I guess we'll have to take it all back - what we said about
L.A. and biking.
For here, in a fabulous aerial view, is proof that the people of Los Angeles are ready and willing to bike, especially when the streets are free of car traffic.
This year's most recent Ciclavia (L.A.'s car-free streets rides), packed the pavements with riders. The
LA Times reported that over 100,000 cyclists took part in the ride. And amongst them was Richie Trimbles, a young guy riding what must be one of the tallest of the tall bikes seen on city streets. From the ground to the handlebars is 14.5 feet.
No, this bike Trimbles is riding isn't street legal, as the law specifies the rider should be able to put a foot on the ground. And no, Trimbles didn't wear a helmet as he trekked on the car-free streets. And from the video evidence, he didn't have an easy way to come to a stop and balance.
Maybe that's why he calls the bike Stoopidtall.
But the crowd at Ciclavia loved it.
Here's how Trimble described the most harrowing portion of his ride to
Streetsblog LA, when he was under an underpass that was getting progressively lower as he rode:
As I go under, I drag my hand along the top and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, I’m probably the only person to have touched this besides the workers that built the overpass.’ And that was pretty chilling, but then I realize that the street I was on was at an incline and the bridge above me was banking, the gap was closing in on me. And all I could think was, ‘Holy shit! What am I going to do if I can’t make it out? How do I wedge myself up against this and still make it out? What do I do?’ I could feel the crowd below me, they all knew what was coming. All eyes on me and this bridge closing down on me. It got to the point where my body, my back was parallel to the ground and I looked at my hand and I had about two inches clearance above my knuckles and then I came out from under the bridge and the whole crowd ROARED! A deafening scream of ‘Holy shit, you made it!’ And I swear, those smiles must have lasted the whole ride. That was the moment for everyone.
Trimble hopes to break a world record for tall biking, and answered those who chided him for not wearing a helmet by saying that the ride was a performance, not meant to be imitated for your daily bike ride.
OK, don't try this at home. The owner of this insanely tall bike can't stop mid-bike because he'd topple 14 feet. But that doens't mean he can't catch the many riders of Sunday's L.A. Ciclavia.