I was looking for some of Wild Johnny’s photos on the Midnight Ridazz site. I thought it was amusing that right next to the headline “Don’t be Scared to Ride Your Bike,” was a photo of a huge wound that someone had apparently sustained on a Ridazz bike ride.
I’m not trying to spread hate towards the Ridazz, who have built a successful night ride community in LA, with dozens of upcoming rides at any one time. On the other hand I think bike people have to be aware of the aesthetic and message we’re putting out into the world. Are we glorifying Pabst Blue Ribbon and irony? Or Bike Blended Smoothies and creativity? Are we scaring children? Or amazing them? Are we bringing people together or pushing them away?
The aesthetic of pain runs deep in the bike community. Think about the knees and ankles of fixie riders. It’s no accident that the Ridazz can fill up an album with crash photos, some involving head wounds. Why glorify pain? Did you forget to send Fight Club back to NetFlix? To me, it’s like we’re saying “Yup, it doesn’t get better than kickin’ back with a PBR and talking about the great crashes we’ve had over the years.”
Well, it does get a lot better than that. There are things we can do as bike people that have a far greater potential to elevate and inspire, both ourselves and others.