An estimated 150,000 bike riders participated in the first CicLAvia to the Sea event in Venice, California, on Sunday and Richie Trimble was head and shoulders—and much, much more—above them all.
As you can see in the photo, Trimble took to the blocked-off streets of Venice on a homemade bike that put him 17 feet above the ground at eye level. The bike stands 14 1/2 feet to the seat, has 6 1/2 single-speed bicycle chains (that’s 32 1/2 feet of chain), took 12 hours to build, and is called STOOPIDTALL.
“Everyone looks at you like you’re nuts and they’re right,” Trimble told LA.StreetsBlog.org. “My mom even said so.”
Trimble made the 15-mile ride from downtown to the end of the pier without incident, though there were a couple of close calls, most notably riding under the 405 Freeway overpass. His clearance was mere inches, as the street began rising and the gap was closing in on him.
“I could feel the crowd below me, they all knew what was coming,” Trimble told LA.StreetsBlog.org. “All eyes on me and this bridge closing down on me. It got to the point where my body, my back was parallel to the ground and I looked at my hand and I had about two inches clearance above my knuckles [on the handlebars] and then I came out from under the bridge and the whole crowd ROARED!”
Trimble captured that moment and others with a camera strapped to his chest. The freeway overpass moment begins around the 1:00 mark:
“That moment was amazing because you see the freeway coming,” Trimble told LA.StreetsBlog.org about the overpass. “I could see the top of the cars going by and I had never seen that before. And everyone is cheering for me to touch the bridge. I reach up and high-five the bridge. As I go under, I drag my hand along the top and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, I’m probably the only person to have touched this besides the workers that built the overpass.’”
There were other close calls, like maneuvering between some cars and nearly running into other riders. “Watch out, watch out, get out of the way,” you can hear Trimble saying at one point.
But making it under the overpass without incident was the defining moment of his ride. “That was the moment for everyone,” he said.
Thankfully, another biker captured the moment when Trimble rode triumphantly onto and to the end of the pier. Nice riding, Richie.
And for those who are wondering, no, this isn’t a world record for tallest bike ever ridden. Someone rode a bike that was over 18-feet tall for the Guinness World Record.
Above photo is a screengrab from the Richie Trimble’s video.