Bikes riding on closed Sydney streets before the Sydney Marathon / Triathlon??
A few hours before the start of the Los Angeles Marathon, thousands of bicyclists are illegally blocking Sunset Boulevard. Wolfpack Hustle’s informal leader, 40-year-old Don Ward — better known by his handle, “Roadblock” — is chatting with a group of police officers.
The riders are there to crash the blocked-off marathon course for their own race before runners show up. It’s a chance to hit the streets with no traffic and an organized course.
Now an annual event, the pre-marathon ride draws cyclists from out of state and even some LAPD officers participating as civilians.
Police have shut down several impromptu Wolfpack rides over the years. But Ward has built a relationship with some City Hall officials and LAPD Sgt. Gordon Helper, a supporter who believes the group is helping young people be healthier and more engaged.
Charlie Gandy, a bicycle consultant based in Long Beach, said city officials there have sought Ward’s advice on how to attract more youths to the sport.
Ward and Wolfpack Hustle have become formidable voices of bicycle activism. This summer, with Helper’s encouragement, Ward negotiated the city’s first permitted bicycle street race — The Midnight Drag Race: Code Name “The Final Effin Sayso” — through downtown’s 2nd Street tunnel.