Los Angeles Bike Scene! Reprazent!

L.A. Bike Scene from studiodrome on Vimeo.

Bike at night

Bright Bike from Michael Mandiberg on Vimeo.

Viva Biciclettas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So here are my babies that i shoulda posted along time ago, but i didn’t realize that little picture thing above the box you type text in means that you can upload a picture….so maybe more pix will appear on this blog ;)

Bike #1 – White Atala 1970’s fixed gear road bike converted, 53cm, originally navy blue but i wanted it white so i left the lugs blue and painted the rest white (this is the lazy mans way of rattle caning a bike when you don’t want to sand around the lugs) came out killer though! vintage Zeus crank with pista chainring, Christophe pedals, Soma double straps, Nitto drops with brown cloth tape, vintage seat (not a Brooks, but a real good copy, riding on leather is nice for the ass), gearing is 53/17 fixed hub only, can’t go floppin on this cat, this mutherfucker flys!

Bike #2 – Red Nishiki 1983 Tri A road bike 12 speed, with pretty aggressive geometry, wanted to convert this to fixed but homey at the LBS talked me outta it and i’m kinda glad he did. This bike is all stock, down to the bar tape, biopace crank, the only thing i changed was new tires. I love this bike though i never even ride this sucka anymore so a fixed may be in its future, don’t want to but may have to! Get it out on the road instead of holding up my record shelves.

And someday i’ll post my early 90’s Ross mountain bike and 1970’s low rider kids schwinn with the ape hangers and banana seat!

The Best Dog in the World!!!!

Was our family dog named Lucky, an irish setter laborador mix that was saved by my mother on the freeway after she witnessed him being hit by a car 16 years ago. He was the best most loving coolest mofo that i had ever hung out with…he saved me a bunch of times in my life….not in the traditional sense of rescuing me from a burning building or some shit..but telling me to hang out and take him for walks instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself because i had no job, no money, no girlfriend, and what i thought “no life”. But i did have a life, it was taking care of him and that kept me going alot of the time…we would go jogging and on walks like twice a day…you know those days that last forever and are soo long when you don’t have shit to do…you have to plan little things to do. Everyone else is getting up and going to work, to school and taking kids to school and whatnot ya know living…
This dog was so fucking cool…he makes you get his name tattered on your chest so everyday when you look in the mirror it will bring a smile to your face. I was in the room to see you sleep for the last time buddy, 12/2/08 is a day i won’t forget…i don’t know why i’m writing this post but the world should know how much you meant because without you i wouldn’t be here to type this today.

Prop H8 & City Gardens

Went on a ride to downtown LA last weekend to witness and take part in the protests going on against Prop. 8..we got there late so it was kinda mellowing out but the coppers were still in full force moving people along “you can’t stand here” and riding on horses and bikes. How do i get that job!? Could i ride a brakeless fixie though? Talk about easy money…until you have to ruin someone’s day by giving them a ticket or hassling them. I’m too much of a softie..
Then we rolled out to this inner city garden project of a friend of a friend that was down on Martin Luther King blvd and Normandie…a really inspiring project to see people growing there own food in the heart of the city. I thought food just appeared in the grocery store and i just stuck it in my face….Don’t they have big farms fields in the back of Von’s?! Just think, if you can grow your own food and have your own transportation how efficient one could be not having to rely on major corporate grocery stores and gas stations to take all of your hard earned chedda?! In a perfect world…but since i don’t have a garden in my closet apartment i guess its more 99 cent store hot dogs to live on for the next week or so. Those dogs taste soo good going down until the salt intake headache kicks in a bout 10 minutes later. I finally sold my Jeep too, i guess the old myths about “don’t run a car completely outta oil” is true…yes it does seize up and yes it will be a piece of useless shit after that!
Anyway screw it, i’m being way more “car lite” in my lifestyle and it was a gas guzzler to boot! I still got my old pickup truck “hooptie” as its been refered to…i mean i ain’t gonna attract any girls or look cool pulling up to the valet at the club but who cares, cars are metal coffins and LA is way too obsessed with them, way more than any other place in this country…i feel a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and i’m doing my little part to decrease my imprint on this earth. Awe how sweet that sounds.

