What’s your name (optional) and/or your Midnight Ridazz login name?
Justin aka Supersano. (Sano: Usually referring to one’s car [or bike], or part of one’s car [or bike], as being pristine: "Ron did a sano job on his ‘49 Ford"; sanitary. Italian for ‘healthy’, from Latin sanus – ‘sound in body.’)
How did you first hear about Midnight Ridazz and what was your first group bike ride?
I have rode around in the darkness, avoiding the weird packs of strange people with lights since I moved to L.A. in 2004. I finally went to SMCM in August (?) 2008, with CRANK Mob and Taco Tuesdays following shortly thereafter.
Currently what rides do you attend regularly and what ride(s) would you like to see make a comeback?
Lots of Westside stuff - Taco Tuesdays, Westside Mosey...but I try to get East for [second Friday] MR, RWNN, LACM/Peoples [Ride]. I definitely wanna see a comeback for Rogue Ride, ROBOTZ, Chinatown and the Tandem RWNN!
What advice would you pass on to new ridazz?
Just be nice and don’t get so wasted that you hurt yourself or others. Don’t piss off cops or cars unless they fire first and then you had better be prepared to deal with the consequences…might be a shouting match in one place, but ends up being a fun Friday night gun battle in other neighborhoods. And lock your shit. And don’t steal mine.
If you were leading a group ride, what would you do differently?
I’ve only led one, but I just took cues from the guys and girls on whose rides I’ve been on and had really great times. Personally I like exploring new places, but it isn’t a prerequisite. Music helps, proper scouting helps, helping helps and everyone loves spoke cards.
Do you prefer small rides (30 people or less) or larger rides and why?
As much as I like an intimate group of good friends and skilled ridazz, I’ll always take 1,000 people over 20 people. If you can make it work - a big "if" - there’s nowhere you can’t go and no environment you can’t invade and take over in the name of F.U.N., no road you can’t shut down. I like helicopters following us and cops who give up and try to direct traffic out of our way. If you need intimate, stay in a little group within the group...if you need fast, then wait up and sprint from back to front, cork, and do it again.
Tell us about the best and worst experience you’ve encountered on a group ride.
Best…too many…meeting the love of my life…all of 328…riding in the middle of the Tour of California on Cublife and having to pull over when Freddy Rodriguez crashed…hallucinating Smokey the Bear and hugging him after a climb on that same ride and then discovering that I wasn’t hallucinating…Los Sandgelopes on the beach…even though it’s a P.I.T.A., every time we pack a train full of bikes…the ghost train on Taco Tuesday terminus…the jail on Rogue…dying, yet still pedaling at 5a.m., rolling into Venice.
Worst…not too many…dying, yet still pedaling at 5am, rolling into Venice…every time the love of my life is nearly creamed by a whore in a Lexus…the worst though: every time one of the ridazz leaves town for good or disappears from the scene. Too many gone!
What did you do for fun before you started “riding”?
Rode with a friend or two or alone, rode for fun and got wasted separately…wtf.
What’s the best and worst thing group bike rides have done for cycling as a whole in Los Angeles?
Any publicity is good publicity, but I’m sure we’ve put a lot of cops on alert, not to mention 7-Eleven store managers. Positives make the negatives look trivial though…every city in the world needs this and I’m determined to continue it wherever I go.
If you can name one person who embodies the spirit of Midnight Ridazz, who would it be and why?
Yeah, I hate to make his giant head any bigger but I gotta say Richie if forced to pick one. Great guy to know and a fountain of creative and logistical energy. From my Westside vantage point, though, also on the list are Marcus for his attitude, Brad for his music and tandem rides, Stillline for his helping, XL/Cesar/Uncle Richard (together they make one amazing three-headed ride giant) and Alex Thompson for what he tries to get done on the political side of things.
What do you think the public’s perception is of group bike rides?
They wish they were on them but rue the fact that they either don’t have time or the wife would think they’re silly or they have to pick the kids up or they’re on their way to meet boring friends at a boring bar. And then they subconsciously veer towards us out of a combination of guilt and jealousy.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yeah, I’m concerned about the increasing polarity of congress and extremists from the right and left taking over many congressional districts due to the gerrymander and a flawed campaign finance system. I’m losing hope that the system is capable of representing the people and that the people themselves are even capable of making the kind of informed decisions we need to remain relevant in the new global environment.