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Streetfilms: Black Kids on Bikes

7:26 AM PDT on May 7, 2010

(editor's note: This is the first L.A. Streetfilm written, directed, filmed and edited by an Angeleno.  It debuted at our May fundraiser at Eco-Village. - DN)

Universal thought brought me to the ride; freedom of some kind, like
being on a bike holding nothing but your handle bars, drifting and

I first heard about the ride while coasting through the
downtown streets of Los Angeles with a co-ed bunch of brownies (yummy,
beautiful, black people), night air to the face, rolling, talking about
mental wellness through physical freedom, being black, being healthy
and feeling good to be alive and over 25,  pedaling to the wind with
vigor and joy.

The next week, one of my fellow riders invited me to Freedom Ride, also know as Black Kids On Bikes, a group ride started by artist James Spooner. Spooner directed a critically acclaimed documentary called Afro Punk in
2003, about the black punk scene across America and abroad. Spooner, a
recent transplant from the rainbow streets of New York City, walks and
talks New York, but now calls Cali home. James was cool enough to sit
down with me despite of me, to tell me about how the ride came to be
and what he personally gets out of the ride and cycling in general. My
assessment on the man-subject I interviewed was confidence in culture,
a cool kid by rank - when you roll up on him it’s like “where Brooklyn
at” - a gentlemen, soft spoken and stern, a tall lad about 6’3"; if you
ask me he could have been a model, if he wasn’t so prude. I feel like James would be offended by that comment, but who knows, maybe he’d laugh, he's a Gemini. 

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