Long Beach Bike Community

Andrew Favela and Zak Lopez

 The city of Long Beach is continuing to improve livability and has been named the 10th most bike-friendly city in America. “Making Long Beach a great place to live for all of our residents is a top priority for us,” said City Manager Patrick H. West. Thousands of residents in Long Beach bike every day because of the great weather and its various bike paths. Biking is also a fun and a social outdoor activity that won’t harm you or the people around you. There haven’t been any problems with these outdoor activities, until now…

Many high school bikers have been having a problem lately with the police and certain residents in the city. There’s a bike crew in Long Beach full of Wilson High School students that ride all over Long Beach on the weekend, and usually, 100 – 200 people come out, they call it a ride out. People have been calling the police and complaining that the groups are too big and causing disturbance. A lot of bikers here at Wilson have been in situations with cops. Peter Loza is a senior at Wilson and was once riding with friends in an empty parking lot. A lady didn’t like them riding there so she called the cops saying they had a weapon, cops came immediately with guns out of their holsters telling them to get on the ground. Peter and his friends were terrified, the cops searched them and said they were free to go. All they wanted to do is ride.    


Chet is a local in Long Beach, and is the creator of the bike group Long Beach Rippers. He says, “ I ride because when i´m on a bike all the stress from real life day to day goes away, it’s almost like therapy to me. Most of the time it’s super fun just riding and seeing places from a bike point of view that you wouldn’t get if your in a vehicle.” He created this group to keep the younger generation active. “ I feel like the generation now would be stuck on games, Ipads, and not socializing. If I can get a group of diverse people together in one place and connect with each other, that’s a win in my opinion.” 

There have been many incidents with people in Long Beach where cars get very impatient and start honking and speeding on the opposite side of the road screaming at the bikers. There was a recent situation where an elderly man was getting impatient so he decided to go through the bikers and hit two kids. The kids luckily just got scratches but their bikes were destroyed. The man was later arrested when the bike group saw the man walking his dog. 


  Police Officers have been finding out when our rides are and where they start. About three or four cop cars come around the corners and wait until the ride out starts so they can start following from the back. After riding for a bit, the officers see how many people are biking so they always say to go home or we will get stopped. A lot of the time they rush to get in front of the group, and they get out the car and try to get someone. They are successful at times and take their bike and put bikers on the sidewalk, all 100 – 200 people stay and make sure he or she is safe and wait until the officers let them go so they can continue to ride. Once two 10 year old little girls were riding with helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and were riding on the bike path the entire time, a cop pulled them over with their father and gave them tickets, the officer never explained why he was giving them tickets. A lot of people get mad at the officers and say things which make the officers mad and start arguments. When we go on our breaks at a fast food or a store the officers come out and tell us they will give everyone tickets if they dont stop riding recklessly.


  We have so many bike riders in the Long Beach Rippers group that come to Wilson. Max P, Jonavan K, Jayden K, Ashton, Peter L, James B, and Angel M. They are all great riders who love to bike together and spend their time cruising around Long Beach. Max is a freshman at Wilson and has been riding for a year. When cops come to the ride outs he said “ I feel worried everytime the cops show up because sometimes they do some out of pocket things that could be avoided.” James says “ riding has helped me stay out of trouble, I ride to have fun and live life to the fullest. “  A lot of the time people from far cities come to the ride outs and ride on the other side of the road, hit cars and talk bad to the people in Long Beach and the police. When the ride out is over and they leave, people in the city think it’s the people who are in the group that start the problems. The people who ride and live in Long Beach do their best to stay on the right side of the road, make sure everyone is safe, and cause no problems.