What’s your name (optional) and/or your Midnight Ridazz log-in name?
My name is Braydon, and it is the same on the Midnight Ridaz website;
although I used 'vor' for a few months because I thought you had to have an alias because everyone had one, and then people started calling me 'vor' in person, and it was weird.
How did you first hear about Midnight Ridazz and what was your first group bike ride?
My first ride was LACM (Los Angeles Critical Mass) in the summer of
2006, and I went on the second friday Midnight Ridazz rides once a month around the same time. A friend of mine, Eric Hair, told me about it. Previously I didn't think people actually rode bikes in Los Angeles on the streets for fun. I rode them all the time back home in Washington State, but all mountain biking and single track trails; so street riding was intimidating. Now it's my main way of transportation around LA, if it wasn't for biking I would probably have left to another city by now.
Currently what rides do you attend regularly and what ride(s) would you like to see make a comeback?
I go mostly on Mom Ridaz rides, and have been going to DTLA Polo. I don't want any rides to make a comeback, rides have come and gone, and that's part of what keeps things interesting. The Chill Chinatown Mosey was my regular ride for a while; but these days I would rather not stay out crazy late on a Wednesday, wake up with a hangover, and not want to work the next day. I work freelance so it is important to try to find ways to stay motivated, and riding is a great way to escape work, but it's important to keep a balance.
I led a ride for a couple of months every week with a few other Mom Ridaz on Wednesday after the Mosey ended, called the Momsey. We will still probably do the ride, but only every once in a blue moon. I also led another ride called the Full Moon Ride in 2009, that was on the night of every Full Moon, it was interesting being a ride that would land on random days of the week. One that I think was particularly insane, was the "171+2 Turns" starting at Echo Park, it was pretty intense riding up a steep-ass hill only to make two turns and be basically where you started again. I had maybe three bucks to my name that day, I was late paying rent, and had just enough money for food. A friend of mine helped me out and printed and laminated spoke cards for the ride, which was rad. After a stressful day it was nice being completely warn out from riding and totally forget about life drama.
What advice would you pass on to new ridazz?
If you have one bike, get two. If you have ten bikes, get rid of eight of them.
If you were leading a group ride, what would you do differently?
I wouldn't do anything differently; there is a ride for everyone.
Do you prefer small rides (30 or less people) or larger rides and why?
Large rides that have 600 to 1,000 people are really fun, it's so crazy to look down and see riders in front of you as far as you can see. Smaller rides are fun too because you can go places that you wouldn't otherwise be able to go with a large group, and get to know other riders more, and do shit like play D.I.Y "Who's Line is it Anyway?"; who needs a T.V.?
Tell us about the best and worst experience you’ve encountered on a group ride.
Being pulled over and harassed by the police on the Rose Bowl Parade route at 5:00am in the morning on New Years for blasting music off the back of my bike up and down Colorado Blvd. I didn't get a ticket but I basically got kicked off of Colorado Blvd, only once in a blue moon. The News Years before that was fun, I got back to my apartment at like 7:00am and didn't recognize myself in the mirror; face paint and a new robotic crazy tribal looking haircut.
What did you do for fun before you started “riding”?
I've been riding bikes for fun since I was around 15, with a "brief pause" while I was in college. I used to ride up mountains, and do downhill trails. Also used to skateboard, and snowboard a lot. I did a lot of rock climbing, and hiking up in the North West.
What’s the best and worst thing group bike rides have done for cycling as a whole in Los Angeles?
It's great because it makes riding on the streets less intimidating, and you feel like a force against cars that are usually intimidating on the street.
If you can name 1 person who embodies the spirit of “Midnight Ridazz”, Who would it be and Why?
Your mom, because everyone has given her a ride.
What do you think the public’s perception is of group bike rides?
In general, as a statement that bicycles are an equal on the streets and not a second class citizen.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
My website: http://braydon.com