Eric Zassenhaus/ KPCC
Art "Chopper" Ramirez rides down 9th Street on his customized bike at L.A.'s third CicLAvia event on October 9, 2011.
Sunday's CicLAvia in Los Angeles will close one of the big daddies of the city's surface streets: Wilshire Boulevard — and the city's hoping to use the event as a way to show off the area's architectural history and cultural diversity. Before you saddle up, a few things you might want to check out:
The Getty-backed Pacific Standard Time series has put together an audio collection of street-specific stories that travel the route. Download, plug in, tune out the cycle traffic, and listen to journalists, humorists, architects, and anthropologists take you on a tour of the area's psychogeographic (yes, that's a real term) sites and stories.
There are a number of sites out there that will show you the architectural sites on Wilshire, but few that are as solid as these two run by the area's blogging heavyweights. L.A. Observed's Kevin Roderick, who penned a book on Wilshire, and Militant Angelino have both put together an exhaustive set of places to explore along the route.
Transit-obsessed L.A. Streetsbloggers has cobbled together a CicLAvia scavenger hunt that includes politicos, pets and recurring CicLAvia memes. Can you find a biker leashed to his or her pet or track down a Garcetti? Grab your camera phone and join the hunt!
4. Get Googie
Along the route you'll see a good deal of that odd architectural style that's defined L.A. coffee shops and pastrami joints for decades — known as "Googie." And near the CicLAvia info booth between Curson and Fairfax, artist Marni Gittleman will help you recreate the strange geometric designs as wearable accessories. The CiclAvia blurb promises:
You’ll be styl’n with a shapely array of mid-century modern forms as you spiff your spokes, hip-up your helmet, and accessorize your outfit.
Glide by the La Brea Tar Pits Page Museum for a view of Nibbles, their "life-sized Saber-toothed cat puppet." Yikes!
6. BBQ by bike
It just so happens that Sunday is not only the 7th CicLAvia, but the 5th Annual Korean BBQ Cook-Off. And that is something you probably shouldn't miss. With more than 10 restaurants and vendors competing, the event promises to reverse whatever weight-loss you hoped to achieve by biking. Catch it just off Wilshire and 7th in Koreatown, from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Craft & Folk Art Museum will open for free and offer a host of DJs and DIY workshops, including "bicycle-powered sewing" of patches, letter-pressing bicycle spoke cards, and blanket-making with guerrilla crafters Yarn-Bombing L.A.