Whatís your name?
How did you first hear about Midnight Ridazz and what was your first group bike ride?
I first heard about Midnight Ridazz from Little V, who owns Bar 107 and the Down and Out. My first Midnight Ridazz ride was Noche de los Biciclistas Muertos, Parte Dos. I was instantly addicted to the rush of being part of a ride that big. Also, it was a fan-fucking-tastic route: northeast-los to east-los through downtown and back. 6th Street bridge. Complete visceral love for the city. Pure joy.
BUT, my first group rides were all Tren Way rides Ė my sisterís best friend used to ride Tren Way and she invited me. On my very first Tren Way ride we rode 2 miles and then got drunk. So fucking rad.
Currently what rides do you attend regularly?
RIDAZZ TRIPS. If you really want to feel the camaraderie and energy of this community, scrape together every spare penny you can find and go on one of these trips. Bike Kill NYC [2, 3], New Orleans [2, 3, 4, 5], Austin [hey, where are the goddam Austin pics people?!] Ė Midnight Ridazz explosions, all up yoí muthafuckiní city.
As we all know, a bike rider communes with the city in a way no driver or pedestrian ever, ever can. And I fucking love the city! Cities are glorious, living, interactive monuments to human success, failure, love, hate, democracy, oligarchy, xenophobia, community, survival and everything in between. The city is the ultimate form of human expression. Exploring not just our city, but other cities like Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Orleans, Austin by bike with other ridazz forces interaction with other human expression, other cultures, other philosophies, and all with people who just want to fucking ride a bike. Itís brilliant.
Frankly, Iím disillusioned with group rides. After meeting up with the Angelopes this past weekend, Iím going to say that they are our last best hope. Iím tricking out my Stingray for short-term Angelopes action, and then Iím going to start building: first a chopper, then a tall bike.
(Tren Way por vida, of course.)
What advice would you pass on to new ridazz?
THIS IS A COMMUNITY. You know, with, like, other people Ďn stuff. DONíT BE A SELFISH DICK.
This is a community! Iím amazed at how people donít view this as a community. Yeah, we come from different backgrounds and have different philosophies and perspectives, but that shouldnít stop us from having each otherís best interests in mind. Why not look out for each other? Why not be considerate of how our individual actions affect the Midnight Ridazz community as a whole?
Selfish dick-i-tude blows my mind. And pisses me off.
If you were leading a group ride, what would you do differently?
Iíve only organized one 2nd Friday Ė Ladiesí Night [2, 3]. It. Was. Fucking. Fun. I would organize another one in a heart beat if I could come up with a worthy theme/ride. Iím thinking of reprising one of Widowmakerís rides in Austin, because that girl and her rides rule the fucking school.
I didnít really answer the question, I know, because I donít like the question. Everyone do your own thing. Rides need to police themselves. Yes, there are ride organizers and there are brilliant hardworking folks whose ideas become the reality of the rides, but THIS IS ANARCHY in the most positive sense of the term. WE ARE ALL THE LEADERS OF THE RIDES AND OF THIS COMMUNITY, and we should all have the fucking wherewithal to act that way.
Do you prefer small rides (30 or less people) or larger rides and why?
Both are beautiful.
Tell us about the best and worst experience youíve encountered on a group ride.
Best: Every time I see love for this community expressed, every time I see someone contributing to this community.
Worst: Every time I see someone express disregard for others. Which I see way too often. It feels like this community is becoming a community of disregard.
What did you do for fun before you started ďridingĒ?
Dancing and drugs.
Whatís the best and worst thing group bike rides have done for cycling as a whole in Los Angeles?
Best: We speak to the city streets. We make them ours. THEY ARE PUBLIC. WE ARE THE PUBLIC.
Worst: Frankly, I donít give a fuck.
If you can name 1 person who embodies the spirit of ďMidnight RidazzĒ, Who would it be and Why?
One person? Hell no. There is no ďSpirit of Midnight RidazzĒ. We are an ever-changing community, and you canít pin that down or force it into a box. We all make it what it is. I hope the community continues to be something I want to be a part of, but if it doesnít, Iíll try to help build a new one elsewhere.
What do you think the publicís perception is of group bike rides?
Again, I donít give a fuck. I know people think that it a counterproductive attitude, but I donít give a fuck about that either. Weíre fucking PIRATES. Fuck legislating us into acceptability. Fuck city hall, fuck the cops. Ride like the wind, that street is yours Ė JUST SHOW RESPECT.
Let me be completely clear, though Ė I will ALWAYS respect another person, whether they are on a bike, in a car, on foot, fucking flying through the air with the greatest of ease, or rocking a shopping cart down the middle of the street. That person is another human being, with a heart and bones and flesh and blood just like you, and donít you ever forget that.
If that other person forgets that Iím another human being, well.....Then itís on like Donkey Kong.
Is there anything else youíd like to add?
Yes! Iím constantly quoting Marinoís profile page, and Iím going to do it again:
Fuck appeals to the authorities for more lenient terms of enslavement!
We are forging a new society, right now!
Every Midnight Ridazz ride, every Tren Way ride, every Sins and Sprockets ride, every C.R.A.N.K. MOB ride is a political ride.
Why? Because it's a public demonstration of collective happiness without consumerism, without structure, without hierarchies. It's a demonstration that anarchy is possible AND fun.