For cyclists of all levels, a must-attend event is available this Sunday, April 26. The 18th annual City of Angels Fun Ride, which begins on UCLA’s Westwood Campus, will tour Los Angeles to raise funds for the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center; 1,000 or more cyclists are expected to attend. Hosted by Volkswagen, the event allows riders to choose from a challenging 62-mile or 32-mile recreational route. A kiddie ride for children ages 4-11 will also be offered in memory of Alex Baum, a World War II resistance fighter and concentration-camp survivor who became Los Angeles’ most passionate cycling advocate. Baum’s daughter and granddaughter will attend. UCLA patient Brandon Levine, 40, whose life was saved by more than 200 blood transfusions after a horrendous motorcycle crash last April, will drive the pace car leading the cyclists. The ride takes place on the one-year anniversary of his accident.
Online registration has ended; however, you can still register onsite Sunday morning. Registration opens at 6 a.m. for the advanced ride and 7 a.m. for the recreational ride. One drawback to cycling in LA is the multitude of motor vehicles that lurk on the roadways. But, not to worry, LAPD motorcycle officers will escort riders and arrange rolling closures of city streets for vehicle-free cycling.
All cyclists are invited to a finish-line festival featuring Sharky’s chicken burritos and raffles for free bicycles and other prizes. Sponsored annually by Heumann Powered Productions, the 2014 ride raised more than $30,000, which the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center used to purchase a new truck to support blood drives at schools and in the community. Volunteers contribute a massive 80% of the 85,000 blood products transfused each year into pediatric and adult patients recovering from organ transplants, surgeries, and cancer therapies at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.
5:45 a.m.: Parking lots open
6 a.m. Check-in
7 a.m.: Advanced ride begins
8:20 a.m.: Recreational ride begins
9:30 a.m.: Blood drive begins. (Call 310-825-0888, ext. 2, to make an appointment)
10 a.m.: Alex Baum Memorial Ride
11:30 a.m.: Lunch, raffle and festival
All rides begin and end at Dickson Plaza, between Royce Hall and Powell Library (map). Free parking will be available for passenger vehicles in Parking Structure 2. Enter campus from Westholme Avenue off of Hildgarde Avenue (map).