What’s your name (optional) and/or your Midnight Ridazz log-in name?
Louise, light-fixture on the boards, but I hardly ever post or go on.
How did you first hear about Midnight Ridazz and what was your first group bike ride?
The first time I heard about the Midnight Ridazz was through Critical Mass invites on Facebook, unfortunately I was in school at UC Santa Cruz and the rides were in LA. The first time I actually went on a ride was winter ’07. I had just gotten into town for winter break and my friends were like “Hey, do you wanna go to this thing called C.R.A.N.K. Mob? We ride bikes all night long.” and I was like “Shit, give me a bike to ride and I’ll go”.
Currently what rides do you attend regularly and what ride(s) would you like to see make a comeback?
I still live in Santa Cruz, so I don’t go on many LA rides anymore. I used to visit at least twice a month, and I would try to make it to all the C.R.A.N.K. Mobs. Occasionally I’d go on Friends of the Friendless and Taco Tuesdays, mostly west side rides.
What advice would you pass on to new ridazz?
Wherever you go, there you are.
If you were leading a group ride, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t say much has to be done differently with the rides already being held, but I have a few things I’d like to improve on myself. I would have a larger crew to maintain the ride (assuming it’s a party ride) so it doesn’t fall apart or get hijacked. I would try to be louder and more assertive on the megaphone, or just make sure that there was a louder sound system. I would make sure to stay at the front of the ride at all times. Lastly, I would not stress out and only have a great time.
Do you prefer small rides (30 or less people) or larger rides and why?
I think they’re both appealing, but I enjoy riding most when I’m just with a small group of friends because it’s easier to meet everyone’s needs.
Tell us about the best and worst experience you’ve encountered on a group ride. Best: There are several. Meeting the amazing people involved with the bike scene and exploring new and forbidden territory in LA on a bike. One experience that stands out in my mind was the time we all stormed into the venue where FMLY was putting on a show and ended up having a huge dance party at the back of the warehouse. And also sharecuts!
Worst: Seeing people get too drunk and hurt themselves and others, or getting too drunk and hurting myself. At one C.R.A.N.K. Mob Santa Cruz, somebody smashed a car window with their u-lock, that was pretty nasty.
What did you do for fun before you started “riding”?
I would go see my favorite bands, go to art shows, make art with friends, and do many of the same Midnight Ridazz activities on foot. Occasionally I’d smoke blunts with my homies.
What’s the best and worst thing group bike rides have done for cycling as a whole in Los Angeles?
Best: Group bike rides have done many amazing things for thousands of people. To name a few, they have inspired creativity, community, cycling, and cuddles.
Worst: I can’t think of many negative things surrounding group rides, but perhaps the trendiness of cycling and neglect of safety can be partially attributed to them?
If you can name 1 person who embodies the spirit of “Midnight Ridazz”, Who would it be and Why?
There is definitely more than one person that embodies the spirit of “Midnight Ridazz”. Naming one or a few would just be excluding all the others!
What do you think the public’s perception is of group bike rides?
At Salton Sea, a man drove up to me while I was riding my bike and said “you guys are not BURNING MAN, you’re pathetic, rich kids from the city trying to be BURNING MAN, and you’re not!” Something to that extent… Other times there are people who praise our efforts at stoplights with a holler and a honk, I like their perception.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks to everyone who I’ve met on these group bike rides, you’ve all taught me a great deal, whether you think so or not, and I will never forget any of you. Thanks to all those people who are the inner workings of Midnight Ridazz, who spend extra time making sure that everything works on the website, who put together surveys like this, who organize rides, and to those people who I have yet to meet.