What’s your name (optional) and/or your Midnight Ridazz log-in name?
How did you first hear about Midnight Ridazz and what was your first group bike ride?
I used to work at a book shop in Santa Monica many years ago. Every month, there would be a band of people on bikes, skates, and rollerblades blasting music as they went by. They had costumes and the whole thing looked so fun, but i had no idea what it was, or how to be a part of it. fast forward about 3 or 4 years... I first met Drooby (mom ridazz) on the metro red line on my way home from north hollywood. He noticed all the playing cards stuffed between my spokes and thought i would make a good recruit i guess. He told me about a ride called the Chill Chinatown Mosey, and to check out midnightridazz.com.
So i did, and the rest is history.
Currently what rides do you attend regularly and what ride(s) would you like to see make a comeback?
Taco Tuesday, The Chill Chinatown Mosey (when it was still active and kickin'), Crank Mob, Air Raid Sirens, Ride With No Name, 2nd Friday Midnight Ridazz Rides...
I would like to see the chill chinatown mosey come back to life, i really loved that ride. In its hey-day it was the greatest downtown bike ride ever. Remember the scavenger hunt with the beer tower at the end? Or the time where everyone got crafty with a box of art supplies for the 'Make Your Own Spoke card' Mosey? Lance and Steph put so much love into planning that ride every week, and the meet up was down the street from my place at the Rosslyn.
What advice would you pass on to new ridazz?
"You get out of it what you put into it."
If you were leading a group ride, what would you do differently?
Well if I was to plan out a ride, I would do the obvious basics, like scout the entire route beforehand for construction and road obstacles. But I would choose stopping points that had some kind of creative appeal... Something set up with weird instruments for people to play, maybe even just a vacant lot that had old pots and pans for everyone to bang on. When i think about the appeal of riding a bike around with a bunch of strangers, for me, it's the element of temporary community. The more we can all connect with eachother, interact, and share ideas and information, or even just collectively experience SOMETHING... the better.
Do you prefer small rides (30 or less people) or larger rides and why?
Small rides can be fun, but also uncomfortably intimate in a way. One the other hand, big rides seem to coagulate into cliques, and thats no fun either. I think i have no preference over big or small rides, only preference over where we're going, what we're doing, and what the weather is going to be like that night.
Tell us about the best and worst experience you’ve encountered on a group ride.
Best: Meeting some of current best friends in the world.
2nd Best: Taking my older brother out on Crank Mob last year, having a blast until sunrise.
3rd Best: The entire Ridazz Salton Sea trips 2 & 3... swimming in the canal everyday, 'chimping out' around the fire, riding the mini-tandem across the desert.
4th Best: Any given Funderstorm show, especially the one at the art gallery where fuzzbeast had that giant installation. or the one at the end of the train tunnel in the dark.
5th Best: learning how to maneuver in traffic safely and learning my rights as a cyclist by watching and talking with people on rides. (then spreading the gospel to other new ridazz)
6th best: When Stilline spotted a fellow ridazz's stolen bike on the street, and recovered it.
Worst: Getting a staph-infection from a drunken bike trick gone wrong at a ride stop (which i probably could have avoided had i not been too drunk to care about cleaning the wound when it happened.)
2nd Worst: (i'm sure this is everyone's response) Eating shit because a reckless rider make a careless maneuver, then being run over by another rider while lying on the ground.
What did you do for fun before you started “riding”?
Mostly making things with my hands at home. Crafty shit. Making really wild costumes and clothes, exploring the city, etc. Now i do all those things, but i have friends to share my ideas with, and partners to keep me safe.
What’s the best and worst thing group bike rides have done for cycling as a whole in Los Angeles?
Midnightridazz has done it's fair share of partying, but its also done more than it's share in supporting + furthering bicycle infrastructure in Los Angeles. LA's got a long way to go to catch up to international standards, but as long as we keep riding, keep speaking out and stay strong as a community, we can continue to make waves.
If you can name 1 person who embodies the spirit of “Midnight Ridazz”, Who would it be?
Roadblock. He's been there from the very start, and he'll be there til the very end. He's at every end of the ridazz spectrum: Wolfpack hustle to Barchopzz, then to City Hall in a tie at 9am to advocate cyclist's rights.
What do you think the public’s perception is of group bike rides?
I really don't know. Truly. I was watching some TV the other day for the first time in years, and I realized i am not at all in touch with the consciousness of the 'general public'. It seems like the general public is very much into isolating and facading themselves, so if I was to hypothesize what the average jane or joe would think when a swarm of blinking, singing, smiling, shouting, drinking, smoking, dancing bicyclists made their way around their weatherproof, climate controlled, soundproofed, gas-guzzling fortress.... they would probably either hate us enough to twitter a nasty one-liner update from their iphone 3G while we circle-of-death their intersection on their green light... or they would just passively observe the event from a cold, removed & stoic standpoint inside their car until the roving obstacle in their way had passed, not giving a shit about it either way.
But seriously... have you ever seen a child in a car react to a pack of ridazz next to them? They love it. That’s about as much of the general public that I care about.