What’s your name (optional) and/or your Midnight Ridazz log-in name?
Leslie. I have been Creative Thing since 1980.
How did you first hear about Midnight Ridazz and what was your first group bike ride?
I discovered M.R. via the Bicycle Kitchen's website.
The first ride I did was Crankmas in December 2006. It was an alleycat race, but I showed up on my commuter mt. bike. I still finished 7th out of 14.
Currently what rides do you attend regularly and what ride(s) would you like to see make a comeback?
I have done all 7 Dark Century's. I absolutely love that ride and the guy who came up with the idea, Tern.
I make every Ride With No Name that I can.
I think Ride-arc was one of the best regular rides we had and I really miss it. Alex did a tremendous amount of work to make each one unique and entertaining.
What advice would you pass on to new ridazz?
Don't stick to just one regular ride. Try to attend as many different kinds of rides as you can. When someone needs volunteer help, show up and help out when you can.
If you were leading a group ride, what would you do differently?
Nothing different than what is done on the best rides now-plan the route, find rest stops that have convenient toilets (especially women’s rooms - I am not female BTW), design a kick ass spoke card!
Do you prefer small rides (30 or less people) or larger rides and why?
I have to go with small rides. More opportunity to interact and get to know folks and less hassle from the authorities. With that said, there is nothing like riding down Hollywood Blvd. at midnight with several hundred other ridazz!
Tell us about the best and worst experience you’ve encountered on a group ride.
Best - strangers stopping to help fix flats or buy you beer or food.
Worst - taggers, theft and people so drunk they run into parked cars!
What did you do for fun before you started “riding”?
Mailart. It was (and still is) an international network of artists who freely share their work through the postal system. It’s what we did before Al Gore invented the internet.
Mailart was Midnightridazz with postage stamps instead of bikes!
I have always been active in human powered endurance activities. I was a long distance runner (38 marathons and 4 ultramarathons) before picking up an old 3 speed Raleigh in 1986 while recovering from a hamstring injury. I've been on the bike ever since.
What’s the best and worst thing group bike rides have done for cycling as a whole in Los Angeles?
Best-it has got more people on bicycles.
Worst-it is forcing the police to crack down on big rides. This will only get worse in the near future.
If you can name 1 person who embodies the spirit of “Midnight Ridazz”, Who would it be and Why?
Impossible to name just one. Here's my short list: Roadblock, Ride-Arc Alex, Tern, Alice Strong, Wayne-mindfullofmusic-Ridetime, Al-used-to-be-User1, Barleye and Mr. Rollers.
They and many others have their heart in the right place and are passionate about the group as a whole.
What do you think the public’s perception is of group bike rides?
They either love us or hate us.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
There has always been a little corner in American society for people who don't go to prom, don't disco dance or watch the Oscars. Beatniks, hippies, punks, hipsters, you get the drift. I've always identified with this group and Midnight Ridazz is one of the more recent shelters from the storm that I feel very welcomed and comfortable in.