We recently caught up with Awarewolfs organizer Charlie Sears down in San Diego to find out what the Awarewolves are all about.
The AWLF motto is “Raising cycling awareness through cycling with awareness.” I can get behind that. The foundation of Awarewolfs is growing camraderie through organized bike rides–something Sears acknowledges you just can’t quite achieve through our ever-growing habit of online interaction, and AWLF rides are open to “anyone and anybike.”
Like many great ideas, the Awarewolfs concept came about during a late-night hangout, and lingered in the back of Sears’ mind for a few years before coming to life.
“When I first uttered ‘awarewolves’, I was at a demonstration with some friends,” he says. “I never really did anything with the word until 2010 when I decided to organize the first Full Moon Bike Ride and deem it an Awarewolfs ride. Since then, I’ve just been very consistent with organizing, promoting, documenting and branding the rides. For the longest time, the only rides I did were FMBRs, but recently I’ve started a few others like the Veloroam, Bayshore Bikeride, and the DDDT.”
The Full Moon and Veloroam rides are shorter and more relaxed; the Bayshore Ride is a good ride at 45 miles and the DDDT a van-supported 50-mile trek from Dunkin Donuts (DD) at Camp Pendelton to Downtown (DT) San Diego that anyone can participate in for a mere $20, which basically covers all sorts of fuel for riders and the vehicles that transport them.
“I’m eternally in debt to all the people who actually come out on the rides,” Sears says, adding, “thats why I have the shirt in the store that reads ‘TEIAM AWLF’ cause the I in this team is U!”
Long or short, AWLF rides are open to all. According to the website: “We only ask that you evaluate if you can keep up. We’re not saying we’re fast, we’re just saying we’re not slow.”
The Awarewolfs store is stocked with some pretty fly stuff. It was actually an AWLF hoodie that first got my attention, stating “YOU OWN A CAR, NOT THE ROAD.” Better than the large block-letter statement is the fine print in between: “It’s probably a lease though.”
But the Awarewolfs aren’t just about riding bikes and being snarky–they aim to promote safe cycling and mutual respect between cyclists and drivers (wouldn’t that be nice). Nothing revelatory or earth-shattering, but it’s nice to see the often opposing ethos of hip and responsible in the same place.
The Awarewolfs will be roaming the streets of San Diego all summer long. The next FMBR will be on July 23rd, and they are anticipating some road tripping in the near future too: “The second night of Interbike is a Full Moon so … if all goes according to plan, a FMBR will happen in Las Vegas!”
Check out the AWLF About page to find out more about their philosophy on safe riding and rules of the road, and click on over to AWLF store to peep new designs released for the summer, including a collaboration with San Diego street artist Fotophunk.
About Krista Carlson
A regular contributor to the print edition of Urban Velo, Krista Carlson is a cyclist obsessed with bike polo, baking, pickles, and all things bike-y. She is a native Angeleno and is madly in love with the city and everything that makes it the beautiful, crazy place that it is.