Otagenki Project presents: Sakura Ride 2015, 3/14/2015, 2pm, Lake Balboa, CA

SakuraRide20151up

A ride to honor the victims, the survivors, and the heroes of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. It has been four years, but the people affected by the Earthquake, Tsunami and the meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-Ichi are still far from recovered from the tragedy. It’s not over for them, so we should continue to help. There will be no entry fee but there will be a collection for JEN-NPO, a charity that has been on the ground in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the hardest hit areas of those affected by the event, since 3 days after the incidents. They continue to serve the people, who are still mostly in temporary housing.

Temporary housing row houses in Ishinomaki. Photo: Japan Times.

Temporary housing row houses in Ishinomaki. Photo: Japan Times.

Here’s a link to what JEN-NPO has been doing for Miyagi Prefecture.

The ride will be a family-friendly fun ride, roughly 6.5 miles, at a gentle pace. We will stop so that we can enjoy the flowering cherry trees around Lake Balboa. There are 2,000 of these trees in Beilenson Park, the park that contains the artificial lake that gives the neighborhood of Lake Balboa its name. 1,000 were planted by a Japanese audio equipment manufacturer during the building of the park complex, and 1,000 more were added by the Japanese Consulate to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the gift of flowering cherry trees to Washington, DC by the Emperor of Japan. They are a special hybrid that is suited to warmer, drier climates than those native to Japan. Non-hybrid cherry trees tend to bloom early in our Mediterranean climate here in LA, closer to January and February.

The ride will start at the Balboa Orange Line Station. There is park-and-ride space there so hopefully there will be ample parking, and it will also serve those who are using public transit to get to the ride.

Here’s the map:
SakuraRideMap

And this is the chart which shows elevation change. The course is not entirely flat but it’s fairly flat, with a few small rolling hills.
SakuraRideElevation

Map on Map My Ride

We are hoping to time the end of the ride so that we can pause for the sunset and pay our respects to those who lost their lives on 3/11/2011.

If you are a Facebook member, please RSVP to the ride here.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Another Otagenki report: Northridge ride!

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The first Otagenki Report is up! A fun bike ride in Santa Barbara!

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Feel the love, share the joy, and GET OFF THAT COUCH! Otagenki!