Another LA Marathon, another amazing pre-dawn ride with a few thousand close friends, their bikes, and not a car in sight!
We met up at 4:30am, but you'd never know it was so early from the sea of smiles and the street-party raging in the early Sunday darkness.
At 5:30am we rolled out, led by an LAPD escort, and headed toward the beach. Down LA's most iconic streets; Sunset, Hollywood, and Santa Monica Boulevards, Rodeo Drive and Ocean Avenue, clear from the cars that normally clutter them and transformed into a sea of blinking red bike lights and boisterous woops from excited riders.
The ride to the beach took just over an hour at a cruisey/chatting pace, but thanks to the magic of video editing, you can "ride along" in under 30 minutes!
To get a sense of how many bikes are actually out there (and where we're all coming from), here's a great visualization of just the folks using Strava on Sunday morning. It's amazing to see bikes covering almost the entire LA city grid in their rides to the meetup, along the marathon, and scattering back home again.
In the end, we made it to the beach as the sun was rising behind us (and just in time for some well-earned coffee). We snapped the obligatory "bikes in front of the ocean" photos, swapped stories of the sights and sounds that make the ride so special, and then melted back into the urban landscape with the rest of the riders now scattering back across the city to bike shops, breakfasts, and beds.
If you ever have a chance to try this ride, do it! There's simply no better way to kick off a Sunday.