Biking in Los Angeles has become more than a lifestyle choice or healthy hobby; for many, it's both a big part of their social lives and an attitude adjustment away from our car-centric culture. LA biking events are a fun way to meet new people and great exercise, and most accommodate all skill levels, while some are kid-friendly as well.
Los Angeles Critical Mass
This organization has grown to become one of the largest community bike rides in the country. The group departs at 7:30 p.m. on the last Friday of every month at the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue, adjacent to the Purple Line Metro Station. The tour coverage area changes, but typically covers about 30 miles at a pace of 10 miles per hour. There are a couple pit spots for bathroom breaks and food. The event ends around midnight at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue, near a Metro Red Line Station.
NELA (Northeast Los Angeles) Critical Mass
This group, which is central to neighborhoods such as Eagle Rock and Highland Park, meets on the third Friday of each month. The gathering begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Highland Park Metro Station, located on Avenue 57 one block from Figueroa Street, and departs promptly at 7 p.m.
Pasadena Critical Mass
The Pasadena chapter is geared towards a more family-friendly crowd, since the event takes place in the daytime and usually includes a side excursion after the ride to a park, where people share picnic fare and kids can play. Participants meet at Memorial Park on the third Saturday at 10 a.m. of every month. Music sometimes accompanies the adventure, and the pace is relaxed, with the entire ride lasting about 60 to 90 minutes.
Santa Monica Critical Mass
This event takes place on the first Friday evening of every month near the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier at Colorado and Ocean Avenues. The cannon is a good landmark to look for. Meet at 6:30 p.m.; rides typically last a few hours.
Inspired by a car-free event concept called Ciclovía that originated in Bogotá, Colombia, this street-closure series is particularly meaningful in Los Angeles, where no matter how much drivers have traversed certain territories, it’s an entirely different experience to explore them by bike. And biking is but one option; others include walking, skating, rollerblading, skateboarding—basically, any form of non-motorized transportation is welcomed. The inaugural event occurred in October 2010, and the seventh is taking place June 23, 2013, along iconic Wilshire Boulevard. A fall event is already planned for October 6, 2013. Depending on the theme of the ride, routes may include Chinatown, Exposition Park, Grand Park, Little Tokyo, MacArthur Park, Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, and the Fourth Street Bridge. Stay tuned for updates on future events.
Inspired by the original Midnight Ridazz “party on wheels” mentality, this San Fernando Valley group is working on organizing a more regular schedule of events, but highlights so far have included a 2012 Halloween night ride and an April 2013 trek to North Hollywood. Participants gather at Nordhoff and Reseda Boulevards, beginning at 7 p.m., with the rollout scheduled for 8 p.m.