Ride Report: MLK Trikke Ride of Long Beach, 2011
Once again, the city of Long Beach provided So Cal cavers with beautiful weather, beautiful coastal scenery and a picture-perfect beach day for a group Trikke ride, this time in the middle of winter.
The occasion was the first-ever MLK, Jr., Trikke Ride of Long Beach, held on Saturday, January 15, 2011, and sponsored by SouthBay Trikke, Southern California’s largest and leading local Trikke dealer.
“After the success of the Labor Day Ride, it was time for another major ride here,” said Jeri Thompson, co-founder of Long Beach Trikkers, the local club that co-sponsored the MLK Ride. “This time, we wanted to acknowledge Dr. King’s dream. Trikkers at our events come in all colors. We’re celebrating that diversity, as well as giving back.”
To that end, the entry fee for MLK riders was a canned food item to be donated to the Good Provider Food Bank of Southern California. “We chose the food bank because of whom they most serve, mainly children,” said Thompson.
For the first So Cal group ride of 2011, 21 riders–20 of whom were on Trikkes–descended upon Shoreline Village in Long Beach, canned goods in hand, Trikkes ready to rock and roll.
While the Labor Day Ride was 10 miles round-trip, the MLK Ride route expanded to 13 miles to include a lap around Rainbow Lagoon, aka the Pond, a jaunt past the Ferris wheel at the Pike, and a trek to the Long Beach Harbor Lighthouse.
With the famous Queen Mary sitting across the bay and serving as the backdrop, riders ascended the spiral hill up to the Lighthouse, took a break for gorgeous photo ops, then descended the hill en masse, speeding down the spiral slopes like giddy school kids on a roller coaster.
From there, the group rocked and rolled through Shoreline Village back to the path along the marina. Then it was one long carving cruise down the long, beach path adjacent to the long beach that is … Long Beach.
During the Labor Day Ride, carvers from elsewhere fell in love with the Long Beach Trikke Track (more commonly known as the bike path). For the MLK Ride, the love affair between carvers and Long Beach only got better. Great comments abounded from out-of-towners.
“This is the best ride we’ve gone on, as far as scenery is concerned,” said one traveling trikker.
Perhaps the best part about the beach path of Long Beach: it’s rarely crowded, especially compared to other beach paths in LA County. Then there’s the separate lane for walkers, something most beach paths in the county lack.
Add to that the unmatched coastal scenery and great California weather and it’s easy to see why Long Beach is fast becoming a favorite for Trikke riders.
The weeks leading up the MLK Ride were fraught with cold, cloudy days, many of them wet and sunless. It were almost as if Southern California forgot it was supposed to be Southern California.
But that’s the thing about living in the southern half of the Golden State. Sooner or later, and usually sooner than later, cold and cloudy morphs into warm and sunny, which leads to perfect carving days, just like the one given to So Cal carvers for the first-ever MLK Ride of Long Beach.