Vicious Cycling: IAAL•MAF Inauguvitational Ride

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First off a moment of healing silence is in order for IAAL*MAF founder and food-poisoning strickened (and recovering) Sean who apparently ran out of breakfast cereal Wednesday evening and instead opted to enjoy his wife’s cooking on the very night she unwittingly whipped up some steamed Staphylococcus. Who’d a thunk that on the biggest night of IAAL‚Ä¢MAF’s little life we’d be forced to drive bikes while our fearless leader drove the porcelain bus?

But we are nothing if not a resilient bunch and with our awesome and highly coveted spokecards (pictured) firmly installed the 18-mile Hello Dahlia ride began and went off without a hitch and a damn fine turnout consisting of somewhere in the neighborhood of a score of cyclers. We first cruised up through skid row past the Biltmore Hotel, the lobby of which being the last place Elizabeth Short was seen alive on Jan. 9, 1947. Then it was an increasingly somber and subdued roll down Grand and down Fig and across Exposition and deep into Leimert Park to the corner of the well-kept front lawn of the residence in the well-kept block north of 39th Street where Short’s massively mutilated remains were found six days after her disappearance.

Breaking briefly we then pedaled up to the historic West Adams District to Arlington and 25th Street and the house made famous by the now-dead HBO series “Six Feet Under,” and after that it was back across town and up through Pico-Union to pay our respects to a different type of ghost, that of Kent Twitchell’s first public mural in L.A., a riveting portrait of Steve McQueen (better image of it here) that was painted in 1971 at 12th and Union and shamedly painted over sometime in the last few years.

From there it was back to downtown and Little Tokyo’s Joy Mart for the apres-ride ritual of drinks and sushi before heading to our respective homes where I threw the evening’s pix up here on Flickr before calling it a night. My thanks to everyone who came on out for the ride and my best wishes to Sean for a full and complete recovery.

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