Bicyclists to Take Over Downtown L.A. Park

Bicyclists to Take Over Downtown L.A. Park
File photo by Elisa Figueroa/L.A. Weekly

If you see thousands of bicyclists near downtown's Civic Center next month, it's probably not a hostile takeover by rebellious pot smokers on fixies.

It's probably the Los Angeles Bicycle Festival, which is scheduled to happen May 8 at Grand Park.

The daylong event (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) is aimed more at the casual bike-rider, including families with children, says organizer Nona Varnado of the nonprofit Bicycle Culture Institute.

It's on Mother's Day.

"I hope we get a lot of families," Varnado says. "It seems like a really awesome way to spend the day."

The event contrasts with Long Beach's Bike Fest 2016, which features events for the more hardcore cyclist, on May 7. Expert riders group Wolfpack Hustle, for example, will host its "Short Line Crit" race there.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Festival is billed as "a bicycle theme park" with music, food, a beer garden, a photo booth, "family-friendly workshops," "interactive art installations," "wandering musicians," pro BMX displays and local ride groups.

A crowdfunding effort was launched to make up a funding gap, Varnado told us, and it was a success. By last night organizers had raised nearly $4,000. The goal was $3,500.

General-admission tickets are $12 for singles and $15 for families (including as many as two adults and three children); $55 VIP tickets include a tote bag, T-shirt, temporary tattoo, two drink tickets, VIP entry, and after-party access.

Varnado says kids can use the Grand Park playground or get ice cream at a food truck. There will be six food trucks serving the fest, she said.

The first Los Angeles Bicycle Festival happened in 2014 at a smaller venue in Hollywood, she said.

"People were flabbergasted to see nontraditional bikers show up," Varnado said. "A lot of people in Los Angeles want something like that."

Tickets and info.

Bicyclists to Take Over Downtown L.A. Park
Los Angeles Bicycle Festival

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