Well, I suppose everyone is waiting for my first crazy, California story. I guess it happened this last Friday. My friend and fellow transplanted Nebraskan (GI in the hizzy!), Todd Munson, invited me to join him for the Midnight Ridazz, a monthly event in LA. The ride is over a year old and has swelled from the original 7 participants to 322 at Friday’s ride. The theme was “The Prom” and people were encouraged to dress up. For those who are familiar with the event, think of The Groundhog Prom on bicycles and you have a good idea of what it was like.
I thought the ride might not happen when an LAPD helicopter circled the ride’s gathering spot for 10-minutes, shining a spotlight on the crowd. Nobody scattered, and merely waved to the hovering annoyance. I thought for sure patrol cars were going to swoop in and bust the party, but it never happened. I guess the LAPD had more important things to do than harass a bunch of goofy cyclists.
The ride took me past many a LA landmark, including my first “celebrity home.” Glenn Danzig lives in a small home that Johnny Mohawk might dub a “cubicle of hate.” The ride wound through the Hollywood and Echo park areas of LA and ended up at a bar. Todd and his friends who were with us decided I needed to experience the “happiest place in LA,” Jumbo’s Clown Room. Courtney Love “worked” there before she became famous for marrying Kurt Cobain. We all had a happy time and left with smiles on our faces. On Saturday, after waking up out of my fog created from the night before, I went to I. Martin, the bike shop Todd works at in Beverly Hills. Trivia note, the upstairs warehouse of the bike shop was the dance studio where Shirley Temple learned to dance. For the bike nerds, I saw Dan Koepell shopping for tubes.
I visited The Bike Kitchen, a very cool bike shop in LA. It’s a non-profit place that is staffed by volunteers. Its mission is to promote cycling in LA. They’re web-site can explain much better than I ever could. http://www.bicyclekitchen.com I’m going to include a bunch of photos, so enjoy.