What kind of title is that?!? That’s probably what a lot of you are asking right now. When I first heard about a bike ride that involved a large group of people, friends, and drinking at night thru the greater westside of Los Angeles I thought it was called the Family Bike Ride.
I met a group of friends in Santa Monica where we gathered then road down to Venice to join the larger cast. It wasn’t really until halfway thru the ride that I found out the title was FMLY. The idea with it was a bunch of people gathering to ride bikes around to areas at different locations to listen to music that was either played by a DJ or by live bands. The organizing gang is called thefmly.com.
I didn’t know what to expect, I was in virgin territory. It was an adventure to be sure. The leader of the evening was a guy dressed in a yellow chicken outfit. The theme I learned later was to dress like a thief or burglar. Would have been nice if my friends had informed me of this ahead of time. Actually one of them brought nylon stockings and had an extra. I attempted to put it on my head, but the stocking must have been for a girl with a very small foot. I could barely get it on my head and it tore. I couldn’t keep it on as it made breathing difficult, and was giving me a headache from how tight it was.
Before we even got underway, the police were directing us not to mount our bikes in Venice or people would get ticketed. Geez. A quick walk to the street and off a large crowd went. Biking into the night. So many bikes that we actually shut down traffic. Blowing thru red lights because the crowd couldn’t be stopped. First destination was a parking lot where a DJ was setup to spin. People off their bikes, and drinks were flowing. Dancing, bouncing, and fun. Within minutes, police showed up. Everyone back on their bikes and off to another location.
Meet in another parking lot to regroup and off to the next location. A large crowd of bikes late at night must be a magnet for police as we were then escorted out of Marina Del Rey and into Culver City. Next stop had a live band set in-between a couple business buildings. Everyone back off their bikes, a jam ensued and a mosh pit formed. After about 3 songs, again another round of police show up to break up the mob. Off we go again to another location to regroup. A Ralphs store. People go in and purchase beer, snacks, drinks, ect. The police tell the leader to leave one lane of traffic open and they’ll leave us alone. Next stop a little park somewhere else. People are riding in all lanes, but so far, no police. We reach a park where the next band kicks into playing. Drinks, dancing, fun!
I somehow manage to get my bike on a swing and get pushed in the swing by a friend. Someone has pictures of it and I nearly fell on my face. Still it was fun.
Police arrive again. This time with about 5 cars. Everyone has to leave again. I somehow managed to leave near the front of the crowd and one of the organizers knew the next location but not how to get there. iPhone to the rescue. I pulled mine out and got the directions and off we went in search of the next spot. A pothole wreaked havoc on the leader and we had to stop at a Carl’s Jr to regroup. More beer was bought. More milling about, chatting and fun. 2/3 of the group take off to the final destination. More people leave, then it’s me the chicken suit, a girl in distress and my friend Russell. We hang out at the Carl’s to calm her down, drink a beer. We pick up an unsuspecting biker to join us to ride to the final destination.
Once there, there is more music, more people also from the east side and more music. It’s now about 1:30. My group was getting tired. We decide it’s time to head back as people are filtering out. The ride back is no longer a huge group, though a big faction did follow us for about 3 blocks then they all stopped. Five of us including one skateboarder kept going. Then the boarder and another biker dropped off and left three of us. Making a bee line from where we were to Santa Monica was still a 10 mile ride.
We stop to get a pizza at a place in westwood. They ignore us for about 45 minutes and right when we decide to go, they serve us. Scarf down the pizza and back on our merry way. Though at this point, we’re getting cold at 3 a.m. Our butts are saddle sore and it’s still 5 miles to go. Eventually I get to my car and the other two head home. 4 a.m. is when I finally hit the pillow. Whew. What a night!
I could think of no better song than that of Queen. I’m not sure how many songs have been written about riding a bicycle. I can’t think of any other than this. So it’s my choice to kick of the week based on what ended my week a couple of nights ago.
Though the song is called Bicycle Race, there was no racing intent the other night. It was for fun. Which is how I take the Queen song. For fun. It’s typical of Queen. Very catchy, very original, and very good. The use of the bicycle bells in the middle of the song is also clever. Lots of stops in the music much like the ride and very theatrical in nature. Pulsing guitars, soaring vocals, rounded out with smashing drums and throbbing bass. It’s a standard Queen feature to make something that wouldn’t seem musical into something of musical genius.
Go get it now!