Monday, February 27, 2023

CicLAvia 43 Report: CiCOLDvia!

This photo seemed to sum up the February 26, 2023 CicLAvia perfectly. Taken at Sherman Way and The Metro G-Line busway station near Canoga Avenue.

Just 84 days after the last one between Exposition Park and Watts, the 2023 CicLAvia season has begun with a return to Sherman Way on Sunday - a re-run of the 5-mile December 8, 2019 route from Reseda to Canoga Park. While that one was wet and mostly rain-dampened, CicLAvia Sunday got a nice day-long respite from our week-long winter storm which brought snow to our local mountains.

Speaking ot The White Stuff, it was very much on the minds of nearly every CicLAvian who arrive on Sunday. For this was the very first CicLAvia where snow covered the nearby mountains not named Baldy, and in fact frosted the peaks of some relatively low-elevation ranges like the Santa Susana Mountains, which was the snowcapped backdrop to Sunday. Even arriving to the San Fernando Valley from The Other Side Of The Hill gave a majestic view from the northbound 405 which made the Valley look more like Salt Lake City.

But despite not having a single drop of rain (thankfully), Sunday's event broke CicLAvia temperature records as the coldest on record - it had a mean temperature of 51º F, beating the previous record of 57º F during the December 5, 2021 South Los Angeles CicLAvia along Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards. It was so cold, The Militant wore a mask for most of the route - not to protect himself from COVID, but to protect his face from the cold. But then again, The Militant always wears a mask, so, this wasn't really a big deal after all...And FYI, for those keeping track, the hottest temperature during CicLAvia was 95º during the October 5, 2014 Heart of L.A. event (which went from Echo Park to East Los Angeles via Downtown).

Reseda seemed to really take to the Instagrammable landmark thing really well.

The Militant parked in an unspecified nearby residential street off of Sherman Way, unloaded his car bike rack and proceeded to ride westbound along Sherman Way into the chilly winter air. He noticed that the thoroughfare now has these very Instagrammable CicLAvia logoesque blue-and-yellow "Sherman Way RESEDA" welcome signs on the street median (which totally fulfilled their intended purpose by CicLAvians). The signs, along with other pedestrian-friendly improvements along The Way were part of a recent LADOT streetscape project designed by Alta Planning that was implemented in 2021. This Is The Way!

The Militant got to chill with Mr. Miyagi and Daniel-San.

As The Militant headed towards the Tampa Avenue, something clicked - He briefly strayed from the route and headed north a half mile to Saticoy Street, where he knew this was familiar ground - and there it was, just a half-block east of Tampa on 19223 Saticoy - The South Seas Apartments, a.k.a. where Daniel LaRusso and his mom lived and where Mr. Miyagi worked from the classic movie The Karate Kid (NOOO, not that one - THIS ONE!). The Militant kicked himself (from The Crane Position, of course) for not including it on the recent Epic CicLAvia Tour post! NOTE TO SELF: Add it in the next update...

Never fails...

Returning to the route, while The Militant rode somewhere in Winnetka, the clouds briefly parted, the sun shone and proceeded to cast bicycle shadows on the pavement. Though it was a brief show, the 12-plus year axiom still rings true: THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON CICLAVIA!

Reaching the end of the route in Canoga Park, there was the mandatory activity hub with a performance stage, a souped-up Metro Art Bus and a Los Angeles Public Library booth that ran out of those much-coveted P-22 memorial library cards during the first 20 minutes of the day, But he did spot this over-filled gutter along Sherman Way that provided a nice reflection:

The subject of food came up. The Militant was getting hungry and the food trucks with the long lines at the activity hubs would not cut it (besides, he's been to many of them before during previous CicLAvias). The Militant tweeted the addresses of various Vietnamese restaurants along the route that specialize in pho - the perfect food for this cloudy, balmy weather), but this nearby Weiler's Deli spot got The Militant contemplating...Ultimately, The Militant chose soup over sammiches and stuck to following his own advice (next time though, Weiler's Deli!) - he chose Pho 21 on Sherman Way between Owensmouth and Canoga avenues. Though not as mind-blowing as the pho he had in Alhambra last month, it nevertheless hit the spot for the time, place and weather.  Cảm ơn, Pho 21!

As soon as The Militant was done, The Po-Po Party Pooper Patrol was slowly making its way east along Sherman Way telling all cyclists to "stay to the right". Ever the straggler, The Militant rode as fast AF to leave them in the dust and rode unencumbered along the rest of The Way.

But not before capturing this parting shot of the snow-capped Santa Susana Mountains overlooking a very full Browns Canyon Wash (where this melted snow will end up eventually) along the CicLAvia route. We may or may not ever see a scene like this again from a CicLAvia route!

Only 49 days to go until the next CicLAvia!


Don Lubach said...

I had low expectations because of the short route, but, as usual, it turned out to be a great day out there. I was looking for the reclusive blogger and even asked one guy if he was the Militant Angeleno. My pal, Roman, discouraged me from blogger-profiling, so I chose to let the mystery be.

Scott Mumford said...

It was a bit crispy to be sure, but what a BEAUTIFUL day! I'm not surprised you went a little out of your pay to pay your respects to lil' Danny LaRusso--but WAS surprised you didn't mention at least TEN locations on Sherman Way alone used by my favorite Valley Boy, Paul Thomas Anderson!

Two at the western terminus from LICORICE PIZZA (Jack's Wig Shop and Joel Wachs' campaign office), and the others near Reseda Blvd from MAGNOLIA and BOOGIE NIGHTS. The latter are two of my favorite films ever--so I walked West to East so as to have those prize locations to look forward to. (I even walked a few extra blocks to genuflect in front of the apartment I shared back in '74 (my share of the rent was $65)!

Militant Angeleno said...

Don Lubach: The Militant has a cadre of decoys who roam around at public events to thwart off any breaches to his identity, so it appears that at least one of them has done their job. Glad you had a great time - the beauty in CicLAvia is not the route per se, it's the experiences you have there (and the friends we met along the way too).

Militant Angeleno said...

Scott Mumford: The Militant will admit he has not yet seen "Licorice Pizza." It's on his list though. Glad you had a wonderful time along The Way!

Blake said...

Great Stuff Militant, was a fun ride! Next time they need to remove the pass throughs on the major streets.

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