Biking is the new hot topic these days it seems. With gas prices still on the high side of things and the color green on everyone's mind from the financial crisis to saving the planet, it's only natural that some people are remembering their youth and taking up the two wheel mode of transportation...or at least considering it.
I used to bike all over my neighborhood when I was a kid. Then one day, when I became an adult and moved to the car capital of the world, I stopped. Yesterday (Sunday actually, I'm writing this late on Monday night) I relived my youth. Biking en masse with about 20 other people (Pat from Eating L.A. included) and the Flying Pigeon crew on their weekly Sunday morning Get Sum Dim Sum Bike Ride.
People began gathering at 10am at the Flying Pigeon Bike Shop in Highland Park. Those who either didn't have a bike or wanted to test out the Flying Pigeon were able to use a loaner. I chose a loaner, a lovely Orange one in honor of my beloved Browns who had a bye this past week, which was in part why I was able to join in on the festivities.
Normally these Dim Sum rides are exactly what they specify, a ride from the bike shop to one of the various Dim Sum offerings in Chinatown, San Gabriel or Alhambra. This week though they decided to change things up a bit, the destination was The San Antonio Winery...yet another reason this Bad Angeleno decided to participate.
Around 10:30am, after being "fitted" for my temporary new ride, we were off. It was a gloriously overcast morning, just lovely for an easy bike ride which traveled along a maze of back streets and ended about a half hour later.
The San Antonio Winery sits on its original location, expanded just a bit since inception in 1917, and takes up an entire city block. The enlarged structure houses a Tasting Room, Gift Shop, Restaurant, numerous Fermenting Rooms and a Bottling Plant. They offer tours of the facility on what I would assume a regular basis throughout the day.
The restaurant is set up buffet style with a twist. Set out on tables are samples of the entrees which are available that day, you figure out what you want and tell the nice man behind the counter, you then grab desert and a drink, pay for your meal and when the entree is ready someone will bring it directly to your table.
On the ride back to the bike shop the sun decided to grace us with its presence...and heat. Overall it wasn't too difficult of a ride, slightly uphill but not unbearable by any stretch of the imagination. A small price to pay considering I think I coasted nearly the entire trip to the Winery.
The bikes come complete with a basket, headlight and lock and are extremely comfy for those of us with troublesome lower backs. All for $299. And if you happen to buy one of their bikes after the ride then the Flying Pigeon crew will buy your lunch.
Again, the Get Sum Dim Sum Bike Ride happens every Sunday at 10am and the route changes on a weekly basis. Be sure to check their website for more info and to reserve a bike.
Go meet some new cool new people, buy a bike, get some dim sum and maybe if you're lucky...and then some!!!
p.s. I didn't get any "and then some" but I did get some pics, you can view them here if you wish.