Alley-cat races. Fixed-gear crits. Grassroots track racing. Moonlight mountain biking. Los Angeles’s cycling scene is surprisingly diverse—and keeps hammering long after the sun goes down.
“L.A.’s outdoor access is underrated,” says Masters, 27, who raced for Wonderful Pistachios Pro Cycling for two years and now lives in Pasadena. “I can ride my bike 7,000 feet up into Angeles Crest National Forest, boulder with friends, and catch a ride back to town.”
On Masters: Commuter Hooded Trucker jacket by Levi’s ($128; levi.com); Gilroy shirt by Ambig ($44; ambig.com); Slim jeans by G-Star ($160; g-star.com); SZ 1000 Series watch by Szanto ($225; azfinetime.com); Adam’s own belt
Talbert, who is sponsored by San Diego–based Leader Bikes and, along with Garth, rides for CBNC, has been racing in Southern California since he was 17 years old—alley cats, fixed-gear crits, and, starting this fall, cyclocross.
On Talbert: Greenland No. 1 Special Edition jacket by Fjällräven ($285; fjallraven.us); Blazed Slim shirt by Outlier ($125; outlier.cc); Commuter 511 Slim Fit jeans by Levi’s ($88; levi.com); Vintage Original Black watch by Bell & Ross ($4,500; bellross.com); Atlantic bracelet by Aldo Rossi ($115; arhandmade.com)
“Riding Sunset Boulevard is pretty great,” says Adams, who is sponsored by Engine11, an L.A. bike manufacturer. “There are tons of cyclists, rolling hills, and plenty of bike shops and coffee shops.”
On Adams: Fields jacket by Katin ($95; katinusa.com); V-neck shirt by Cycle Jeans ($95; cyclejeans.com); Commuter 510 Skinny Fit jeans by Levi’s ($88; levi .com); Edisto boots by Tommy Bahama ($198; tommybahama.com)
“It’s known as the Black Top,” says Garth, referring to the Griffith Park helipad. On any given night there might be as many as 40 cyclists watching the sunset and drinking beers post-ride at the popular outlook, says Garth, a 29-year-old amateur racer who competes in track and cyclocross for CBNC (Chubby Boob Nerd Crew), a low-key local team. “There’s a lot of unofficial singletrack in the park,” says Garth, who especially likes riding it on full-moon nights, when it’s bright enough that you don’t need a bike light.
Though Adam Masters (right) climbs often in Angeles Crest and in nearby Joshua Tree, riding is his primary passion. When not guiding trips in Utah or Oregon for L.A.–based Cycling Escapes, he works at Pasadena bike shop Incycle.
On Alonso Talbert (left): Hardshell jacket by Rapha ($390; rapha.cc); Nils Pique shirt by Fjällräven ($85; fjallraven.us); Mobility pants by Giro ($100; giro.com); Carbon sneakers by Teva ($90; teva.com).
Though Brad Adams travels all over the world—last year, Engine11 sent him to Korea, where he won the King of Crit—he loves coming home. Riding around the city, often at night, when there’s less traffic and the air is cooler, is also research for Road Runner Bags, the boutique bike-pack company he runs out of a 400-square-foot studio above his apartment in Echo Park. “We make everything—from saddlebags to hydration packs to waterproof roll-top backpacks—by hand. It’s so much fun.”
“Lately, I’ve been training for a few hours before work,” Alonso Talbert says. Then the 26-year-old rides 15 miles each way to Clae Footwear, where he manages the showroom and helps create social media. “I’m trying to break the stereotype of L.A. living,” says Talbert. He doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, either. “There are a lot of us who jump on our bikes after work and ride as hard as we can uphill to get to a good spot to catch the sunset.”
Next Up: The Gear for Grueling Obstacle Races