What’s your name (optional) and/or your Midnight Ridazz log-in name?
How did you first hear about Midnight Ridazz and what was your first group bike ride?
Brassknuckle bugged me for months to come out, when he found out I came back from Japan with a little folding bike. He met me at my house and rode with me to the start point for "Visions of Superstitions" Friday October 13, 2006. At that time my range on the bike was maybe 3 to 5 miles at the most. I was blown away that we rode from Los Feliz to USC to LACMA to Hollywood and Back 26 miles in all. My legs hurt for 2 days and I was hooked.
Currently what rides do you attend regularly and what ride(s) would you like to see make a comeback?
I love Midnight Ridazz. It’s not always perfect, because for most people leading and organizing a Midnight Ridazz ride is one of the biggest things they have ever done. I like to ride Wolfpack whenever I am in good enough shape to do so. Midnight Ridazz taught me that I could ride my bike in the city but Wolfpack taught me that I could take my bike anywhere I could imagine and beyond. To me I'm not that much into one ride over another, I see the bike scene as one big tribe. Anytime I run into Ridazz in the city I consider them as part of my family, crazy aunts & uncles, goofy cousins, and wild nieces & nephews and all. I don't have to like them all to love them all.
What advice would you pass on to new ridazz?
Don't crash into other people.
Don't fuck up the places we visit.
If you love this thing, put some love into it.
If you have a vision how things can be better, make it happen!
This scene is a Doacracy.
Do you prefer small rides (30 or less people) or larger rides and why?
It depends, do you like milkshakes, sipping tequila, drinking beer, or pounding saki bombs? different parties for moods. I like urban adventures on the bike, seeing and doing things that you just can't do any other way. Sometimes that’s alone, some times its with 500 of your best friends.
Tell us about the best and worst experience you’ve encountered on a group ride.
One of the worst was rolling up on a kid who'd been snatched of a Diahon by some thugs in front of a housing project, he was physically hurt and his camera and wallet had been in a bag attached to the bike. One of my best life moments was seeing DJ Chicken Leather march into the projects after them holding his bike and with 30lb duffle bag slung over his shoulder only to emerge a few moments later with the stolen bike. My only regret is that Chicken Leather didn't have a free hand to tape the whole thing. I would have loved to see the look on those kids faces when that bike was snatched back. haha.
What did you do for fun before you started “riding”?
Same as now, collect records, DJ, art, music, photography, hang out with the cat & the little lady.
What’s the best and worst thing group bike rides have done for cycling as a whole in Los Angeles?
There is no worst. No downside. The only negativity to emerge on group rides is merely a reflection of LA as a whole. If anything, the bike scene taken as a whole is a lot better and safer than L.A. as a whole.
The bike scene in L.A. with Midnight Ridazz as its skeleton has formed a "soft infrastructure" for a bikeable L.A. in the absence of roads, and laws, and planning, and paint, and signage, and education; we have gotten together to help each teach each other how to ride this city. We support each other when we crash, when our bikes are stolen, when we are harassed, when we are attacked, etc.. Midnight Ridazz has gotten more people on bikes than any other program, and the network of support that MR fosters keeps people on their bikes by creating a place for community support, long after people lose the obsession to go on a massive bike ride once a month.
If you can name 1 person who embodies the spirit of “Midnight Ridazz”, Who would it be and Why?
No. There is no "1". Midnight Ridazz is about us. The 2009 All City Toy Ride brought out about 400+ people in the rain, probably 1 out of every 8 or 9 of those people contributed to making the rides, the parties, and the F.U.N. happen. To me that is what embodies Midnight Ridazz, lots of nameless people stepping up and making shit happen for everybody. As a culture we like to focus on individuals ... it makes for a good story, but the thing that makes Midnight Ridazz great is all the people who pitch in, in ways big and small, without needing or expecting to be recognized for it. If we were a film, our credits would be just as long as our movie.
What do you think the public’s perception is of group bike rides?
There is no "public perception". Most people don't even know the bike scene exists. Peoples’ opinions change about the bike ride at a moments notice depending on out it affects them directly. They may see magical urban parade whizzing past them or they may see a traffic jam that is preventing them from getting where they want or need to go.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Midnight Ridazz is what you make it. If you want this scene to grow and change, or capture the spirt of yore. Don't complain. Step up. Make it happen! Duet!