The East Village Arts District will once again be transformed from its sleepy town feel to a rumbling raucous of bike bells, lively chatter and squeaking brake pads during Downtown Long Beach Associates' (DLBA) 2015 Bike Fest on Saturday, May 30.
According to the DLBA, nearly 4,000 bicycle enthusiasts converged at the 2014 Bike Fest to fill the area bordered by Broadway, Elm Avenue, First Street and Atlantic Avenue with their fanaticism for all things two-wheeled. This year’s Bike Fest will be nothing short of exciting with several types of races, entertaining competitions and a beer garden. And that's just the start.
“We are one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation—and we feel it is our obligation to adhere to that title as well as lead the effort in keeping it alive to help maintain that status,” said DLBA President and CEO Kraig Kojian in a statement. “It’s hard to not like the idea of giving the streets back to bikes and pedestrians."
Kojian said the foot traffic generated during Bike Fest "introduces new customers to businesses—new and established—and, in return, creates a strengthened, more tight-knit DTLB community.”
Last year, Long Beach hosted its first Wolfpack Hustle criterion (crit), the Short Line Crit, an infamous after dark race defined by sharp turns and heated competition between several of the nation’s fastest cyclists. This year the Short Line crit will return to the East Village Arts District once again to give participants a chance at winning the coveted dog tags, in addition to providing spectators a thrilling event to watch.
“We’re stoked to be featured at Bike Fest,” said Wolfpack founder Don Ward in a statement. “It’s the part that makes this race so special: Bike Fest is this beautiful centerpiece."
Joining Wolfpack will be the return of Bike Fest’s City Cross obstacle course complete with new features from SoCal Cross. Gold Sprint races will be featured from the stage, along with track standing, skidding and footdown competitions as part of the inaugural “Fixie Competition.” Also new to the fest this year: trike races for both little and big kids.
“One of the most entertaining competitions to spectate or be involved in is the skid, track stand, and footdown,” said Paul Ku of City Grounds, a sponsor of the event, in a statement. “Whether you’re trying to beat the longest skid, competing with your buddy to see who could track stand the longest, or fighting your way to be the last man riding in footdown, these games are guaranteed to entertain not only the riders, but the spectators as well.”
Participants and onlookers tuckered out from the festivities can also kick back in the Beachwood & Friends craft beer garden, to return this year with a wide selection of craft brews sure to satisfy the most discerning palate.
Full schedule of events:
1PM Kids Race on Broadway- Race on the closed Crit Course Straightaway (ages 2-10)
1PM Beachwood & Friends Craft Beer Garden
1:30PM City Cross by So Cal Cross & Bikeable Communities
2PM Fixed Gear Competition on Broadway at Linden with Skid Race, Track Stand and Foot Down
2PM Gold Sprints from Main Stage on Linden
2PM City Cross on 1st Street
3PM Entry for Vintage Bicycle Show and Contest
4PM Live Music from Main Stage on Linden featuring Dustin Lovelis
4PM Wolfpack Hustle Shortline Crit Qualifiers
5PM Vintage Bicycle Show Awards
5:30 Live Music from Main Stage on Linden featuring Tall Walls
6PM Wolfpack Hustle Shoreline Crit Finals
7PM Gold Sprints from Main Stage on Linden
8PM Beachwood & Friends Craft Beer Garden Ends
10PM Wolfpack Hustles Shortline Crit Awards and End Finale