complete the whole route.” Jinx.

5.5 miles each way….11 miles roundtrip, an accomplishment all in itself. One worthy of IMG_3466our traditional stop for Yogurtland en route. The past few routes have been through the Downtown LA corridor and this one stretching the Wilshire Blvd. corridor was a new, unfamiliar route to us. They were so excited to see the Yogurtland along the route!

We also made a stop on the red carpet laid out by the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. There we were able to make our own personal flip-books! How fun to watch our 7-seconds of motion turned into a 58 page flip book! Each kiddo got to make their own and we also made a family one. All for free! That was very exciting and something we had never done before.

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IMG_3506 IMG_3502With our flip books in hand, a final goodbye photo with the Oscar statue, we packed up our bikes and headed back home. So thankful that our kiddos love the great outdoors, adventure and exercise.

 

Rounded out the day with playing baseball in the backyard, a family game of Ticket to Ride and an evening church service. An awesome day. So thankful. Even Charlie had a great day- new tennis balls and several games of catch. He was a happy camper too.

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