Allow me to toot my horn a little bit about something with which you might not give a shit: the Midnight Ridazz All-City Toy Ride was my idea. No lie. I pitched it at the end of a group ride in Hollywood October 2006 when my friend “Roadblock,” one of MRs original posse who’d recently stepped up to take the baton and keep Midnight Ridazz rides running, told me he was looking for people to bring him themes for future rolls.
So right there I said to him something along the lines of “We should totally do something in December that’s like a Ridazz version of Toys For Tots.” Roadblock’s eyes got wide and he said “No shit. Hell yeah!” And he was off. Not long afterward he cracked the whip, got other ridazz enthused and organized and before long they had it all fucking set. There were multiple rides developed from starting points all over the city, with hundreds of ridazz converging at the Plaza gazebo by Olvera Street. Arrangements were made for L.A. County Department of Childrens Services to be the recipient of the donated toys, and there was a venue next to the Cornfield for an after-party with beer and a DJ. Someone even got Der Goobernator to record a PSA promoting the affair (no kidding, sorta!).
The subsequent 2007 and 2008 All-City Toy Rides, under the awesome and tireless guidance and energy of the extraordinary Patrick Miller have kept what was started in 2006 going strong. And with each one, I never fail to stop and take a look around and just enjoy of the role I had in it no matter how tiny. I did little more than light the match, but it’s still a point of pride knowing that from the suggestion that Roadblock ran with three years ago, the bike community has repeatedly come together each holiday season to make sure it’s a little brighter for others.
Does it get any better than that? It does this Friday, December 11, with The 4th Annual Midnight Ridazz All-City Toy Ride. Thanks to the hard work of a whole buncha people it promises to be the biggest and bestest of them all. Once again, rides will depart from all over the place (start times vary; more info here), to converge on the Plaza gazebo around 10 p.m. Participants are strongly requested to bring an unwrapped toy ($5-$25) to be donated to the East L.A. Women’s Center, not only because it’s the nice and right thing to do, but also because your gift grants you access to the after-party at Nucleus Event Center in the shadow of the 6th Street Bridge where there will be bands playing, food vendors, cash bars and lots more. And on the weather tip: rain does not — repeat: does not — cancel. Ride On!