CRIMANIMALZ STRIKE AGAIN!!! Bikes on the freeway…again…SORRRRRRY!!!

HEEEEEEEEEERE WE GO! WOW!! OMG!! HOLY FFFFF!

Blast Off
(Photo by Alex Thompson)

For the second time, in so many months, a group of Los Angeles bicyclists took to the freeway in protest of WHATEVER YOU WANT. The Crimanimalz Boarded I-10 at BUNDY and rode to the 405 FWY via the EXIT 35A ramp. 27 of them this time. This time, the riders joined freeway traffic which had only moments earlier passed under a huge (ginormous people) banner hanging over the fence at the 17th street overpass that read “RIDE A BIKE: YOU’D BE HOME BY NOW.” Whoever the bicycle gods sent to hang that sign are DEH MOTS, straight up APPLESAUCE. Thank you.

Ride co-organizer BoogalooShrimp says that they “ain’t never gonna stop pedaling for the peeps, ’cause the peeps is sheeps and sheeps like sleeps.” Ride co-organizer Cyper/Junkboat said that “the people of this town need to wake up and sleep at the same time; get out of your bed cars and pedal your Colnago Dream Machines out of the gridlocked nightmare.” RichToTheIE, another ride co-organizer, mentioned that “the CHP were very gentle and they even gave me some Kleenex to wipe myself up with when they were done with me.”

Wow. I did not need that in my life right now.

Alex Thompson, local bicionista was spotted in the area after ride screaming a bike culture motto: “I do what I want and I don’t do what I don’t want to do!”

BoogalooShrimp, RichToTheIE and Cyper/Junkboat (uhh…Perry?) met with the Santa Monica Daily press and NPR the day before for not-so-exclusive interviews.

Boogaloo and I hid from the Highway Patrol in a dark parking lot on Cotner and Olympic. We locked our bikes up to a water pipe, waited for our pulses to drop and then ran to Zankou where we hid out until the Heat subsided. It was the best ride I had ever been on.

FROM CNS:

Eds: FIXES typo, group is called “Crimanimals.” Video of the freeway
ride is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NLmiuyLa98 and the audio could be used by
radio clients. The banner remains over the eastbound Santa Monica (10) Freeway
between 11th and 14th streets.

SANTA MONICA (CNS) – Motorists facing stop-and-go traffic, Sigalerts and
the occasional freeway shooting now have another diversion to contend with:
an activist group has begun mass bike-riding protests on Westside freeways.

Motorists creeping along the Santa Monica (10) and San Diego (405)
freeways Friday afternoon were confronted with about 30 cyclists riding en
masse and individually on freeway lanes. A group calling itself the
“Crimanimals” has claimed credit with an internet posting that criticizes
California’s car culture as unsustainable and polluting.

A YouTube video of the exercise shows bicyclists passing cars on the
right shoulder, and in every traffic lane, including the far left one. Riders
entered the eastbound 10 at Bundy Drive, took the sweeping transition ramp to
the 405 north, and exited at Santa Monica Boulevard, a distance of about two
miles.

Accompanied by a thumping rock song with the refrain “ride with me,”
the video shows bicyclists zipping past stalled sedans and semi-trucks.

Traffic was at its typical near-standstill status the entire time,
except on the transition road, which had freeflowing traffic. The video showed
cars slowing and moving to the left on the two-lane transition ramp.

The video was shot at 5:30 p.m. Friday, according to an activist who
posted by the name Boogaloo Shrimp.

“The time and day were carefully chosen,” Shrimp said. “There was no
plan (or) strategy on what to do when actually on the freeway, as no rider had
ever ridden their bicycle on a freeway before.”

California Highway Patrol officials were caught by surprise by the
demonstration. Two riders were stopped, but not cited.

“They just repeated over and over again to not get on the freeway,”
rider Paul Bringetto told the Santa Monica Daily Press. “They were very cool
about it, they just told us not to do it again.”

The anti-car culture protest was accompanied by a banner hanging over
the Santa Monica Freeway that said “Ride a Bike, You’d Be Home By Now.” The
painted bedsheet remains stretched over a fence on an overpass over the
eastbound 10 freeway at 14th Street in Santa Monica.

The Daily Press reported today that the band of bicyclists is an
offshoot of Critical Mass, an unorganized group of bicyclists who ride the
streets of Santa Monica in a generally-law-abiding fashion on the first Friday
of every month.

Although Critical Mass rallies in San Francisco have blocked traffic and
resulted in some violent acts, the Santa Monica rides have been generally
incident-free. The Santa Monica newspaper reported that Santa Monica Police
cracked down on traffic violations in November and wrote 30 citations.

That crackdown spurred the creation of Crimanimal Mass, the unorganized
group that took to the freeways Friday, said Alex Cantarero, a bicyclist
interviewed by the Daily Press.

CHP spokeswoman Ana Markey said officer were unaware in advance of
Friday’s spin through the gridlocked freeways, and said the safety of
bicyclists is the first concern. Riding on the freeways is against the law, but
CHP officers have the discretion to handle each situation as they deem
appropriate, Markey told the paper.

Legit videos to come. Stay tuned and watch the freeway.

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Freeway Aftermath (the FUNDERSTORM version)

So, here’s the basic rundown of the Freeway Ride after party:

The ride video was posted on YouTube on Saturday, April 19th, in the middle of the day. It has been viewed over 13,000 times. That’s pretty cool.

Funderstorm remixed the video with an original song written for the ride. Some are requesting that it become the official FREEWRYDERS anthem. We’ll see.

A wiki entry has been made on the IBIKEU WIKI and a number of its editors have already contributed excellent updates and corrections. Thank you Alex Thompson and Paul Bringetto for getting the site up and running in time for spring and summer riding.

The wiki already seems to have created a small rift in the space-bike-continuum, producing a negative reaction among other local Bike Culture web admins. If Ibikeu turns out to be the paint stripper that separates the activist riders who like to have fun from the “we’re not political” fun only groups then I totally welcome it.

Many were worried that the ride would destroy the bicycle scene in Los Angeles. Perhaps their fears were merited. What everyone failed to consider was that a NEW dialog might open up, which is, in the small bicycle subculture blogosphere, kind of what has happened. LA Metblogs‘ Sean Bonner (rode with Wolfpack) posted the video and the discussion picked up where the Midnight Ridazz left off (chaos).

The best part about the large amount of feedback is that it has raised more questions about why LA does not have efficient and safe bike ways.

This ride stunt was not adorned with banners and slogans. It was a ride stunt geared around fun conflicting with taboo. It was a Hegelian Dialectic for bike riders. The synthesis was food for thought. And at least people are eating.

If you rode a bike you\'d be home by now.

Graphic compliments of BoogalooShrimp AKA Flunky Carter.