Obviously, I’m talking about bike riding.
Thursday nights, at 8:30pm, a diverse group of Long Beach locals meet up at Pizza Pi on Broadway and Lemon on their bicycles. You see beach cruisers, road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, fixed gear bikes, and whatever other type of bike there is out there. Some people ride bikes every day and others (like me) haven’t ridden a bike for years, but it doesn’t matter to them because even if you don’t know anyone there, the fact that you’re riding with them makes you part of their family.
A quick summery of their ride will not do it justice but it will at least give you an idea of how serious these guys are. First stop was from Pizza Pi to some liquor store on 4th and Tile which is approximately .71 miles away according to Mapquest. The stop is for everyone to buy whatever they need whether it be snacks for the road or a couple tall boys to drink at future stops.
The 2nd stop was at the Belmont Pier, if there were any problems with loose cranks or under inflated tires, this was the place to fix all of that.
Distance from last stop- 2.16Mi.
Total distance traveled-2.87Mi.
The 3rd stop was in Seal Beach behind a recreation center right off of the water. To get here we had to turn off our lights so we wouldn’t be seen by anyone driving by. We hit a couple bridges, and even though we aren’t riding too fast, you can feel your leg muscles starting to burn. A few people turned back at this point, everyone wished them well and some told them the best path to take back to where they need to go. This is the point of no return.
Distance from last stop-3.25 Mi.
Total distance traveled- 6.12 Mi.
The 4th stop was at Bolsa Chica Beach. This stretch was exceedingly difficult because of the bridges we had to cross; bridges mean uphill riding, and after riding for a few hours at this point, you are aware of even the slightest slope. The good thing is that the cool ocean breeze is now whipping the sweat from your face. When we were riding through Sunset Beach, there was a fire that a number of firefighters had contained and were working on putting out. We had to cover our noses for a couple of minutes because the smoke was thick. Once we got to our destination, we turned off our lights and lay on the benches with our backs wet from the sweat. We stayed there for almost an hour while everyone smoked, drank, and talked about just about everything. There were a couple of people who switched their tires and adjusted their bikes. There was an even talk about riding out to Huntington Beach, but by this time it was a little past midnight and a lot of us were tired.
Distance from last stop-4.9 Mi.
Total distance traveled- 10.21 Mi.
The 5th and final stop was back in Long Beach. This stop was also optional because a lot of people just went straight home. We stopped at Archibald on 2nd and Livingston to have a burger and some much needed rest because this ride was over half the distance traveled. A couple people even went to the side and puked, it was about 1:30am and all I was thinking was how the hell am I going to get home?! There have been few times I’ve ever been this exhausted both physically and mentally. I had to ride from here all the way home in North Long Beach.
Distance from last stop- 6.33 Mi.
Total distance traveled- 16.54 Mi.
The ride home was killer, every part of me was in pain, and the once group of almost one hundred eager riders was now just a group of five beaten down guys making their way slowly through the empty streets of Long Beach. The bike under me sounded just as beat up as I felt. The total distance round trip from my house is probably about four or five miles more than the total distance of the ride.
Distance from last stop- 10.49 Mi.
Total distance traveled- 27.03 Mi.
If you ever feel like pushing yourself and seeing Long Beach in different way, go to Pizza Pi’s Thursdays at 8:30pm and tell them Citylife sent you.
Have you ever ridden your bike farther than a couple of miles at a time? Where is your favorite place to go bike riding in LB? Would you ever consider going on a bike ride like this?