[CR]Pasadena Freeeeeeeway Ride... weeeeeee...

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Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 15:11:14 -0700
From: "Chuck Schmidt" <chuckschmidt@earthlink.net>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Pasadena Freeeeeeeway Ride... weeeeeee...

Views of the "course" (imagine without a single solitary car in sight!): http://members.cox.net/mkpl/pasadena/n43-york.jpg http://members.cox.net/mkpl/pasadena/n25_sav43_2.jpg http://members.cox.net/mkpl/pasadena/n49-prospect-meridian.jpg

Description of the "course": Quote: "If you live in Pasadena, you will have to consider a ride on that odd, curving, three-laned, 55-speed-limited highway which happens to be the oldest freeway in the world, the spur of Interstate 110 known as the Pasadena Freeway.

Opened as a scenic highway in 1940, the Arroyo Seco Parkway boasted complete freedom from the dangers of intersections - most crossroads are bridges or tunnels - and the brave new world of onramps, which have about as much in common with a modern freeway access lane as your driveway. The designers allowed the concrete thoroughfare - two lanes each direction - to meander for most of its distance along the path of the Arroyo Seco wash. That dry creek twists and curves, and so does the freeway. This was thought an asset, affording motorists a constantly changing view as they wound their way to downtown Los Angeles.

In later years a third lane of asphalt was added each way along the median, and the road got its modern moniker, the Pasadena Freeway. Most of the ramps are 5 MPH ones (yes you read that right, FIVE MPH!), and the speed limit (design speed, probably) is 55 MPH."

ArroyoFest Bike Ride: Imagine a place as car dependent as Los Angeles closing one of its Freeways for five hours so that people can ride their bikes on it for an hour and a half. Yeah, I had a hard time believing it too! Pinch me, I must be dreaming! It's never been done before here in SoCal.

At 7:00am I was on the start line with fellow listmembers Charles Andrews, Jay Van De Velde and Matt Gorski, all of us on CR limit bikes. Along with us were another 3,000+ riders (the organizer ran out of the 3,000 orange wrist bands they had).

The ride went down the Pasadena Freeway six miles to the turn around, back uphill to the start to turn around once more for the ride back down to the finish at a park; a distance of 16 miles total.

I found out later that I finished second to a Lightning F-40 fully faired recumbent, me riding a 27+ pound, 1954 Gillott 8-speed averaging 23+ mph. Must have been the two downhills and only one uphill with the finish lower than the start. I didn't think I was going that fast!

I met up with Charles at the park and while soaking up the local ambiance we discussed Bianchi Folgores, Gillotts, Grant and the future of Rivendell... you know, important stuff!

Old bike sightings: I saw a guy on a black '60s Cinelli road bike, and Charles saw a guy on a red '70s Cinelli track bike, and we both saw a guy riding a 1885 high wheel.

A beautiful Father's Day. It felt like a once in a lifetime Freeway ride, but there is talk of doing it again...Unbelievable!!!

Chuck Schmidt South Pasadena, California