Los Angeles Experience (CICLAVIA)

CICLAVIA 4.21.13My bike has been resting in the exact same spot for as long as I can remember. Being a spontaneous consumer, I abruptly purchased the bike but never utilized it too often. When Rennie introduced the third blog assignment, I knew CICLAVIA was going to be the perfect opportunity to experience my bike’s full potential.

On the day of the event, I woke up early to prepare myself for a challenging task, biking from Downtown, Los Angeles to Venice Beach and back. Ironically, I thought that excessive stretching was necessary because I’ve never biked over five miles in my life. I was oblivious of what was headed my direction.

I met up a colleague a couple blocks from my house in Koreatown Los Angeles to begin my endeavor to accomplish a mission that was rather out of my league. After meeting up at a gas station, my colleague needed to adjust some parts of his bike so we decided to stop by a bike shop on Venice Boulevard. When we arrived at the bike shop, the street was already blockaded and cyclists were already practicing the route. While waiting for his bike to be adjusted, I enjoyed the hospitality of the shade offered by the building façade.

From the bike shop, we headed to the starting point in Downtown to meet up our other classmates. The start was bearable but once I reached an uphill of Downtown, I began to lose my pace and ended up losing sight of my colleague. I pulled over to the side to grasp my breath and blame myself for becoming ridiculously out of shape. After quenching my thirst with a gulp of water, I struggled past the hill to catch up to my colleague.

Upon arrival at the rendezvous, I noticed all sorts of individuals waiting for the event to start. There were countless amount of bikers and several of them had eye-capturing bikes that stood out from the crowd. As soon as the event started, thousands of wheels began to enter into motion synchronously.

At first, the traffic was comparable to the Interstate 10 in Downtown, but after a while, I was able to ride freely at my own pace. Although the sunlight was blazing hot, the breeze was enjoyable throughout the whole ride; however, suffering from several cramps in my thighs was not pleasant. After several hours of constant pedaling, we arrived at the Venice Beach where we ate lunch and relaxed in the grassy area. After feeling rested, we headed back home.

At the end of this journey, I felt accomplished but exhausted at the same time. I was able to exceed my own expectation and bike over 30 miles with only limited experience. My Los Angeles experience was more than completing a blog assignment; it was a battle against my own limitations.

  1. King Cobra said:

    what did you learn mr. park?

    • Personally, it was almost a life-changing event. It forced me to test my limitations and from that I learned that my limitations, if not all human limitations are unexpectedly higher. In terms of landscape architecture, CICLAVIA gave me the opportunity to literally experience the streets of Los Angeles without any cars restricting me from riding freely on the road. That allowed me to view Los Angeles through a different eye. I learned that a landscape reveals a different aspect depending on what occupies the space. The absence of cars gave me a sense of the scale of the city.

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