Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in what I hope will be the first of many bike rides to Dodger Stadium. The inaugural Dodgertown Bike Ride was a wonderful, easy-paced 4-1/2 mile ride from Lincoln Park in East L.A. to Dodger Stadium, where our group of about 50 bicyclists enjoyed free bike parking and (perhaps best of all for Dodger fans) watched the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1. To get to Lincoln Park, my son and I took the Gold Line from Pasadena to the Lincoln/Cypress station and rode through the Lincoln Heights area, which gave us a nice tour of a part of the city I had not visited in many years. There is an Old L.A. charm to the neighborhoods on the Eastside, and the bike is a wonderful way to experience it. After the game, the group took a leisurely route back through downtown L.A., taking in the sights and sounds of the city on a pleasant summer evening.
The ride was the brainchild of Carlos Morales, president of the Eastside Bicycle Club, and an inspiring advocate for cycling as a way to improve physical fitness, especially for youth in communities of color. Morales is himself an example of the regenerative power of bicycling to improve health and well-being, having used his bicycle riding to overcome obesity in his own life. He and the other club members have created a wonderful community organization that encourages people to get on their bikes and have fun. It is an inclusive, friendly group that is open to all, and makes everyone feel welcome. I think the group has a deep pride in its community and a warmth that exemplifies the best of East L.A. You don’t have to be a racer, don’t need the latest bike gear, or the fancy lycra outfit. Their philosophy is to ride, have fun, get exercise, and be safe.
The Dodgertown Bike Ride is a great way to show Angelinos that they need not rely on the car to get to Dodger Stadium, and the first time in the 50-year history of the stadium that such a large group of fans has bicycled to the stadium for a game. The Dodgers organization made everyone feel welcome and stadium staff provided us with a parking area right next to the stadium entrance. With bicycling becoming increasingly popular as a form of transportation in L.A., I have a feeling this ride is a harbinger of more good things to come from the Eastside Bicycle Club.