Houston's 5 Best Social Bike Rides

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As Houston's cycling infrastructure has grown, so has its cycling community. There are now social bike rides for nearly every day of the week, each with its own focus and personality. Below, we highlight five of our favorites just in time for the start of training season.

5. Bayou Bikers Led by renewable energy businessman and former state congressional candidate Michael Skelly, the Bayou Bikers meet at 8 a.m. the first Sunday of every month at Market Square Park for breakfast at Niko Nikos and then a ride along the city's bayou trails. Rides are usually 20 miles or so and the goal is to make use of the many trails following Houston's waterways. The early start helps to beat the heat in Houston summers, but might not be so friendly to your hangover. Mountain bikes or bikes with fat tires are recommended, but there is a B-Cycle station at Market Square Park for handy rental.

4. Bohemeos Badass Bike Ride Meets at Market Square Park each Thursday evening, gathering at 7 p.m. and rolling out at 7:30. The distance is 14-20 miles and the ride always ends at Bohemeo's, which often showing films on the back patio on Thursday nights. Every kind of bike is welcome, and the ride is no-drop, meaning no one is left behind. However, the first Thursday of every month is a longer, faster-paced ride (14-16mph) and typically ridden on road bikes, so if you can't keep up, skip out on that week.

3. Amy's 28 Miles of Smiles Doesn't the name just make you want to get on your bike and ride? This group meets at Blue Line Bike Lab's Heights location, 3302 White Oak Drive, every Wednesday and departs about 7:05 p.m., after the first round of fast riders leave. This is a decently-paced (16-18mph), extremely safe ride where no one gets dropped and all the traffic rules are obeyed (i.e. no running red lights to catch up to the pack). Helmets and lights required.

2. Critical Mass Houston Ciritcal Mass is an all-inclusive mass bike ride that takes place the last Friday of each month, meeting at Market Square Park in Downtown and riding at about 7:15 p.m. Mass is massive, with several hundred cyclists joining each ride. Not everyone follows the rules of the road, either. The group has been quite controversial with drivers and other cylists in Houston, but it can still be a fun time if you ride carefully and with the right crowd. Most riders have fixed gear bikes, but any make is welcome.

1. Karbach Brews Cruisers do the Harlem Shake. Remember when that was a thing?

Karbach Brews Cruise Bikes and beer? Yes, Karback Brewing is making it happen. The Brews Cruise happens at 6 p.m. the first Monday of each month, starting at one of Houston's fine drinking establishments and and ending at the brewery with some pit stops in between. Helmets and lights required, plus cash to make it easy on the bartenders at each stop.

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