This Sunday marks the 11th Annual Los Angeles River Ride, the mega-fundraiser for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition that starts and ends at Griffith Park. Pending your leg power, you can turn around anywhere between the Park and Long Beach. Pre-registration is over, but you can sign up at the Autry Center in Griffith Park. Car parking is limited, so if you’re not going to bike to the ride, consider car-pooling or parking off-site. There are six rides to choose from ranging from a kid’s ride all the way up to a century.
Get more details on the River Ride at the official website.
This year’s Grand Marshall for the ride is former Pan-Am Waterski Champion and actor Austin Nichols. Nichols recorded three videos with REI Southern California to promote this year’s ride, which is a bonus for me because it allows me to show off my knowledge of One Tree Hill, which was renewed the same day the second of the REI Series was released. Bike Karma? You betcha.
The first of Austin’s videos is all about the parking issues that the ride will face this year. I must admit to being guilty of driving to a bike ride for past River Rides, but I also recognize that for riders doing anything short of a century, asking them to climb the hills around Griffith Park before the race may be asking a lot.
Oddly, the desperation that Nichols feels, reminds me exactly of how Julian felt at the middle of Season 6 when Nichols’ character debuted. You see, Payton was in love with Lucas, but Julian had been Payton’s boyfriend in between seasons four and five. When he shows up in Tree Hill, it’s to try and win back Payton’s heart. Eventually, he agrees to produce the movie based on Lucas’ book with the guy from Dawson’s Creek directing.
The second video proves that without a doubt, Austin Nichols is a gigantic ham. The athlete and actor is racing down the River Trail, yielding to pedestrians, and making jokes about eating in a Bike Kitchen or Bikerowave (a Bike Oven would take too long.)
It reminded me of the acting in the episode where Lucas is dreaming he owns a nightclub during prohibition. There’s trouble with his Dad, who shot his uncle but is trying to make amends…oh, lets just say there are shenanigans.
The last video has Nichols clowning around down at Long Beach, having completed half of the century route for the ride. He hugs the cannon, hails the Queen Mary, and looks as though he might not be too thrilled at the idea of riding all the way back to Griffith Park on a bike.
Ok, I’m out of One Tree Hill references. Remember, the ride starts bright and early on Sunday, the day after The Day After Tomorrow.