Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In

Los Ryderz Take a Spin Through the Neighborhood

3:27 PM PDT on June 12, 2012

Ready to roll out from the YO! Watts Youth Center. photo: sahra

When I rolled up to YO! Watts just after 10 a.m. on Saturday, I was ecstatic to see girls on bikes. Lots of them.

It isn't that girls don't ride. They do, as some of these girls assured me. However, girls appear to be doing less recreational riding than boys do at the same age, and there are already fewer of them on bikes. This leads to their minimal visible presence on the streets.

They were excited to ride. 15-year old Sandra "Whisper" Argueta said she was looking forward to being able to ride through some of the side streets. Although she'd lived in the area for the past 8 years or so, she mainly stuck to the busy thoroughfare streets for safety's sake. The other girls agreed. Yaquelina Parra cited the need to be careful about the color of your bike depending on the neighborhood you were in while another girl mentioned having had to run a red light one night to avoid getting her bike jacked.

Riding as part of a group meant that they could enjoy themselves without having to worry about such things.

Turning right. photo: sahra

Javier Partida recently launched Los Ryderz for just that reason. Inspired by the East Side Riders' approach (just down the street at the WLCAC), he wanted to take the kids that came through YO! Watts and show them that they could set a positive example in the community while engaging in a healthy activity and enjoying themselves.

He hopes eventually to have a Bicycle Kitchen-style co-op set up there that can serve the neighborhood while providing YO! Watts interns with bike and people skills. YO! Watts already has the space and the kids to fix up the bicycles, but they need spare bikes, tools, and a little more know-how before they can get the co-op off the ground.

Meanwhile, just getting kids out riding around has proven the best way to get the club started.

Led by Javier and his brother Miguel, they certainly enjoyed being out in their community and seemed to be proud to be part of the group. They waved at little kids and people they knew, and proudly lined up their bikes at the Jordan Downs Rec. Center and Watts Towers pit stops.

The only drawback to the whole thing was that there weren't enough guys on the ride.

Founding member Christian joked that it would have been nice to have a few more guys to talk to.

"I'm sorry you're stuck talking to me, " I teased.

"Nah, It's OK," he laughed. He just didn't want guys to think that they couldn't join in the ride, too.

Christian gives me a send-off wave. photo: sahra

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Bus Rapid Transit Plans in SGV Get Clearer, and More Complicated

New concepts for rapid bus service across the 626 have ironed out the questions of where an East-West route would run and where demonstrations could begin.

December 1, 2023

Metro Board Approves $207 Million for 91 and 605 Freeway Expansion Projects

Metro and Caltrans eastbound 91 Freeway widening is especially alarming as it will increase tailpipe pollution in an already diesel-pollution-burdened community that is 69 percent Latino, and 28 percent Black

November 30, 2023
See all posts