Need to get to work in LA? Wish your commute was super fun instead of a drag?
We provide a rolling party along curated routes run by Conductors – experienced urban cyclists – to educate new riders, harness the safety of riding in a group and kicking it up a notch by making the ride a fun social experience. Plus it’s totally free! All you need to do is submit your email, cell phone number and the route that you’re interested in. If you don’t see a route that works for you – suggest one!
1. What is a “Bike Train” and how is it different from any other group ride? Riding in a group is always more fun & safe than riding alone. L.A. Bike Trains combines those benefits with operating on a regular route, on a regular schedule – more like a public bus line. Conductors are trained, outfitted with basic tools and official rides are insured. Anyone who is new or uncomfortable riding on the street gets personal instruction and encouragement, while regular bike commuters gain motivation and a fun group of people to ride with.
2. Riding on the street in L.A. is too dangerous. It’s true – biking in LA is often a stressful experience because of the roads and traffic. But by riding together in a pack, you get safety in numbers and contribute to making drivers aware that cyclists are on the road. Our conductors go through training on how to educate participants and ensure you’re in a good place to ride, supported by people who are there to help. BONUS: By having more people biking, the city and other organizations will have greater power to implement protective infrastructure improvements. Remember: we’re here to have fun and get to work – routes are planned to avoid danger.
3. How do I get to the start? What if I’m not sure how to get from the route to my office? LA Bike Trains does something called Special Valet Service. It’s a one shot deal where you can request to have a conductor or other volunteer meet you at your house, show you how to get to the meeting point and then show you how to navigate from the route to your specific destination. The volunteer might also be able to recommend how to lock up or other practical tips for a new rider.
4. I’ll get sweaty. I have to look professional. Bike Trains are …like real trains, slow and steady. Each conductor leads at their own pace, but it’s not a race and no one is ever left behind at a light. It’s true in summer you might want to invest in a nice bike basket to carry a fresh shirt or a hairbrush.
5. But I have a slow/old/ugly bike. Because Bike Trains are at an easy pace, you can ride just about anything. In a larger or more diverse bike train you’ll see people riding old mountain bikes, rusty delivery bikes, fixed gears, beach cruisers or whatever will do the job.
6. I’m not in great shape. By making the pace of the ride easy, anyone with any bike, wearing any clothes can happily keep pace with the leader and everyone else. Our initial phase will only be once a week, which anyone can do. The great thing about commuting by bike is that you’re also getting regular exercise, so if you’re out of shape it’s a pleasant way to increase your fitness or just burn a few extra calories.
7. I’m not really a cyclist and I don’t have time for socializing before work. Bike Trains are generally a more time-efficient way of getting to work. They’re not physically demanding (except for the Sunset Triangle – Santa Monica route perhaps) and you can wear whatever you want. If you want to show up 20 minutes early to chat and drink coffee – that’s great! But otherwise L.A. Bike Trains is a transportation option, like taking public transit.
8. What if I’m late? Communication is key. Before you begin you’ll get an email from your conductor – and you’ll send an email back confirming your participation. If you’re a little late you can text the conductor and see if it’s possible for the group to wait a minute, but in general you’d need to try to catch up to the group along the route or inform the conductor via call/text that you won’t be able to make it.