Depending on who you spoke to, last night's Midnight Ridazz was comprised of anywhere from 500 to 1,000 cyclists. Certainly it was the biggest turnout I've seen (although I'm not one to judge really, what with this just being my third).
Last night's was as invigorating a trip as my previous two — I even volunteered to cork up traffic at a couple intersections. But the 20-mile route, which brought us up to invade Glendale and its popular Galleria before coming back down through Silver Lake and across Echo Park to climb up Stadium Way and deep into Elysian Park, was not without its low points.
First up, it was either a slow night for the Glendale PD, or the attending officers were just waaaaaaaay too smalltown uptight for anybody's liking. Several patrol cars lurked along our perimeter like sharks, and I heard they even brought a helicopter and its bazillion-candlepower high beam to the dance. Their message was loud and clear: Get The Fuck Out Of Our City. Have a nice evening officers.
Then came the spills. The first was south of the Silver Lake reservoir in which the rider in question emerged somewhat unsteady and incoherent after his unhelmeted head met the asphalt. Next came the telltale display of flashing red lights at the intersection of Echo Park and Sunset boulevards, in which another rider came into contact with a vehicle. He was already in the back of the LAFD paramedic vehicle and I assume was transported to an area hospital for treatment. My hopes to both fallen cyclists are for minor injuries and speedy recoveries.
For me at least, the remainder of the ride climbing up Stadium Way and into Elysian Park was done with dampened enthusiasm, and the damper air and fog blurred out what otherwise would have been a marvelous view from the vista point of the Peter Shire sculpture up the hiking trail from Academy Road.
UPDATE: Check out Stephen Roullier's excellent photo set of pix from the ride.