Sunday morning started off like a spooky Halloween movie with incredibly dense fog limiting vision to within 40 feet. The hair-raising chill to the morning mist combined with an awkward sense of quiet cloudy loneliness made for a perfect excuse to forgo the Bike Train and remain bundled up in bed. But, consistent with good ole' California weather, the sun shined bright on the Santa Fe Dam making for a gorgeous day for a community bike ride.
The Mobile Pit Stop arrived on the scene with a warm welcome from a large group of El Monte youth and City staff. Thanks to our partner mechanics at Performance Bicycle Pasadena along side BikeSGV's very own Henry Coronado, the Mobile Pit Stop was to ready rock, roll and wrench. The crew managed to service well over 30 bicycles before the Train left the station.
After a quick head count and instructional pow wow, the 120+ person Bike Train was ready for it's North-bound departure on the San Gabriel River bike path. The Train split the evaporating fog giving rise to a picturesque mountainous backdrop. The flowing river provided an auditory pleasure that only the sounds of nature can stimulate. The Bike Train made its first stop to regroup at the trail terminus located at the base of the Azusa Canyons where the mood shifted to that of fright.
Unlike a childish Halloween scare, true weariness and concern arose when riders realized the train would travel an additional 200 yards on Highway 39, a two-lane road (one in each direction) with high speed traffic not well-suited for young and inexperienced cyclists. But, as planned, the sight of emergency lights emerged from around the mountain bend. To the groups relief, two mountain Rangers in SUV's held up vehicular traffic allowing the peloton to safely reach it's turn-around point at the beautiful Azusa River Wilderness Park at El Encanto.
Staff from the Watershed Conservation Authority welcomed the bunch with a brightly colored presentation of various park projects along the Emerald Necklace such as the Duck Farm, Parque Dos Rios and Walnut Creek Habitat among others. After enjoying a brisk canyon breeze, the gang gathered for a couple of photographs and headed back to home base.
While the Bike Train pedaled on, the Get Fit Club gathered nearly 15 people for a zen-like Yoga Hermosa session with Ruby Rose. The calm stretching was followed by non-stop, music infused, sweat drenching Zumba Fitness with Maggie Pezeshkian D.C. (video below)The workout wrapped-up just as the Bike Train was arriving.
Shortly thereafter, participants were invited to partake in the free BBQ which was sponsored by Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez and provided by Paula's Catering. The healthy menu included spicy chicken and calabasa tacos, an assortment of grilled veggies, fruit cocktails, and fruit infused waters to wash it all down.
Once everyone got a chance to eat, the crowd was rounded up one last time to conclude the day with a grand finale raffle. Raffle tickets were offered for signing in, completing a survey, and participating with one or more physical activities. Raffle prizes included t-shirts, repair kits, jerseys, water bottles, books and three grand prize Fuji bicycles (1 adult & 2 kids bikes) which were donated by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
Unfortunately, the good times had to come to a sweet end. Until next the next Bike Train BBQ.
Ride, BBQ Slideshow
Get Fit Club in Action!