March 23, 2007 at 10:55 am in Biking in LA
There’s a couple two-wheeled events on the immediate horizon I want to spread the love about. Departing at 9:30 p.m. this sleazevening is the beloved bastard cousin of Midnight Ridazz whose ride this time ’round is dubbed “The Return To Hollywood Sleaze Boulevard” and promises a 19-mile route that will begin and end at Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue.
Then on Sunday from 9 a.m. onward is the unique-to-all-the-world annual Fargo Street
Ass Kicker Hill Climb, hosted and supported by the legendary L.A. Wheelmen bicycle club. If you’re not familiar with Echo Park’s Fargo Street, it is one of the steepest streets in all the land, rising from Allesandro at a 30%-plus grade (by contrast the northbound 405 coming down into the San Fernando Valley is about a 7% grade). In other words for roughly every 3.5 feet pedaled forward, you go up a foot. Madness! Riders who make it to the top without stopping are rewarded with a coveted victor’s patch, and there are plenty of crazy sunzagunz who do it over and over and over. And over. Last year a 61-year-old named Doug Kubler achieved the summit a mind-blowing 50 times.
Me? Last year I couldn’t make it up even once. It was my first time participating and I attempted it twice and failed twice and after the jump there’s handlebar-mounted shakycam proof via a YouTube embed of my second try sidewinding my way to about two-thirds the way up and then losing my balance, dammit. This year, I’m getting there early and coming back with a patch. It’ll give you an idea what special kind of a difficult task or how lame my technical skills are, or both.
UPDATE (3/24): Photos phrom Phriday night’z ride are here.