Carmageddon Now a Big Bike Weekend

Husteling to the Finish Line in Long Beach Last Year. Photo: Gary Kavanagh/Flickr

Last year, Wolfpack Hustle stole the show, and many of the headlines, from the doomsayers that predicted Carmageddon when Caltrans had to temporarily close less than ten miles of freeway connecting the Westside of Los Angeles to the Valley. How did they do it? The bicycling team raced an airplane from Burbank to Long Beach and won.

Thanks to the Wolfpack, bicycling will always be associated with Carmageddon. For every ridiculous pronouncement of doom, or ABC7′s equally ludicrous “we built a cell phone ap to help you drive around your local streets” campaign; there were thousands of stories of people enjoying the weekend without a car. Last year FOX 11 put me on television because I was the only person not predicting apocalypse in the media. This year, I can’t get them to return my calls. (I’m kidding. I haven’t called.)

So this year, bike groups are declaring the Carmageddon weekend to be a bike weekend, and there are a lot of high profile cycling events. To help you make your plans now, we’ve listed some of the highlights below.

Friday Night, September 28th:

At 7:00 p.m. the freeway will close and we will celebrate even though we will also probably not notice the difference.

Streetsblog and the Bikerowave Present a Night of Streetfilms, 7:00 p.m.

We’re still working out all the details, but we’ll be powering up the film projector for a night of bike movies, munchies, fellowship and conversation.  There won’t be a cover charge, but we’ll be raising funds for some sort of charity, we haven’t decided which yet. You can get directions to the Bikerowave, at their website. Plenty of bike parking is available.

Critical Mass, 7:00 p.m.

In Los Angeles, the world’s most popular bike ride has the added benefit of a strong LAPD presence riding with the Mass. Will it ride towards the 405 or away? Will there be a Carmageddon/Mass moment? Meet at Wilshire/Western and find out.

Saturday, September 29th

Carmageddon Westside Ride

Walk and Rollers, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and a phalanx of LACBC member groups host a series of Westside rides on the morning of August 29th. Experienced riders may want to check out the “Tour of the Westside” that begins at the Culver City Station at 9 a.m. The 22 mile ride is basically a big loop of Culver City, West L.A. Marina Del Rey and Santa Monica. Less strenuous rides will leave from other places around the Westside throughout the morning and into the early afternoon. Get a complete list of rides, here.

Wolfpack Hustle All City River Ride

From the plane beaters comes a second attempt at Carmageddon history. This time the hustlers propose a group of river rides, beginning at various tributaries to the L.A. River before joining together in a mega-ride. This all-volunteer event is still looking for, well, volunteers. You can get all the details at the events homepage at Midnight Ridazz.

Sunday, September 30

Orange Line Valley Ride

The 8 mile bicycle ride, sponsored by CICLE and Metro, will begin at the Balboa Orange Line Station at 10 a.m. The ride follows the Bike Path through the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Center to the Japanese Gardens. The Japanese Garden will provide complementary admission to bicyclists joining the ride. The ride will loop over to the ONEgeneration Encino Farmer’s Market where participants can purchase tasty, energizing snacks.

Get all the details, at CICLE’s website.

Do you know of other bike happenings on Carmageddon weekend? Let us know so we can all pedal the apocalypse.