Dear L.A. Marathon,

You’ll pardon me if I’m not going all “golly gee!” over your new Stadium-To-The-Sea course route you’ve been crowing about this week. I’m still too bitter about the bike tour being dead to get all knee-deep in the rah-rah.

What’s that, you say? The Bike Tour: still not dead? Ohhh, riiiiiiiiight. Sure, sure… I remember a couple months ago someone there responded to my frustration about the bike tour being assassinated, and attempted to placate me with some rationale that you weren’t killing what next year would have been the 15-year tradition of the popular marathon-day fun ride (aka: “cash cow that regularly drew 10,000-plus bikies such as myself”) so much as hoping to reinvent it out from the shadow of the marathon and make it a “world class” stand-alone event, which probably involves a whole lotta Lycra and some riders with Ls in their names like Lance and Levi.

Trouble with me is I’m one of those “If it ain’t broke don’t fuck with it” types.  And while at first blush your quote/unquote idea (aka: pipedream) sounded good to me, since I’m all for increasing exposure and awareness and interest in urban cycling, ultimately my guess is that you went to the drawing board and whatever good intentions you had disappeared when you realized what an expensive and inconvenient bitch it would be to shut down the city a second time for a bunch of bike riders. And maybe — just maybe — in retrospect you realized why the Bike Tour was such a success hiding and happening in the shadow of the marathon.

Well, whatever has or hasn’t happened or been scrapped, here’s what I know: the total lack of communication on the subject since makes it seem like a whole lot of smoke-blowing and posturing and in the end its RIP Bike Tour.

I’d probably have to begrudge you a bit of respect if you had the ballbearings at least to come out and say as much, but instead you kind of skulk around hoping it’s really no big deal to anyone but meaningless blowhards like myself. And it very well might be, because the Bike Tour rarely got any respect. Yet it kept on happening and drawing thousands upon thousands of bikes every first Sunday in March and even that final Sunday of the month last May.

I know this because I did every LA Bike Tour from its inception in 1995 to last year. E.V.E.R.Y. O.N.E. After the second one in 1996, I vowed that no matter where I was in the world or what I was doing in it: I would pedal the bike tour every year until I was either dead or couldn’t ride anymore.

I upheld my part of the bargain, but pardon my disgruntlement: fuck you for failing to uphold yours. Seriously, you people sure know how to mess with a guy’s personal traditions.

So like I said at the top, now you’ve got this great new marathon course you’re all back-slappy about and boy it looks awesome.  Especially since it so happens to pass a half-block from my house. If I was the forgiving type I’d consider forking over the $125(!) entry fee and adding next year’s route to the others I did in 1994, 2003, 2005 and 2007. And if I was  the vindictive, begrudging sort I’d think about walking down to Sunset Boulevard and standing out there by the curb next March 21 with a giant cut-out of a middle finger on two wheels or something similar that showcases my sentiments for the decision that’s been made.

But I think I’ll just go for a bike ride instead.

– Will Campbell