Yes, friends, you read that right – we managed to complete (as in finish) a complete marathon early in the morning on of Monday, May 25, 2009 in the streets of Los Angeles. Well, not the marathon exactly – but its two-wheeled cousin, the Acura LA Bike Tour.
While we’ve been retrofitting some Flying Pigeons with great new parts (think “Pashley Guv’nor at a steep discount”) our stock Flying Pigeon bicycles just don’t have enough room to sit our junior team members on the handlebars for a few hours. So, we busted out the bakfiets (pictured above with our junior team member Ken).
Many of you are familiar with the famous ‘bucket bike’ from our shop rides (an Azor-made, VanAndel bakfietsen) and now Flying Pigeon LA is selling a chinese-made version of this fabulous style of dutch cargo bike. We recently took delivery of two red Flying Pigeon brand bakfietsen and are hoping to match them up with owners in the coming months. A dutch-made bakfiets retails for $3,000+. Our chinese-made version retails for $1,800.
Back to the ride! The morning began in the pre-dawn with a quick splash of water to the face and a change into some proper bike shorts. Unlike our dim sum rides, they have a required pace for the bike tour of 9 MPH and I was determined to be moving faster than that. We made our way down to the USC campus and rendezvoused with several of my friends to begin the ride at 5 a.m. sharp. Heading west on Exposition, and then zigzagging through town, before looping back to USC we rode with ease – helped by the smooth shifting Shimano Nexus hub and a Brooks sprung leather saddle on a handsome dutch cargo bike.
Our junior team member made himself comfortable up front in the bucket and yelled “Hello!!” to everyone along the course route and offered peanuts to anyone that came close by on their bicycle. After a while, he settled into a routine of telling me which people to pass and on which side. Having a great bell (the Velo Orange Brass Temple Bell available at our shop for $12) let people know where we were.
One thing that I always love about being out of a car either on a bicycle or motorcycle is how much better the sense of smells is. As we rode north on Crenshaw towards the 10 freeway we passed Phillip’s BBQ shop and the smell of the BBQ smoking (this is at 6AM) almost made me stop and have a very rich breakfast. Instead we rolled on and after the race enjoyed a great organic breakfast at the Think Cure tent while celebrating their great work supporting cancer research here in Southern California.
Our Flying Pigeon riders managed to raise more than $500 for the Think Cure charity and we came home with a great sense of accomplishment. Sounds like everyone comes out a winner today!
Join us on the next shop ride June 13th, for the Spoke(n) Art Ride, and then for some dim sum on June 21st for our monthly Get Sum Dim Sum ride. Details and venues for those rides to follow shortly.