Obama 2008

On my ride to work this morning i was like damn did Obama really win!? I always pass by this hugh banner with his face on it that someone has in there back yard facing the lake. I looked up this morning and it was still there ..i wonder how long they’re going to leave it up.
It was going off last night in Silverlake i could hear people driving down the street honking and yelling..it’s kinda weird aren’t we supposed to be radically progressive on this side of town. Do we really think that this guy is our savior…doesn’t he have to play in this Capitalist game with all the other crooks? Are the major candidates really that different from each other? (i don’t think so but in this case i hope so). Nonetheless, i’m glad that he is in office and maybe we could see some change for the better for a while. He reminds me of a tan JFK with his good looks, pretty wife and excellent orating skills. I wonder if all this green environment talk and shiz will bring about more bike lanes/roads haha.

if it ain’t fixed, its broken.

Been riding my “fixie” bike ALOT lately, started out commuting to work and stuff and now i can’t get enough of that mufuka! I bought a Nishiki road bike that i was going to convert to a fixie, and it got me hooked on riding road bikes initially….my local bike shop guy said “hey this bike is cool why don’t you just leave it and get a fixie bike?”…”uh cuz i live in a closet of a apartment and i don’t feel like spending an arm and a leg on bikes that i have no money or room for”…but he was right and i’m glad i left the nishiki as is and bought a fixie off ebay. So i bought an old 70’s italian road bike “Atala” off ebay that was converted to a fixie for the most part but was a little banged up..perfect! I got it and put new wheels/tires on it, painted it and have been LOVING that mufuka each day! When i first got on it i was like oh shit this is a trip like i’m learning to ride a bike all over again…and i ain’t no slouch, i consider myself a pretty coordinated guy, been skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and what not for years. But this bike is a “bad boy” and he forced me to go slow and learn…you can’t just hop on this thang and go…I could go into any bike shop and pull down a $2k road bike and go ride the shit outta it…but you can’t do that with this $200 fixie, no way..you even start to sketch going down a straightaway at first, let alone a hill. The roads you used to mob on you now have to relearn to mob on a fixie…and now you have to keep your head up and alert and look ahead because your stopping distance is increased with no real brakes…all depending on skidding/skipping and your legs. Its fricken fun as hell to ride…i climbed on my regular road bike the other day which i hadn’t been on in months and i was like…wow this is weird, the bike feels all slow and loose…don’t get me wrong i used to fly on my Nishiki but compared to my Atala which is so tight and stiff its incredible…i was going to throw in a joke but i’ll spare u. Now i feel that i’m getting pretty good on it but i have so much more to learn and its the type of thing that is not easy which is why it makes it so fun! I guess thats the allure of all those kinda aggro dude sports/activities.
Its also weird now i’ll be riding to work and i’ll pass some spandex wearing label whores on $2000 bikes and and they’ll make some shitty comment “hey organ donor” or “get some gears” or some stupid shit to me (and i even have a geared road bike!). I would never say some shit like that to someone for riding fucking bike! We’re on bikes for christsakes! “oh well”….and then i proceed to ride with them for a while when they think that they’ll blow right by me…”cuz they’re way better riders than me, right” I really want to say “ya know, i can ride the shit outta your bike but i bet you can’t even go down the street on my bike, its all about trying to become a better rider right, you Lance Armstrong wanna be?” “Just because you look the part more now, doesn’t mean you should get the role”. But thats not really my personality…i’m more of a shy non confrontational peace loving person. I’m using my bike for more than just getting logo’d up, buying the latest parts and gear and pulling it off the roof rack of my Volvo and going for a spin around town on a weekday before i meet with clients or cuz i have the day off work. I’m using it for actual transportation – to work, the grocery store and trips around the neighborhood day and night…(trying to reduce my pollution filled footprint on this earth)….thats in my perfect world and shit.
Though, one really cool thing happened to me the other morning on my commute to work. I’m stopped at a 7 mile stretch that i just completed, soaking it in and catching my breath a little when an older guy musta been about 80 who was on a very nice old road bike and pretty geared up in spandex stopped right next to me “i mean right next to me” and just looked down at my bike for a good 4-5 seconds….At first i’m like “oh no here we go….just start talking shit old man” and he said “track bike huh” and i’m all “yeah its alot of fun ya know its all about fun” then he goes “yeah, i don’t have the coordination to ride one of those”, then i said “yeah but i like your bike too, its nice!” He then proceeds to pat me on the shoulder and ride away, that pretty much put a smile on my face and made my day!
See, just because we ride different bikes or have different clothes, haircuts and lives doesn’t mean that we can’t get along (just as in real life), shit, we’re all the same “idiot on a bike” as far as some rushing/hurried driver is concerned and we can all get tagged by a car just the same.


