Saturday's Kickoff Bike Ride was super rad! Mabell showed up with a bunch of red balloons that just got you humming, "Neun und neuntsich luftballoons..." and brightened the gray day. Although the weather dampened attendance, it did not do so to our spirits. Bledsoe showed up on his paint bike in a cake costume, but sadly he couldn't ride it out of the block because he couldn't see! Hopefully, he'll get that up and running in time for the block party April 4th.
We rode out from Hel-Mel with a first stop at the Los Angeles Ec0-Village, birthplace of La Bicicocina. OG Hub member, Somerset Waters came out and spoke as did El Jimmy. Somerset then took a group of folks inside to check out the old Kitchen while Lois of CRISP took photos and the rest of us watched the bikes and clouds.
Next stop, a quick pointing out of the Monte Carlo at 3rd and Vermont, the old "boardroom." Then, a short ride down 4th St. Bicycle Boulevard and a right turn up Oxford to 2nd, to check out the old location of Barcade. The gorilla is GONE!! Ben Guzmán, Bicycle Kitchen co-founder, told funny, tall tales of mindbenders and saadam hussein and called forth the powers of Very Be Careful. The rundown? After wrenching on Tuesdays at Eco-village, "cooks" would ride bikes to get tacos at El Matador at Western and the 101, then head down Western to Barcade, an underground bar in an apartment with 80s videogames, cheap drinks and great music. After Barcade, maybe more tacos and then home. These places were important in cementing the bonds of the people who made the Bicicocina grow. Dreams and schemes and fun times.
After this, we headed up Oxford to Clinton to Western and then a straight shot north to Hollywood and Western where Kris10 hung up the architectural drawings of the storefront space that CRA has offered the Bicycle Kitchen to open up an additional space. (A bright future!) It's an amazing opportunity and a chance to offer the public a different kind of wrenching space than the one we have now on Hel-Mel. If we can keep our eyes on the prize and CRA stays on schedule the space could be ready as early as end of 2010. Another Kitcheny name?
Finally, we hightailed it back to Heliotrope and Melrose, affectionately, "Hel-Mel" our unofficial official bicycle district and home. We ate cake and raffled off the iPod touch that is engraved "The Bicycle Kitchen loves you." Because we do! Congratulations to John of the knickers and old-timey looking bike! We hope you enjoy it.