Tomorrow, the 7th Annual Labor Day Weekend Trikke Ride will carve up the Long Beach bike path, marking the 6th anniversary of the first organized group Trikke ride in the California coastal burgh.
Six years ago this time, the ride’s organizers—yours truly and my friend Jeri—were pretty nervous. We were about to do something unprecedented in our budding friendship. We were going to host a party, for all intents and purposes. At the beach. On three wheels. A party for Jeri, me and … who? We weren’t quite sure. Anybody?
We were still newbies, just one year into our Trikke journey. The previous year, we’d met a dozen or so riders after suggesting the Trikke and Treat Halloween Ride (to South Bay Trikke) in Torrance, but that was the extent of our Trikke world—a fledgling connection at best.
By the summer of 2010, Jeri and I were head over heels in love with the Trikke and dreaming of hosting our own event in our own backyard, the playground we love so much, the Long Beach bike path.
So an idea was born but not a date, and—call it typical?—I was the hesitant one about setting the date, while Jeri was the persistent one.
Midsummer, she caught me while distracted and got me to agree on a date. Cut to us emailing our new friends, Sean, Andy and Irene of South Bay Trikke, to ask them to co-host, then flash-forward to the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, 2010.
It’s a warm and beautiful morning, the bike path bordering Shoreline Village and the marina quiet and mostly empty. Jeri and I arrive early, not knowing if our party/ride is going to be fun and well-attended or not-so-fun and a well-intended mistake.
“Even if it’s a party of two, we’ll still have fun.”
We repeat the week’s mantra in an effort to counteract the nervous notion: what if nobody comes?
Upon further reveal, around 20 people came and I think it’s safe to say, a good time was had by most. We reconnected with a few riders from 2009’s Trikke & Treat and met other riders who were new to us, passionate carvers like Juan Ortega, who had been trikking alone for seven years before meeting the attendees of the first Labor Day Ride.
The rest, as they say, is history, six years worth, to be exact.
Within 48 hours after the completion of the first Labor Day Ride, I created a document outlining a master plan to produce a yearlong So Cal Trikke circuit schedule, featuring rides throughout the region, as well as TrikkeWorld Magazine, an online publication to cover the carving revolution.
Before the holiday weekend was over, Jeri and I made a commitment to the plan, signing the document and agreeing to host more rides in Long Beach and to create the magazine (which was online from 2011-2013). Before the month was over, South Bay Trikke was on board, giving birth to six years and counting of Labor Day Rides, MLK Rides, Presidents Rides, LSM Rides, and much more.
That’s six years worth of meeting and communing with others who share the joy of Trikke, the passion of the carve. Six years of meeting newbies, veterans, riding buddies, friends, Trikke people from near and far who get together to ride, eat, drink, laugh and be merry.
Like the young at heart getting together at the playground to play.
I’m so glad we set the date for that first ride, and so grateful for all the people who came to the First Annual Labor Day Weekend Trikke Ride of Long Beach, or the LDR, as it’s come to be known… and for people who have come to all of the Labor Day Rides.
You’ve all play a special part in my life with one of the most special parts of my life, that feeling you get when you go three-wheeling on a Trikke.
Thank each and everyone of you for making my Trikke dreams come true in ways more fantastic than I ever could have imagined.
And thank you Jeri, for setting the date, the perfect date on the perfect weekend. Iconic from the start. The poster you created for that first ride is an iconic representation of the niche we have carved for ourselves in our own special slice of paradise.
All because of what we started on Labor Day weekend, 2010.
To the Labor Day Ride!
POSTSCRIPT: Photos from Labor Day Ride 7