What’s your name (optional) and/or your Midnight Ridazz log-in name?
Sheena Bonner (sheendawg)
How did you first hear about Midnight Ridazz and what was your first group bike ride?
I first heard of MR through a college friend (SKIDMARCUS) and my first group ride was SMCM about three years ago. When I first moved out here I started going to them fairly regularly as well as some of Marcus's west side rides but I faded out of it for a while because I lived in the South Bay and fell and victim to other distractions. After moving to Venice a year and a half ago and getting comfortable with a routine of people and events I decided it was time to shake it up a bit so I put in a call to Vandrew and was shotgun to Austin for SXS-RIDAZZ and on a course to witness my first bike event trip. I was hooked into the spirit of it all right away.
Currently what rides do you attend regularly and what ride(s) would you like to see make a comeback?
I try to mix my time between east and west side riding because it's great to get a well rounded sense of the scene and the city, however, since I live on the westside most of my riding happens there. The Westside Mosey hosted by Jonnyboy is a ride I never miss as well as most of the FMLY rides and random spontaneous ones too. I love the laid back style of chill party ride with great music but I also love the adventurous side of rides. Exploring the city's nooks and crannies in a way only a bike can do. I think alot of people would love a R0B0Tz style ride to return.
What advice would you pass on to new ridazz?
Appreciate what you're experiencing with a broad perspective. Utilize the people around you help shape your experiences. Learn about the city and your bike instead of just showing up to get wasted because you're under aged. There is a great mix of people in this scene that allows for all types to find a niche somewhere. You don't have to make MR your life but it will naturally find a place in your heart. Be creative because anything goes and this is the time, space, and forum to explore your own identity.
If you were leading a group ride, what would you do differently?
I am not a fan of "themed" rides. I understand how they motivate people to come out because they get you excited sometimes but I feel like the rides themselves are usually just another ride. Rather than just dressing differently I would like to host a ride that was deeper in thought as far as it's interaction with its context aka LA. There have been rides that do this examples being the architecture rides or in a different way Friends of the Friendless, Robotz or Rogue Ride. I'm still developing my contribution and I hope to provide ridazz with something new and exciting. As far as the actual leading of the rides I think that the people who are leading now set a great example of how to set routes, navigate and keep a ride together as well as create really positive energy.
Do you prefer small rides (30 or less people) or larger rides and why?
I prefer smaller rides because there they are more intimate and offer a more cozy dynamic but big rides make a bolder statement when forced onto the streets of crowded cars and it's great to be a part of that chaos and see the looks on peoples faces. I like to interpret their inner dialogue as we ride by.
Tell us about the best and worst experience you’ve encountered on a group ride.
BEST: I feel like a lot of my memories have blurred into one big awesome day so it's hard to say what my "best" experience was out of all of them. I think I'll just say that there have been some amazing moments on almost every ride and I thank you for leaving me with this euphoric high.
WORST: Accidents and harm to anyone is always the worst however my own personal experience was on one of the first group rides I went on after returning to riding. It was a Taco Tuesday and all of my stuff was stolen off of my bike. My bag with all my I.D., phone, sketchbook and keys. Luckily nothing that can't be replaced and I had a sentimental night with my now boyfriend who got a few thousand in camera equipment stolen that same instance.
What did you do for fun before you started “riding”?
Going to bars and spending too much money was definitely a big chunk of my social life before picking up riding more. However, I like to keep my friends and social life balanced between several different types of dynamics so I still do most of what I did before "riding" just less often. I play on a kickball league and harbor many friends that don't even own bikes and don't fully understand the "riding" side of my life but they don't have to. I appreciate all lifestyles. I give "riding" credit for igniting my creative juices again tho. I was feeling jaded for quite some time and it's the people I have met and am still meeting that get me excited about the next big idea.
What’s the best and worst thing group bike rides have done for cycling as a whole in Los Angeles?
BEST: I wasn't really cycling before group rides so I don't have a well rounded answer to this but from what I can tell, it's brought people with a common interest together on whole new level. There are so many sides to the riding life (competitive racing, party rides, freak bikes, bike events) and people who wouldn't have normally crossed over into some of these ways of "riding" now have and now have new and different friends and memories.
WORST: Accidents, Theft, and other forms of disrespect to other riders and the community.
If you can name 1 person who embodies the spirit of “Midnight Ridazz”, Who would it be and Why?
I can't name just one. Every personality has contributed to my perspective and I wouldn't change any of them.
What do you think the public’s perception is of group bike rides?
I always wonder what it would be like to be in one of the cars we pass and see a group of crazed kids on bikes with loud music and trashy mouths but since I'm usually one of them I've never been that person in the car confused and bewildered. I think for the most part they are amused by the spectacle and sometimes inspired to break out of their own routine and join in, even if it's only for long enough to honk. It brings an awareness to people that there are groups getting together and doing things and maybe they could too. On the down side there are definitely those who don't care and just wanna get to their destination without these crazy kids blocking the intersections and what not...but who really cares about them... ; )
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Second to the right and straight on till morning