Went to my first Critical Mass bike ride last Friday night! It was so awesome pulling up to the meeting point by the Wiltern and seeing a sea of mufuking cyclists representin! It must have been like 350 people or more! We all pulled out to ride around 7:45 and more cyclists than I’ve ever seen in one spot just clogged the roadways. I’m so used to riding alone or with a few people that this rolling mass was awesome. When it started out it seemed a few of the cyclists where hazing car drivers for driving because the streets were pretty congested. It was only a Friday night ya know….not many people out right ; )
So the ride went on for a few…and we seemed to stop at a nearby 7-11 pretty quick…we took up the whole parking lot easily. People hung out drank, smoked and listened to music blasting from a cyclist who was toting a large sound system, like the one a suburban father totes around his baby in…only this was a big ole sound system with big ole speakers (no kid). It was so killer riding and hearing blasting rock coming from the speakers. I never ride with headphones because I think it distracts/cuts you off too much from the outside world to ride consciously. Though hearing blasting music from 100 feet away was sooo nice! Got me all pumped up!
This event felt like it was more than just a bike ride….everyone there really seemed to be down with bike culture and recognizing how biking really has so many positive benefits on our culture. Especially in car obsessed LA where people drive to there next door neighbors house! I’ve done it, my friends have done it and I am now starting to realize that we can make a difference and try in our own little ways to do something positive. I’ve always loved bikes anyways and now I realize the impact that our over indulgent/ mass consumption ways are really detrimental to the future of our planet…yeah our culture doesn’t have a problem with obesity, or dirty air or congestion on our roadways especially in LA. Shit we have the worst freeways in the nation. It takes me 20 minutes going fast with no traffic in my car to get home…and lord knows I’ve spent close to 45 minutes-hour on my 11 mile commute home more than a few times.
So gas is now climbing to $5 dollars a gallon $6 dollars/gall and people are complaining/bitching/whining..(my kids need to eat, I can’t buy that new dress or power tool now)…what are we gonna do? We’re gonna pay whatever “they” set the fucking price at because we ALL drive cars and our cars only run on GASOLINE! Its not like we can make gas from scratch in our backyards. We are POWERLESS and when gas was more reasonably priced this didn’t matter but now its becoming a harsh reality for everyone. Gas prices are NOT going to go down no matter how much we complain and send emails around about boycotting gas stations on this day or that day..come on! Take a look at where our only options are to get gas..its not the mom and pop shop its the Mobil, 76, Chevron..no those aren’t big oil companies at all. They don’t have us by the nuts at all! I remember in the 70’s being in my moms car only going to the gas station on certain days of the week…long lines, major gas shortages. Prices might go down 25 cents or 50 cents here and there but they always climb back up. As time goes on does anything in our culture get cheaper!?!? When we look at other countries gas prices at $9 dollars…that seems amazing too…but one good thing about high gas prices is it will force us to find ALTERNATE/BETTER means of transportation…bike, bus, walk, subway. Los Angeles will now hopefully improve our mass transits systems and bike lanes which have been comical compared to other major cities San Francisco, New York, etc. In LA it seems that only the poor, underclass, and young bike and/or take public transportation. Though, I think the times are a changing…I’m biking to work at least 3 days a week if not more and I’m noticing a lot more cyclists on the road. I’m also looking for other short/long trips to the store/ to movies around my city that I can make on my bike where I used to always grab the car keys. Making matters worse anywhere you go in my neighborhood or surrounding cities we have to drive around for a 1/2 hour looking for a spot..horrible congestion! Or pay some valet parking or lot fee to go to dinner. Shit I sometimes park a 1/2 mile away from my apartment building…i’m pretty used to it now but when I think about it or I have friends over and they are huffing and puffing by the time they get to my crib ; ) I say come over and call me when your outside the front gate and then I’ll come out and we can both drive around together looking for parking ;)
I’m saving a lot of moolah on gas now about $150 spent in June versus the $400 bux a month and up I used to shell out. So hopefully now with high gas prices more people will start to realize how beneficial bikes are to our wallets, bodies, and the environment and maybe we can become less dependent on big oil. I’ll shut up and ride now!

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