Calif. bike race spurs a tour of modern landmarks in L.A.

A bicycle tour of modern landmarks May 13 began from the DWR Studio in West Hollywood. Photo by Jordan Clark Haggard.

What do you do when you love cycling and also love modern architecture?

If you happen to be in California during the annual Amgen Tour of California, you go for a bike ride, of course.

Some 25 specially invited riders did just that May 13 in Los Angeles, visiting four landmark modern properties on a five-hour, 20-mile bicycle journey.

Beginning at DWR West Hollywood, they visited the Shindler House, the A. Quincy Jones Barn, the Eames Case Study House No. 8 and the home of architect David Hertz, better known as the Californication House after the Showtime TV series of that name.  

At the Eames Case Study House No. 8, the bike tour was greeted by Lucia Dewey Atwood and Eames Demetrios, grandchildren of Charles and Ray Eames. Photo by Jordan Clark Haggard.

That architecture ride was a detour from the larger event, the Tour of California, an annual eight-stage, eight-day cycling race, which began May 15 in San Diego and finished up May 22 in Sacramento. It attracted cyclists from around the world, including 11 World Champions, five Olympic medalists and many Rio Olympics hopefuls. In all, 18 teams competed in the race.

This year’s Tour of California came with a design element, thanks to a collaboration of Herman Miller and Rapha, maker of fine cycling clothing and accessories.

Together the companies created nine cycling caps, each featuring a different fabric designed by Alexander Girard, who headed Herman Miller’s textile division from 1952 to 1975.

Eight different caps were created for each of the eight stages of the race, and a ninth was made for the women’s portion of the Tour of California.

Bike riders got a guided tour of the home of David Hertz by the architect himself. The home is known casually as the Californication House.

Limited quantities of each cap went on sale as its corresponding stage unfolded. The women’s race, which began in Lake Tahoe and finished in Sacramento on the same day as the men’s race, was represented by a single cap.

Participants in the architecture ride received their choice of hats.

Derrick Lewis of Rapha says the tour was created to celebrate the human-centered design focus shared by Herman Miller and Rapha and deepen the appreciation of the connection to cities.

“We can always use a reminder of some of the incredible buildings, streets and public places of the city,” he said.

“What better way to do that than by bicycle?”

Caps created with Alexander Girard fabric for Tour of California.

  • Gabriel Faucher

    great work! nice biking on a calif asphalte lévis trails