Piers, as an idea, aren't quite as old as the ocean, but walkways built along or over the sea have logged a few years.
The wave-close icons were built for pleasure strolls and fishing and amusement parks, at least for a good long time, but these days, around Southern California, one is almost as likely to see a group of stationary bikes lined up, row after row.
Nope, avid stay-in-place cyclists are not hauling their stationaries down to the waterside for a day of pedaling and salty air. Rather money-raising events, like Manhattan Beach's own Tour de Pier, are at the heart of the stationary-bike-meets-ocean-pier boom.
The tour rolls -- proverbially -- on Sunday, May 18. And in the pack? Several Olympians, including volleyballer Kerri Walsh Jennings, cyclist Tony Cruz, and Ironman Champion Craig Hummer. An array of athletes will cameo, in fact, so keep your athlete-admiring eyes peeled.
Tour de Pier will again gather the stationary bikes, many, many stationary bikes, and participants to ride them, all in the name of raising funds for three charities: The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Cancer Support Community, and Livestrong Foundation.
A Health & Fitness Expo and Kids' Fun Zone will fill out the (fingers crossed) sunshiny day.
As will a special Strand House menu designed to complement the ride (the Strand is located just a short walk from where the bikes'll be grouped).
So, can you donate to a rider or the ride in general? Will you come out to cheer? It's a convivial scene with a lot of spirit to share. May more stationary times be ahead, too, for the piers of Southern California, especially if community-minded causes are the centerpieces.