Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A dark night the Midnight Riddaz would rather forget

The Los Angeles bike community is still talking about the attack on a group of cyclists who rode in last Friday's Midnight Ridazz run through Highland Park. At least they are trying to talk about it. Postings about the confrontation between cyclists and residents on Avenue 52 near the Pasadena Freeway have been removed from Midnight Ridazz message board, notes the blogger at 90042:

"At this point, the Ridazz are keeping quiet about the incident, (deleting any discussion about the shooting on their message boards) preferring to ride on, and not let this ugliness mire the bike movement."

But the Highland Park blog does provide the most comprehenisve account of the attack, which reportedly involved members of a house party throwing beer bottles and firing a shot at the cyclists as they rode by"

"When the rolling mass of cyclists with blinking lights, bells, horns, and amplified music trailers went rolling by a house party on 52, the occupants there started yelling, “Fuck you white boys!” (despite the diverse crowd of men and women of every skin color) As the blocks-long group of bikes continued to pass, the group of men in the yard started throwing beer bottles, pots, and anything they could find at the cyclists. (As of this post, there was still bits of broken Corona bottles and white ceramic shards in the Avenue there.) Then they came at them with shovels and started knocking people off bikes and successfully manage to steal one bike from a local cyclist as he was dodging a swinging shovel.

As the cyclists tried to defend themselves and rescue the fallen cyclists from the street, someone from the house pulled out a 22 from his pocket and shot a male cyclist in the back. The shooter then fled, and the other assailants ran back into the house and turned off the lights to hide. Highland Park’s LA Fire Department #12 was on the scene within five minuets. Unfortunately, LAPD officers from Hollenbeck Division didn’t arrive until 15 minutes later. Several suspects were apprehended."

There is a report of an aggravated assault taking place on Avenue 52 near Longfellow Street early Saturday morning, according to the LAPD crime maps. No further details were available.

One Echo Park cyclist, who has participated in several Midnight Ridazz events but was absent from Friday's ride, said he can understand why the group would not want to draw too much attention to the incident. "Cyclists by nature are vulnerable and already face numerous hazards on the streets of Los Angeles. There are many people who bike in that area (myself included) and I'd hate to see us become targets merely because our mode of transportation."

Photo by Digable Soul via Flickr


  1. I do not condone the violence and it is truly sad what has ocurred. However, as a cyclist (and one that has been at it for over 15 years and well before the "fixed gear revolution") if you want to be respected you need to learn to respect others. Each experience I've had with "group rides"--whether it be as participant, bystandard or auto driver--has been negative. I will not bore you with the details and overall lame behavior I have witnessed in these group rides but all I will say is grow up and treat others as you would like to be treated. Hopefully this will prevent future violence.

  2. I'm very sorry to hear that someone got shot, but it was only a matter of time that the militant bicyclists encountered real militancy. I'm glad that they've seemingly gained some sanity and are not going to return to the scene in force and better armed. That shows more maturity than I gave them credit.

  3. ugh. real militancy? this is a disgusting commentary on the complacency of gang violence. what did they do with YOUR soul, marcos el malo? last time i checked, shooting a gun at an unarmed human being RIDING A BICYCLE was called attempted murder. but don't lose any sleep, you're "sorry to hear" about it.

  4. We already have to dodge cars, now we have to dodge bullets.

  5. "... but it was only a matter of time that the militant bicyclists encountered real militancy..."

    I can't speak for you but when I jerk off to gun-toting bikini-clad advertisements I get cancer sores on my tonsils- gotta get em pulled one of these days.

    Yeah, you're bad subcommadante. So bad. I bet you have a bad boy sticker to prove it.

  6. Damn, I ride by there 4 times a week on the way home from work. In the day time it's really a harmless area, but having lived on 52 myself, I dare not wild out on those streets after midnight. The "Avenues" gang is notorious for their violent behavior and have claimed the lives of many innocent civilians. In my opinion, the coordinators of that particular RIDAZZ ride should have been more cautious with their route selection, LA is a beautiful place, but we all know there are certain areas (at certain times) threw which making a run would be too precarious.
    While biking is a peaceful act, "mobbing" has an anarchist trait that could mistakingly attack others, provoking them at times to honk at us, yell at us, and unfortunately break out in aggression at us. Let's keep riding, but lets be safe.