Get yer trucker hats on and head on over to Stub Hub in Carson for the Nissan Titan Driving Adventure this weekend 10/1-2. What you get is a chance to run the new Titan in a couple of different trims through its paces on a slalom course and burn off some rubber in the process. AND you get to go on a simulated off-road course and marvel at the technology Nissan packed into the trucks. Hills…not a problem from “zero gravity” seats that are support and comfy to tech like “Auto Hill Hold and Descent control its some pretty amazing stuff Nissan packed into the trucks. Even if you aren’t in the market for a truck, its fun to slog them around a track or closed off-road course and see what they can do.
The event brings together people from all walks of life and seeks to end the cycle of violence by transforming lives and unifying families. Organizers anticipate over 2,000 participants attending and showing their love and support for all victims of crime.
The event begins with a peace walk around the South Central neighborhood of Central Alameda and continues with a presentation of awards and resource fair. The peace walk begins at 9:30 AM. This year’s awardees include Senator Ricardo Lara for Civic Leader Award, Mike Kim for Corporate Responsibility Award and Natali Cabrera for Youth Recognition Award. These individuals will be recognized for their outstanding commitment and leadership to the residents.
Not to take away from the awesomeness of today’s CicLAvia, but there will never be one as supremely magical as the first one, two years ago. Even if it can never be topped, I still get out with my trusty GoPro cam mounted to my handlebar and participate whenever the next edition rolls around, and today’s was no exception.
So without further adieu, here’s the timelapse vid of me riding in from Silver Lake and then casually roll every inch of the 9.5 mile route from MacArthur Park to Exposition Park, back to downtown, then to Boyle Heights, back downtown, then up into Chinatown and through downtown and to MacArthur Park (about 21 miles total over three hours):
The 2012 edition of my Watts Happening Ride took place this past picture-perfect Saturday, and it was my complete pleasure to share the following landmark people, places and events I’ve discovered there with the 28 cyclists who joined me:
The last residence of jazz great Jelly Roll Morton
The childhood home of Nobel Prize Winner Ralph Bunche
The location of the 1969 Black Panthers shootout
The Hotel Dunbar, centerpiece of the Historic Central Avenue Jazz Corridor
The location of the 1974 SLA shootout
The actual fictional location of the Sanford and Son Salvage Yard
The Watts Towers of Simon Rodia
The location of the incident setting off the 1965 Watts Riots
The home of Eula Love, killed by police in 1979 as a result of a past-due gas bill dispute
The motel where legendary singer Sam Cooke was killed
The flashpoint of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots
The location of Wrigley Field, demolished in 1966.
Unfortunately, the above annotated timelapse video abruptly ends at the third-to-last location we visited, leaving me to discover that I need to get a bigger memory card if I want to capture the entire 33-mile, six-hour tour on camera the next time — and there will be a next time. I hope you’ll join me.
The first Watts Happening Ride I organized five years ago was a simple there-and-back to Watts Towers from the Cornfield downtown, spurred on by the lamentable fact that as a native angeleno I had spent my whole life to-date never having been to the true treasure that is the amazing, inspiring and enduring work of Simon Rodia.
In its various editions since (the last one taking place in 2010), the Watts Happening Ride’s destinations have grown well beyond the iconic towers to include a variety of landmarks involving people, places and events in and around South Los Angeles.
The 2012 incarnation of the Watts Happening Ride will be departing from Silver Lake on Saturday, February 18 at 9 a.m., and will include the addition of a couple locations I’ve recently found. So if you’re not heading out of town for the long weekend and have a hankering to get your bike-riding discovery on, I hope you’ll join me.
For the latest info and any updates, the ride’s Facebook page is here.
When: February 18, gathering at 8:30 for a 9 a.m. departure Start/Finish: Silver Lake’s Happy Foot/Sad Foot sign (northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard & Benton Way) Distance: 32.95 miles (route map) Pace: Casual Terrain: Flat Weather: In the event of rain that morning, the ride will be canceled and rescheduled to a later date. Approximate Time: 5-6 hours Optional Partial Ride: If doing the full route isn’t feasible, consider joining the ride at approximately 9:30 a.m. downtown on Spring Street (anywhere between 2nd & 9th streets) for the roughly 9-mile portion to the Watts Towers. The 103rd Street Blue Line station is near to the towers and can be an alternative to get you back into downtown. Things You’ll Need (in no particular order): A functioning bicycle; $7 for the half-hour optional tour of Watts Towers; snacks and water for along the way; money for a late lunch at King Taco.
Among the reasons you don’t want to get sent home from work early on a Monday morning are that someone packed a suitcase, brought it to the back entrance of your office building, sat down on it, and proceeded to put a bullet in his head something like 50 feet from your desk.
That’s what just happened to my friend who sent me this picture from his office building in Downey. People at his work speculated that it was a disgruntled ex-employee [update: there are indications he most likely was not], but there’s no real information. [Further update: this definitely wasn’t a disgruntled employee incident, and the address of the building has been redacted due to a request by the occupant.] I’m using the occasion to remind the rest of you that there are resources available should you feel desperate enough to contemplate suicide. You can call the National Suicide Prevention lifeline: 800-273-8255 or use LA Counties’ Department of Mental Health site to find a provider near you. Regardless of your insurance status, if you walk into the emergency room of any hospital and tell them that you want to kill yourself, you will get treatment. However limited our public health options may be, they are preferable to the “permanent solution to a temporary problem” that is suicide. Hang in there, people. Whatever you’re dealing with, it will eventually change, and killing yourself will break the hearts of the people who love you.