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 heard it from a girl who's good friends with one of my best friends. We used to bar hop together and all of a sudden she and some of the other people we'd see at our favorite bars stopped showing up altogether. The next time I saw her was at another friend's house and she had biked over. She was showing off her beach cruiser and all the little details that screamed her name, like the leopard print seat and the skull stickers on it, and she mentioned Midnight Ridazz. That was the first time that I had heard those two words together. This was towards the end of summer 2006 or maybe even the fall. She began riding with Brian (Speedy Brian) and would help him organize the now infamous CRUZ WITH US rides. My first ride was the 7-11 ride. I enjoyed it but I had this shitty mountain bike and it became my only ride of that year. I went on a couple rides here and there the following year, mainly in the valley but didn't quite get engulfed like I did in 2008 and I haven't stopped coming out ever since.
Currently what rides do you attend regularly and what ride(s) would you like to see make a comeback?
Currently my favorite rides are: Barchopz (brought back by popular demand), The Ride With No Name, The 2nd Friday Ride. I would love to see the Chill Chinatown Mosey come back, that was an amazing ride and cast! I also miss the Cruzz With Us rides - awesome themes and just waaaay fun for everyone, even little kids.
What advice would you pass on to new ridazz?
No rider left behind. We were all new at one point and might have needed a hand from time to time so pass it forward by doing the same.
If you were leading a group ride, what would you do differently?
I would have more interaction between the participants before, at the stops, and after the ride. I would have different activities to get this accomplished. It seems everyone just hangs out with their cliques and I still remember a time when cliques were very few and people would just walk around and mingle with anyone and everyone.
Do you prefer small rides (30 or less people) or larger rides and why?
I enjoy smaller rides because you're able to forge few, but more meaningful friendships. Plus smaller groups have shown me that in smaller numbers we tend to stick closer together. But I also enjoy the big (super big) rides. We are traffic and the look on motorists and other pedestrian's eyes as they are amazed at our sheer numbers is awesome. You can almost see them wishing to be part of what's going on.
Tell us about the best and worst experience you’ve encountered on a group ride.
The day that F.U.N. died (3/28 as it was hyped/called) I was ridding from the Santa Monica/Vermont Redline station with about 100 riders when a privately owned ambulance came crying from behind us. Shit got testy and the ambulance was forced to stop at a red light (it's emergency lights weren't on but you could tell he was in a hurry and just wanted to avoid all the cyclists taking up the road) at which point he kinda nudged a rider and then began to curse him out. The driver was even bold enough to get out with his baton/night stick and threaten the rider and that was all that was needed for the mob mentality to take over. Luckily for the driver there were a few amongst the crowd that worried for his safety and some how got him back into his vehicle so that he could drive away. That was the scariest thing ever.
The best? Probably Halloween 2008 when the "east" side met up with the "west" side and the valley people in hollywood. The streets were rampant with chaos but not a destructive chaos. Just a very celebratory and fun chaos. We even did the circle of death there on Highland and Hollywood, which any angeleno knows, is a congested intersection as it runs through the heart of Hollywood. It was awesome. The amount of riders was a sight to behold.
What did you do for fun before you started “riding”?
The usual, play basketball by day, hit up every known bar in Los Angeles by night, with an occasional trip to a club here and there.
What’s the best and worst thing group bike rides have done for cycling as a whole in Los Angeles?
Best: empowered a lot of people, making them realize there are alternatives to lifestyles that have taken years to achieve - from young to old, the empowerment is awesome and pretty evident.
Worst: Gotten motorists in LA to be weary of our cause.
If you can name 1 person who embodies the spirit of “Midnight Ridazz”, Who would it be and Why?
This is a very good question but one that can't be pinned on just one rider. Riders like "Joe Borfo", Matt (Stilline), Harry Murlowski, Eddie Boy, Brad (RWNN), are amongst a plethora of riders that I think really captures the spirit of what MR is all about and for various reasons. One thing in common between these riders is the sense of community they hold towards MR. It's more of a way of life than anything else.
What do you think the public’s perception is of group bike rides?
I think through time the perception has gotten a little murky but I still smiles and praised sent our ways as we make our way through a certain part of town.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
When I say Midnight Ridazz... you say ride on!