The Pasadena Peloton

OK, here’s one of the many things I didn’t know about Los Angeles and its cycling culture. Every Tuesday and Thursday, there’s an informal event at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl that’s known as the Peloton. Depending on which print source you believe, as many as 100 (Los Angeles CityBeat’s number) or 150 riders (the figure in the L.A. Times) turn out every Tuesday and Thursday during Daylight Saving Time to blast around a three-mile circuit outside the stadium.

It might be fun to do. Once. Or twice. Or at least until the first crash.

Both CityBeat (first) and the Times (second) thought the Peloton a fit subject for a major feature this week. That’s because the city of Pasadena, having gotten an earful from some residents and businesses scared or just put off by the horde of high-speed cyclists, is talking about shutting down the ride. CityBeat’s take, which I’ll give points for sounding like it’s written by someone who’s ridden in the group, is to dismiss the idea. Sure, the ride is dangerous, but so is every peloton. By its nature, though, it’s unpoliceable. The Times notes the conflicts and safety issues among cyclists, drivers, pedestrians and others, but the picture you get is that everyone’s trying to work things out. For instance, car traffic might be limited in the area during the three or so hours a week the Peloton is on the street; and foot traffic might be required to move counterclockwise against the flow of the ride to try to ensure that walkers and runners are at least facing the bikes as they approach.

DST ends this year on the first Sunday in November. It starts again the second Sunday in March. That’s how long folks have to come up with some sort of solution.

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