The cyclists taking this Sunday’s Fargo Street Hill Climb in Echo Park face a challenge almost as daunting as riding up one of the steepest streets in Los Angeles: they must make nice with the neighbors. Last year’s event sponsored by the Los Angeles Wheelman was cut short after a neighbor complained about noisy spectators, and police said the crowd was blocking traffic at the base of Fargo Street, said club member and rider Larry Schellhase in an email. Part of the problem was that the club had failed to alert residents of the upcoming biking challenge as they have done in years past. This year Schellhase promises more community outreach. “In the past we have distributed flyers to the neighbors the week before and we have had good community support. Last year we neglected to do that and one of the residents at the bottom of the hill called LAPD for too much noise,” Schellhase said. “This year we need to try to keep folks out of the intersection at the bottom of the hill – not an easy task.”
Once the Wheelman figure out how to keep the spectators quiet and out of the street, they can then focus the best strategy to climb Fargo Street and its 32% grade. Last year, 46 of the 60 riders were able to make it to the top. One rider, Don Kubler, completed 30 climbs. He was on track for 31 but his chain broke.