RAP in the Rain
The May Ride Around Pomona (RAP) took a tour of some of the city of Pomona's historic, or architecturally interesting, signs. Most of the signs incorporate(d) the use of neon, as well as iconographic imagery tying them to a stylistic period of time. Most of the classic signs the RAP paid a visit to are found in the downtown core area; of course no bike tour of iconic signs of Pomona would be complete without a stop at the Coates sign, and so after four early stops we turned our handlebars to the north and the city edge.
Often, as ride leader Marcus points out, signs cannot be separated from the buildings they attach to, which means that those buildings are equally as iconic of an era. In the case of most of these that architecture is Googie, and the era is the 1950s and 1960s. Marcus always does a little research in preparation for these themed RAPs, which makes them more interesting than a simple ride around town. Take, for instance, the old Mission Family Restaurant whose shape, prominent overhanging and angular roof, use of large glass windows and stone on the facade clearly tie it to a point in time; the shape and big directional arrow does the same for the business's sign.
Connecting dots: Marcus always tries to make historic connections with the places he takes us to, so... before it closed its doors General Dynamic's (GD) big Pomona facility was just down the street from the Mission Family Restaurant; the googie-style architecture shared the same forward-looking, futuristic, modern outlook as did a business like GD. Betting that the engineers and others employed by GD would be attracted to an equally progressive feeling eatery, the restaurant was highly successful for decades, declining only after GD shuttered its doors and windows.
Then there is AMA Donuts - does anyone not think McDonalds and Mickey Mouse when seeing that sign and building? Both reek of the 1950s.
Thanks go out to Marcus for leading another interesting tour of Pomona. Thanks to John for the feeder ride from Grizzly's Donuts, giving us some extra distance this morning. As for that rain, well, if not for stopping for a late morning breakfast on the way home there would not have been any involved. As it was, there was just enough for a continuous drip from the brim of my cap during the final two miles back.