Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Second Annual All City Toy Ride

All City Toy Ride Photos: Flickr Set (65 photos)

In what has become an annual event, this being the second year, the Midnight Ridazz community donates toys to under privileged children. Delivered by bicycles to a central location in East LA, with riders in groups from all parts of LA planning their own routes. Masses from The West Side, Hollywood, The Valley, Pasadena, Downtown and Long Beach were represented. It was a magical evening that brought together people from all over LA for a good cause, and in typical Ridazz fashion was concluded with a big after party.

All City Toy Ride

All City Toy Ride
(The little guy with the two vertical eyes was my contribution to the Holiday good will.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Santa Monica Critical Mass: December

Santa Monica Critical Mass December

Critical Mass in Santa Monica this month, was again tailed by police using selective enforcement of the law, giving citations for things ignored in other contexts or given as warnings.

Santa Monica Critical Mass December

Apparently less police force then last months ride & far fewer citations, although some believe that had more to do with a SMPD Christmas party that night then an effort to ease up the crack down. This is in fact a crack down, in the words of our mayor, who was interviewed by Fox news, which covered this months ride along with several other news stations.

Santa Monica Critical Mass December

Although I am a Santa Monica local I never made it out to SMCM in the past due to it conflicting with Ride-Arc, an architecturally focused ride, usually starting downtown that I was attending regularly. When I heard about the political situation brewing back home though, I wanted to come out to represent and also to see for my self what the fuss was about.

Santa Monica Critical Mass December
(She received a citation for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, and a warning for being under 18 without a helmet. Seen here being interviewed by TV news after the ticket was given)

As someone who has been on many mass rides now, and read up on some of the history of the critical mass movement, I was shocked at the police attention to such a tame group. Santa Monica critical mass is so peace loving compared to any mass ride I'd ever been on, or any of the Critical Mass rides I'd read about in other cities. They stay in one lane, stop at reds without corking, let cars through at stop signs, and the route for the most parts did not follow busy streets.

Santa Monica Critical Mass December
(citation for "lack of forward facing lights" of which the rider had two, seen glowing on his fork)

The mayor apparently feels it is an effective use of our tax money to use the police force and clog the judicial system, in his political agenda to squash this group bike ride. A ride that has now existed for several years and done so peacefully. Why it has become such an agenda is not entirely clear, and seems to run counter to Santa Monica's supposed environmental leadership and efforts to reduce car commuting, which clogs our city far more then any bike ride can.

Santa Monica Critical Mass December
(Santa was apparently riding to far to left. SMPD seen here spreading the holiday cheer)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My First Wolfpack Hustle

(Image from wolfpackhustle.com)

Pictured here is the gentleman responsible for last nights ride, known affectionately as Super Cole. He's been riding Wolfpack for 52 weeks straight, and as such this ride was in his honor. The mustache makes him more aero.

Was a fun ride with a lot of intensity, averaging 19.5 mph for 44 miles. Click for ride data from my bike computer.