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Cyclists explore Glendale on two wheels

Cyclists explore Glendale on two wheels
The historic Glendale Train Station, built in 1924, served as the starting point for a morning tour of the historic and iconic locations of Glendale on Saturday, September 27, 2014. September 27, 2014. (Photo by Mike Mullen)

About 100 cyclists pedaled their way through Glendale Saturday, exploring the city without the hassle of traffic.

Bicycle enthusiasts and families took part in "The Jewel City Tour," stretching close to seven miles. The tour was sponsored by Metro and two nonprofit organizations, Cyclists Inciting Change thru LIVE Exchange and Walk Bike Glendale.

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Riders weren't privy to the tour route beforehand.

"They really get to see the city because you're going much slower," said Vanessa Gray, director of CICLE. "This is kind of like a post card to the rest of the county. Even people living in the city discover something new."

PHOTOS: Historical tour of Glendale on bike

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The tour led riders to Alex Theatre, Disney Imagineering and Porto's Bakery. The tours also taught traffic rules for bicyclists, thanks to a handful of ride leaders from the cycling organizations.

Anoush Hovsepians and her 13-year-old son, Raffi, caught their breath at the tour's final stop, Golden Road Brewing near the 134 (Ventura) Freeway. Hovsepians has been riding with her son for leisure since he was seven. Hovsepians never learned the history of the Alex Theatre until the tour stopped there

Hovsepians attended the ride because of her son.

"He brings me to the rides saying, 'We have to go,'" Hovsepians said with a laugh. "There's a feeling of connection to the many people and making friends. It gets us closer to the community."

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CICLE works with local groups to create the rides. The effort focuses on not only showing bicycling as a viable mode of transportation, but bringing riders to parts of the community they haven't seen. Walk Bike Glendale's staff created Saturday's route that went along the city's Narrows Riverwalk bike path, said Katie Kurutz, the chapter's chair.

"We have riders from Torrance and Pasadena," Kurutz said. "We want to introduce folks outside of Glendale to the area."

Michael Kwan used to live in Atwater Village before moving to Santa Barbara. Like Hovsepians, the tour showed him a new part of Glendale, in his case, the Narrows Riverwalk. Discovering unfamiliar parts of the county have become routine for Kwan whose been on more than 10 CICLE rides.

"I like what cycling does. It encourages people to get out," Kwan said.

Riding became a way for Kwan to spend time with his son, who joined a mountain biking club at Santa Barbara Middle School. That was 10 years ago. Now, when he's not biking for exercise, it's for leisure on a CICLE ride.

"You're never too old to learn bicycling," said Kwan, who wouldn't reveal his age but called himself a senior citizen. "It's never too late."

For more information on the monthly rides, visit http://www.cicle.org/.

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