The freshest meadow I ever did see
The Ride With No Name visited a patch of grass with a hilarious name yesterday, stopping at the Silver Lake Meadow only a few hours after it officially opened. The route, dubbed Great Lakes, took us all around L.A. River, Hollenbeck Park, Lincoln Park (where I saw a guy attempting to fish in the cement pond), L.A. River again (the path, where I saw a huge, swooping blue heron) and the Silver Lake Reservoir. It was on the east side of the reservoir that we stopped for a bit on the unmolested, brand new grass. I stretched out on its lushness, park butt be damned. Oh, then this morning I read this account of pooping dogs. However, I saw no dogs, no poop and no one breaking any rules.* It even lived up to its apparent subtitle “A Quiet Place.” Worry not about the presence of cyclists on this pristine space. The bike tracks only temporarily pressed the grass down a little, and in general we were very respectful; the ride leader even shut off the music as we approached the park, after someone spotted the QUIET PLACE sign on the fence around it. So it was and still is a nice park in a city with so few of them.
After leaving this awesome oasis of calm, I experienced something I never want to repeat. Riding Silver Lake Boulevard around the reservoir, a bunch of us were crowded in the bike lane. I haven’t even been on this road in a car since last summer, and have never ridden the bike lane. It. Is. Fucked. There’s a huge, winding crack that runs the length of it, and in places, the cement on the right side of this urban Mariana Trench is at least an inch higher than the left side. So on this path, bikers have to constantly navigate the pavement so their tires don’t get caught on the crack, which can lead to losing balance or falling. This is obviously harder to do when there are other bikes around you, but it’s still pretty messed up, and unfortunately is in keeping with the state of many bike lanes around L.A. It’s like, “here, bike whiners, you get your own space, but enjoy all these holes, bumps, grates and cracks, mwa ha haaa.”
So, uh, nice park, L.A., but maybe we could also smooth out this bike lane. It’s in a spot where it’s really needed, along a winding road that people speed down. I see from the bike master plan that the lane is meant to be be extended along Silver Lake/Beverly Boulevard all the way to La Brea. (Sweet! I rode this yesterday, and a designated lane would be nice.) With any luck, the lane extension will include repaving the area around the reservoir. Fingers crossed.
*Actually, looking back through my photos, I do see rule-breakers: two little kids riding bikes on the gravel walking path, and bike riding is prohibited in the park. (The sign at the entrance says nothing about bike relaxing.)