Sunday, March 02, 2008

Acura LA Bike Tour 2008

21 Miles later...Yah!

4:15am at the starting line...Brrrr

Glad we made it to the finish line

Oh no, man down

Once a year, the streets of LA gets shut down for the Acura Bike Tour, 5K Run and the big kahuna of them all, the LA Marathon.

Here's our two cents of the event. Woke up at 3am way before the crack of dawn, WTF!! Yeah, we didn't even know what we got ourselves into. Wifey almost wanted to kill me when she found out the wake up and start time...yikes! So we ran through our check list: We got our bikes tuned up, got our gloves (muy importante), windbreaker, helmet, bibs for our shirt, bike and helmet, water bottle, power bar, cash for parking, directions, all checked. And we're off!

Fireworks and the bike tour start gun goes off at 5:45am. It's way too early and cold (50 degrees) for us to make sense of this all. Thank goodness our adrenaline was in full throttle.

What's great about the Acura Bike Tour IS NOT A RACE! I repeat, THE BIKE TOUR IS NOT A RACE! It is purely for enjoyment purpose and a chance for all bikers of all skill levels to unite and ride together on a route through LA. Beginners are totally welcome. The minimum speed you have to maintain is 9 mph and you're set! Easy.

This is our first year at the Acura Bike Tour and man despite the early am traffic, parking congestion and of course the 21 miles bike ride. It was all worth it. Yupe, we are officially hooked. This is one of those event that just can't be missed if you have a wee bit of that bicycling spirit in you. The thrill of riding with an estimated 15,000 fellow bike enthusiast is reason enough for us to be here. The icing on the cake is being able to tour the various part of Los Angeles with no cars on the streets, that is absolutely priceless. The bike tour allowed us to rediscover the city again at a slower pace and it was such a pleasure. Places we've been and would not dare be in at the wee crack of dawn. With the streets closed off to autos, giving us the privileged to ride and appreciate the natural raw urban beauty of this city is just way too cool of an experience to pass off. Too often we tend to drive hurriedly from point A to point B with blinders on and missed all of the nuances in between our journey. This tour really gave us a chance to feel the heart beat of LA in the flesh, uninterrupted, unfiltered, traffic free, smog free and 90% people free! Nothing but you and the spinning sounds of wheels hitting the pavements, that's it. No honking, no road rage shouting matches, no sirens, no machinery or factory sounds. Just us and the city! Wow, what a day! We were also lucky enough to have our family there for support at the finish line.

We hope we will be lucky enough to continue this tradition annually and join our fellow Los Angeles bikers from all walks of life, nationalities and ethnicities. From kids to elders, this event is a must if you call yourself Angelinos.

Okay, now you wanna ride, what to do. Well the official website sucks.
The website do not have any specific details or giving you any other options to sign up except through their website which they charge an online registration fee on top of the Bike Tour registration fee. This event is organized by Divine so the website is a bit self serving to help generate addition cashflow for them. My advice is to wait and drive down to the Life Expo which takes place at the LA Convention Center during the two days prior to the Marathon and Bike Tour event day. This way, you can save some money from the online registration service fee hacked by Divine. Even if you sign up online and pay for the convenient service fee, you still have to drive down to the Life Expo to pick up your goodie bag which will have your bib and race's number and instruction, route map, etc. Therefore, save yourself a few bucks and just head down to the Life Expo, wait in line a bit and then just register and pick up all of your goodies all in one stop. Make sure to go and register early if you want to grab your free t-shirt in small sizes. Otherwise, by the last day of the Expo, all they have left is Large sizes.

Please note that The Marathon and Bike Tour route might share route but they may not have the same starting and ending location. This changes so make sure to read up ask all of these important questions at the registration desk at the Expo including parking location, very important. For the bike tour, make sure to get there a couple of hours early if you can to avoid traffic from the freeway exit and into the parking lot.

I've added addition links below since it is so hard to find any info for the Acura Bike Tour due to the overshadowing by the LA Marathon event.

Facebook Acura LA Bike Tour

Not Bike Tour related but have some really helpful biking articles

Myra VanInwegen's Bike Articles

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