In my younger years, finding fun things to do in L.A. proved to be a challenge. I was not one for the Hollywood bar scene. For some reason, the prospect of waiting in lines to get into clubs for the privilege to wait at a packed bar to buy and overpriced and poorly made wiskey sour, with a soundtrack that made my ears bleed just didn't appeal to me.
A few years ago, I happened upon a community of people taking delight in urban exploration and celebration through the reappropriation of the built environment thru cycling.
These Midnight Ridazz intrigued me, with their handmade uniforms, part punk, part spandex, their modified bicycles, some rising 5 feet into the sky, and the sheer joy they displayed on the road while drivers like me were trapped in late night Hollywood club traffic. I knew this was something I wanted to do.
This past friday night, I attended the latest the Midnight Ridazz ride, The Mommas and Poppas ride. Though I'm not sure how the title related to the ride, but it didn't matter.
I was out riding with friends and making new ones. The ride was by far the most courteous ride I've been on. Since there was a route and destination that was announced at the beginning, there was no need to stay close to the front for fear of getting lost.
We stopped at every light. We rode in the right lane, allowing cars to pass. We were rewarded with friendly honks, smiles and high fives from most of the drivers. Most of the people watching wished they had a bike and could join us. By example, we were promoting the potential for a more bike-friendly Los Angeles.
Other than the banjo player, the highlight for me was seeing one of the cyclists injured in the notorious bike crash in Culver City being towed in a trailer, able to enjoy the freedom of riding a bike while she recovers from her injuries. Off the trailer she walks slowly and with great effort using a walker. This community rallies to support each other. Try finding that in the soulless clubs were rode past.