CicLAvia was supposed to start at 10:00 but we got to Venice Blvd at about the half way mark before 10:00 and it was all set up and bikes were already on the move. The group split with half opting to head to the beach and the other half heading downtown. Since I have taken Venice to the beach countless times, I decided to go downtown - my second bike trip down. The crowd heading west was much bigger than the crowd heading east, and it was a mostly smooth ride down except for one hill where I had to stop half way up to catch my breath. I had already lost the group anyhow as we all just sort of split up. After I caught my breath, I finished crawling up the hill with my bike. It should be noted that this hill was so steep that on the way back everyone had to dismount their bikes and walk down the hill for crowd safety reasons.
I couldn't even say how many bikes there were, but at one point they were packed in as far as I could see ahead and behind me. So I decided to stop the madness when I got back to Guthrie and I exited the CicLAvia event. Honestly, at the crawl it was moving, I don't know how long it would have taken me to get to the beach and I didn't really care anymore. I had hoped for a 40-mile ride, and one gal in the group from I Martin did manage it, but after 26 miles and nearly out of water, I just had had enough.
So I don't know if I will ever do another CicLAvia, or at least not in the same way. It would be nice to socialize with other cyclists but perhaps next time I'll not take the designated route but another route and just hang out, then take a non-CicLAvia route out, because the mob scene is definitely not my thing.
One thing I will say is that I need a Camelbak and will look into getting one this year when the cookie orders are more abundant.