Sunday, September 03, 2006

Capital of Late Night Biking

The number of regular evening and late-night bike ride opportunities is rapidly increasing in Los Angeles. We have 2 Critical Mass rides, the Midnight Ridazz rides, and as I discovered Friday night, the RIDE-Arc ride.

A few friends and I were coming home from the Santa Monica Critical Mass ride Friday night - going south on Walgrove Ave just north of Venice Blvd. All of a sudden, a whole swarm of cyclists started passing us. We thought that a contingent of the earlier critical mass ride was going for a second spin, although we didn't recognize a lot of the people. A little confused, we asked some people where they were going and what ride they were on. To our surprise, it was a completely separate LA bike ride that meets on the same night as the Santa Monica Critical Mass ride each month. They call their ride RIDE-Arc. According to their website:
RIDE-Arc is a monthly social bicycle ride in the cool evening air with a loose, vaguely referenced Architectural theme, mixed with some Urban Anthropology and your own personal sense of adventure and discovery. Awesome rides, good vibes taking you to places that shape the Los Angeles urban landscape.
Apparently they were on a rare ride on the westside of town. Normally the rides start and end closer to downtown LA. Excited to learn about this group, my friend and I joined them for the next 30 minutes or so as they stopped at the McKinley Residence near Abbott Kinney, walked through the Venice Canals, and visited the giant binoculars on Main St. At each point of interest, the group stops and a person speaks to the group about the architectural significance of the building or house. Pretty cool! What a great idea for a bike ride.

I would like to go on another one of these, but it can be difficult to get to their starting point on the eastside of town. Also, it would be almost impossible to go on the Santa Monica Critical Mass ride and the RIDE-Arc ride in the same night. Anyway, it is nice to know there are so many choices for group bike rides in LA. I hope a few more pop up on the westside.

Do other American cities have this many late night rides?

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