Alright, I just saw this posted at Cpluv and figured I had better put it up. This is a quick shot-in-the-arm documentary from Shawn Bannon. It is a fascinating little morsel of culture to be sure. I am kind of ambivalent about the entire hipster culture scene though. I always have been. I have always kind of ridden the fringes of different social groups and have done the same with hipsterdom. Some of my friends tease me that I am hipster, but I have always thought otherwise. I have a very regular fulltime job, a mortage and a wife. I will probably have some kids soon too. I came from a very working class family, and I have never been given anything in my life. Ever. I have worked for everything I have and continue to do so. I have no privileged upbringing to rebel against. So sometimes I feel a bit like the everyman and I don’t exactly live the Jack Kerouac Bohemian lifestyle, if you catch my drift. I am not saying that every hipster was raised on the east coast and is rebelling against Oxford roots either.

So what is your take on this? Are we seeing a genuine rise of a new kind of hippy that is truly outside the circle and championing an alternative lifestyle that expunges the slavery of the American dream? Or is this just a bunch of privileged white kids who had it good and have decided they are too cool for school (and will later transform into fashion-conscious yuppies)?

Like I said, I am ambivalent and just not sure what I think. A part of me thinks this is really cool and would love to get in there with them and ride through the tunnels screaming like a banshee and another part of me just wants to call BS on the whole scene. Most of my friends could be described as hipsters, and I know a big part of my audience is. And I am not saying that the L.A. bike scene is the typical hipster scene either. I think it is a little bit of something different. Again, ambivalence.

Leave a comment and tell me how you feel. I am genuinely curious. Cool or not?

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

9 Responses to “L.A. Bike Scene”

  1. Bookmarks for 04/27/2009 | craaank Says:

    […] Changethethought™ | L.A. Bike Scene Tags: LA Bike Scene […]

  2. Erik Says:

    As someone who has been on a good handful of these rides, I feel like this is a pretty good example of what the bike scene is like. It has a little bit of everything – from fast rides to slow rides, drunken melees to sober bike protests, whatever type of riding you are into can be found in LA. The hipster movement is a big spin off of the 60’s hippie – peace, love, environment. But the new age hipsters tend to care less about others and more about stupid self-indulgences, which is why I have learned to avoid some of the big party rides that end with police helicopters and dozens of police escorting us away. The LA bike scene is all about whatever you want to make it. The rides are organized by anyone who wants to do so, for whatever reason/cause you want.

    Every major city in the US needs a branch of the Midnight Ridazz though. For no other reason than to see the city you live in and cycling in a different light. LA is a cluster f during the day, but at night it’s tranquil and amazing to ride it.

  3. Trevor Conrad Says:

    I’ll second Eric on that.
    I ride leisurely at art school (SCAD) and yes there are a ton of so called ‘hipsters’ here. For me riding is my only mode of transportation since I don’t own a car. I’ve participated in a couple bigger group rides while visiting friends in SF and Seattle, and its indeed whatever you want to make of it. Some people do it for status, others for exercise, competition, transportation and it seems whatever your fancy you’re welcome to participate. I totally agree with the new-age hipster comment as well, sort of funny to see these street looking kids riding around one of the wealthiest art school on some expensive tricked out custom bikes.

  4. Christopher Says:

    Thanks for the comments guys. I appreciate the insight. I know there is a big scene here in Denver and Denver absolutely kicks ass to ride your bike in. I haven’t ridden mine in over a year but I used to ride to work every day when I first moved here. When I lived in Boulder I rode every single day, rain, shine or snow. I swore by it. I just never really dropped into an actual ‘scene’. I did it because it was good exercise and I thought it was an eco-conscious thing to do. I just don’t really have a good route now but I may give it another crack this summer.

    I don’t think it would be hard to get a Midnight Ridazz going in Denver at all.

  5. Dico Says:

    I used to night-bike here in brazil when i was about 15. And as far as i remember, it was fun as shit… kind felt all that again when i watched the short. Obviously the filmmakers prefer to shoot the weirdos, because they look better onscreen, but i´m sure there´s a lot of regular people having fun in there too.

  6. s. Says:

    It all seems a little late to me. I mean, this stuff has been going on in Philly, NYC and SF, plus others for a decade or more. It’s not that original, and not all that shocking (with all the why-be-normalness, screaming and general “look at me” attitudes). I do think it is great that people are riding and considering alternate forms of transportation though. It’s not right of me at all, but the integrity of LA always seems to be a big question. I’m sure a lot of these people are out there riding for the right reasons. It just seems as though this doc could’ve been edited differently to put the “scene” in a better light.

  7. s. Says:

    I forgot to mention, Christopher, thanks for providing this site. It really is great. Daily.

  8. Stu Says:

    Your posts are the best! Always helpful!

  9. Lashaun Kurtenbach Says:

    Would you kindly translate your website into Italian as I’m not that comfortable reading it in English? I’m getting tired of using Google Translate all the time, there is a cool WP plugin called like global translator which will render all your pages by default- that will make reading posts on your sweet blog even more cosy. Cheers mate, Lashaun Kurtenbach!

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