Just as the threat of seventh-circle levels of gridlock kept most Angelenos at home during Carmageddon weekend, chained to backyard barbecues in quiet desperation, the threat of arrest kept many of the 399 riders who RSVP'd to the 4PACOLYPSE ride's page on Facebook from doing a midnight ride that may, or may not, have had a planned freeway component.
Event organizer Alex Wong sent a message to the page that said, “After the earlier note was sent, contacted by someone with LAPD early this morning with the request to cancel and remove this page…. Many of you wish to fight for bicycling rights and advocacy in LA. There are also some of you that wish to ride on the 405, so let me make this clear: Riding on the closed 405 isn't the way to fight for bicyclists rights in LA.”
Several commenters said they still planned to ride, but not on or anywhere near the freeway.
Midnight Ridazz member Joe Borfo said he felt that scrapping the initial idea of an underground, pranky ride turned out to be a far better move for bike advocacy and yielded a far more interesting event: the Wolfpack Hustle ride in which a group of cyclists challenged and beat a Jet Blue flight from Burbank to Long Beach.
Borfo said he felt that the 405 closure represented a missed unique opportunity to create a Ciclavia-type event on the freeway, but of course, that would mean paperwork, permits, and police.
Judging by the arrested joggers and bikers who did attempt to storm the barren freeway, the demand is there. And with a year to plan for the next 405 closure, who knows? L.A. could potentially host the world's first freeway block party, making the next closure something not to be feared, but anticipated.
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