The nine core members are mostly Latinas in their 20s from Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles and Lincoln Heights who work for nonprofits. Each month, they organize a women’s “Luna Ride” during the full moon, usually around their neighborhoods.
Their August ride, the biggest of the year, was a takeoff on Critical Mass, a monthly ride that spread from San Francisco to 300 cities, including Los Angeles. Just over 100 female riders joined the 30-mile ride from the Watts Towers to Hollenbeck Park, making five other stops along the way. They often choose political themes for their trips; July’s was the California prison hunger strike.
The women also sponsor coed rides — although the men might have to listen to a lecture on male privilege and machismo.
Cycling is growing among young women but still lags far behind men’s participation; only one in five riders in Los Angeles is female, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition reported in 2011. The cyclists believe more women will turn out for rides with a female stride.
With male riders, “there’s that whole bro-ish kind of stuff,” Aguirre said. “We’re not about who can ride fastest, we’re about sisterhood.”