Social bike rides are getting people off their phones and onto the street. Several groups in the desert meet-up a few nights a week to ride their bicycles together and in some nights the rides attract upwards of a hundred people.
Arturo Aviles started the Coachella “The U Rad Cru” with just a handful of his friends, it was an idea for them to spend time together and ride the bicycles they always wanted as children but are now able to afford.
“They didn’t have that GT BMX Bike because there wasn’t enough money to buy it,” Aviles said. “Now they get to buy that remake in a bigger frame and they get to ride so people like the movement, people like what’s going on it’s becoming popular.”
It is popular enough that the number of riders keeps growing with people of all ages.
Aviles said, “Kids are always on their phones, I-pads, computers, and now you see parents bringing kids out to the rides.”
Julio Garcia is one of the many who spotted the riders around the city a few months back and he was introduced to a whole new scene.
Garcia said, “One day I was just cruising on the streets of Coachella and I saw all of the bikes and it made me want to get a bike.”
These bike meet-ups are popping up everywhere in Los Angeles, San Diego and other desert cities including Palm Springs, Indio and La Quinta.
Aviles said, “The ride is about a 13-mile ride, there are some rides where we’re going pretty fast, but when there are kids and older people we try to slow it down.”
He says along the way they will bump with one or two impatient drivers, but he hopes that changes over time.
Aviles said, “I hope that changes right, people have to realize the road is for everybody and they have to respect we all have the same rights.”
The U Rad Cru meets every Tuesday in front of the Coachella City Hall at 7:30 PM.