I rode a new bike path this morning and evening - new to me, anyway - and pretty new to Los Angeles – it’s a few years old, I guess. It’s very short – maybe only 1.5 miles or so, and it follows along the freeway the whole time, but it is also surprisingly awesome – especially this morning as the sun was just warming things up after a cold night (45ish). The path is built into the cemented river channel of the Arroyo Seco from the southwest corner of South Pasadena to Debs Park. It seems rather pointless that “they” went to the effort to build such a short bike path. Hopefully it’s just a test run of what could potentially travel the length of the entire Arroyo Seco and all the other river channels in the area. For my needs today, though, it was perfect - I live in SoPas and I had an all day meeting at Debs Park for CICLE. The channel is lined with native sycamores and a lot of parks and there was actually a nice clean flow of water running down the center this morning (we’ve finally had a little rain.)
One of the nice things about this bike path and its future potential is its historical location. Sometime around the turn of the twentieth century there was an elevated wooden bikeway that ran from Pasadena to Downtown Los Angeles. The car industry and culture and its friends put a fairly quick end to that romantic era - after which the Pasadena Freeway was built along its route… or something like that.
The ride home was really nice, too. It was dark (and that meeting was finally over!) and I rode with a couple of friends back up along the Arroyo. I don’t think I’d ride down there at night by myself as there are no lights an few escape routes but it was fun to get a chance this once to ride along the river under the stars.