What’s your name (optional) and/or your Midnight Ridazz log-in name?
Tiffany aka Tomato
How did you first hear about Midnight Ridazz and what was your first group bike ride?
Through my friend Joe who was hosting Den Dinner. My first group ride was Crank Mob Jan 2008 – I fell in love.
Currently what rides do you attend regularly and what ride(s) would you like to see make a comeback?
These days I only do the weekend day rides like Bear Cavalry and Pier Pressure. It’s hard to do weekday rides and get to work early (I’m a wimp, I know), so I’ve started riding my bike to work instead. It feels really good to commute by bike – and it’s free!
I used to do GoGA every week, but girls stopped coming so it died off. I’d love to see it make a comeback and I think there was a thread about that happening soon….!!!
A lot of the monthly rides are so big that I’m not as comfortable riding in them as I used to be, but I do hear/see great things. I love that you can find almost any type of ride through the MR website/community.
What advice would you pass on to new ridazz?
Always, ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET. I had to learn the hard way getting hit by a car and sliding face first into the asphalt. Others I know have gone through the same thing and shattered their helmets – imagine if it was their bare skull…
No matter what situation you’re in, group ride or riding on the street, follow the rules of the road and be aware of your surroundings. It’s hard to predict what other riders/cars are going to do, so ride defensively and carefully. Bring your lights if you’re riding late and always have a spare tube and pump.
RESPECT those around you – you will not get it if you don’t show it yourself. There’s nothing that makes me sadder than a rebellious rider putting the whole group at risk when he/she decides it’s cool to ride in a separate lane to piss off traffic. It’s one of the reasons I don’t ride in the group rides these days. Drivers WILL use their cars as weapons. I’ve seen it way too often.
If you were leading a group ride, what would you do differently?
It’s hard to say since you can never predict which new riders will show up. I do like rides that have a pre-determined route that is posted online. It makes it easy to plan an early exit or prepare for the worst case scenario (getting hurt, telling your family where to look for you). Music trailers add the magic. Leaving no trace is also important.
Do you prefer small rides (30 or less people) or larger rides and why?
Tell us about the best and worst experience you’ve encountered on a group ride.
Best: TEAM MIDNIGHT RIDAZZ ALC 8! Best experience of my life with the most dedicated and fun group of teammates. Looking forward to sporting our jersey again on a future ALC.
Other times: Having the cops escort us and praise us over their loudspeaker – happened on a few different rides.
Also, the accident that landed me in the hospital made me realize that even in a group of 10 strangers, I had instantly had a friend in each one just by riding together. They visited me in the hospital, fixed my bike for me and mailed me the most awesome get well card ever. I couldn’t believe my luck - I was to be surrounded by the most welcoming and supportive community in this crazy city of Los Angeles.
Worst: Not any particular ride, just the times cars have charged at us because we were running reds or hogging the road when we could easily fit in one lane. This town is full of road rage, but a lot of the time we do have some control over how they react – it’s just a tough balance when the groups are large and you don’t know everyone.
What did you do for fun before you started “riding”?
Nothing very productive… I rarely went out, sometimes to bars, but I usually stayed at home. MR changed my life.
What’s the best and worst thing group bike rides have done for cycling as a whole in Los Angeles?
There are so many more people on bikes – it’s so beautiful! People of all ages are falling in love with cycling for the first time or all over again. But with such an increase in cyclists/bikes, the theft is out of control. I’m afraid to lock my bike anywhere outside because I know I could come back to nothing, even when using a u-lock. It’s very sad.
If you can name 1 person who embodies the spirit of “Midnight Ridazz”, Who would it be and Why?
HeartCM (Stuart) sticks out to me – he’s always got a smile and a positive attitude. He keeps LACM and several other rides alive to spread awareness. He was the first person to call me in the hospital to let me know I had many friends thinking of me, even though I had yet to meet them.
Also, Roadblock, Barleye, Borfo, Danny G., Jonnyboy, Fuzzbeast, Marcus, Alec and Alex Thompson come to mind (& many more) … they’ve all helped keep the MR community alive and fun.
What do you think the public’s perception is of group bike rides?
I have heard a lot of negative remarks, but I also know one rider now that initially told me he hated the community…now he can’t get enough of it. It’s hard to change their overall perception, but if we can each grab a friend and change their mind, I think we could collectively make a big positive impact.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I love you all – keep riding!