Member since: 06.14.07
Replies: 1view gallery contributions
I've been an avid bike (mostly track bike) rider for the last six years. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, so I know how disjointed things can be. I see this grass-roots bicycle movement led by groups such as the Ridazz as a great way to unite disparate city people and to make strong connections with each other. I am always amazed at how easy it is to converse and make friends with others who ride a bicycle. We speak the same language and immediately recognize what's important to each other. However, I think we have a lot of room to grow and improve on the activity we love so much. I think we must resist the urge to divide ourselves into a cycling hierarchy. I think we must resist the urge to categorize ourselves as cyclists by what we wear, what time of day or night we ride, what kind of bike we ride, etc. Midnight Ridazz has gone a long way to get people together. In fact, I think the Ridazz have done more in that regard in a short number of years than any other cycling group in L.A. Now, for my final but most important point. The greatest divide in cycling in Los Angeles today, is the one between the lycra (not spandex) wearing cyclists who mostly ride in the daytime and the non-lycra, category defying cyclists who mostly ride at night. Looking at both, there are no distinctions of how serious they take their cycling. I see messenger looking cyclists on fixies that I consider serious athletes, and on the other hand, I see pot-bellied weekend warriors wearing lycra that couldn't cycle their way out of a paper bag. I know there is a divide and perhaps a bit of disdain for each other. I see it, and hear it. I would love to get the two types together more often, and create more dialogue, and despite our respective "uniforms" try to get everyone to ride with each other once in a while, because oh, that would make a real powerful force in this city, if all the cyclists of every stripe united to assert their rights to the streets of Los Angeles. As for myself, I occupy this strange middle ground. I look like a lycra-wearing "roadie," but I ride more like a bike messenger with a real SoCal twist. I ride about 300 miles per week on a track (meaning no brakes) bike. I climb, I descend, I do just about everything I would do on a road bike on my track bike. Since this is getting kinda long, I'll finish by saying that my goal is to attract cyclists like the Wolfpack and other fixie riders to do some serious road riding with me during the day, since my life situation right now precludes me from riding at night, and to get more "roadies" involved with track bike culture. I honestly think that track bikes could be the magnets that pull each of us together.