The Freeway Ride II – CRIMANIMALZ


(Nice job on the cut RichToTheIE. Nice job on the music FUNDERSTORM)

I think Larry is annoyed that this site has become a bounce site for CRIMANIMALZ, but whatever…he has better things to do (maybe graduating from CAL?) and has a wife that hates bikes, hates his bike hobby, and hates me. So I can understand if some of all that hate that he lives is permeating into his his non-existent soul—I say non-existent because I don’t believe in souls, but I use the soul image for those that do, to make it easier for them to understand the level to which hatred can penetrate.

Today is the 7th day since Crimanimalz weaved through frozen Friday freeway traffic on I-10 and the 405 FWY. A group of almost 30 Crimanimalz (including 3 rollerbladers and a triple decker tall bike) proved for the second time in two months that at certain times of the day, the fastest way to get from one part of town to the other is by human power.

Apart from the swelling numbers of this ride series is the amount of cameras riders are equipped with. Thanks to five or so bike camerapeeps, Richie was able to craft one of the best DIY ride stunt video that I have seen to date. The accompanying FUNDERSTORM track “Why Didja Duh Eeet” really captures the emotion felt by most riders both before, during and after the ride.

There is a snow ball rolling and I can’t tell if I am in its path, or inside the build up of snow.

Small local press, blogs big and little, radio and TV:

The Santa Monica Daily Press got the Scoop first. Congratulations to them. Here is the PDF linkage.

KFI News interviewed Alex Thompson and myself on Tuesday for small little news blunder that was sandwiched—most likely—between more sensational Dr. Phil type stories. Their questions were pretty mundane, which was unexpected from the local affiliate that syndicates Rush Limbaugh.

laist.com blogged an image post which has of right now received over 1500 DIGG points along with over 500 comments on DIGG. Here is where the internet community has stepped up to actually discuss the issue at hand: “What is wrong with car culture in the world, specifically in Los Angeles?” Sifting through the comments it is easy to get a sense of the binary rigidity of the discourse; the conversation continues to teeter back and forth between the naysayers and the yaysayers.

The naysayers continue to argue that this sort of direct action does little to change the transportation infrastructure of large cities, that it provokes law enforcement to tighten down on bicycle related citations and prevents city officials from listening to the community of bicycle riders in Los Angeles.

Hogwash.

What cannot be argued is that this event failed to fill the abyss, the void of conversation that existed only a month ago. This is not to say that the biking community was not discussing the issue, they’ve been at it since the car was invented. It is the public discourse, the one outside the small community of car-free citizens of the world, that has been illuminated from a fresh angle, an angle of merriment, electric Kool-Aid, Hog Farm tom foolery and culture jam and toast. If 500 comments can turn into 1000, and 1000 into 2000, a lot of cyclists that I know would be willing to sign the $250.00 traffic infraction and ride to the next on ramp.

Wired blogged about the event in their Autopia blog. Check it HEREZ. Wired loves us. They lovezies us.

NPR is still working on their story with which I will update this post when they send me the Link. Hopefully this will generate more of a discussion amongst the all the sayers out there.

Stepping away from all the naysaying and the yaysaing, here’s a little soothsaying. Crimanimalz will be feeding the homeless. Crimanimalz will be teaching your children to read. Crimanimalz will be hosting community breakfasts with pancakes covered in organic maple syrup for all. Crimanimalz will be building houses in cyclone ravaged regions around the world. Crimanimalz has big plans that transcend the seemingly prankster oriented spirit of the Friday freeway rides.

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.