As someone who rides bikes in Los Angeles, who is obsessed with subcultures, and who walks the line on cool kid wannabeness, it’s no surprise that Takeover LA is one of my daily reads. If you aren’t into bikes then it’s likely of no interest to you, but if you are this is a rabbit hole that runs very, very deep. TOLA (as it’s more commonly known) is an LA blog in that the authors live in LA, the post about LA events, post videos of LA stuff and LA is in the title of the site, though I’d argue it’s focus is really more about the fixed gear / track bike scene. They write about stuff they are into, and since they are in LA a lot of that stuff happens to be in LA as well. There is also no question these are the cool kids, which, not being one of the cool kids, is cool to be able to live vicariously through this blog. It’s a fun guilty pleasure at worst.
On the good side they posts all the time. Really several posts a day on any given day. These are pretty well balanced between videos, photos, events, reviews and profiles. I can’t say I’m totally down with some of the fashion they endorse but I’m old so that’s to be expected I think. If you wanted a good idea what is cool in the fixed gear scene right this very second, you could read TOLA for one day, and no other site, and have a very good idea. They are seriously all over this, and I really appreciate passion in a blog. There’s no question they are into the stuff they are writing about.
On the bad side, I’d challenge you to find a single review on the site that says anything negative about the product they are reviewing. I’d also challenge you to find a review that doesn’t causally mention that the product they are reviewing was given to them free. I’d also challenge you to find a review that didn’t say that said free products were awesome. Ethically, this is a little suspect. I don’t really trust their reviews because of this, are they giving this product a good review because they like it or because they got it free? It’s hard to tell. I wish they talked more about stuff they thought was lame or not awesome, or stuff they just bought for themselves because they wanted rather than only stuff given to them for free. That would add a ton of credibility in my book, but again, I’m old. So take that how ever you will.