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LIFESTYLE

Wednesday September , 

Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College

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A two-wheel revolution cruises across Los Angeles By Julie Newsome Staff Writer If you’ve ever heard the popular 80s song “Walking in LA,” then you understand that well, nobody walks in LA. Seeing that LA is an asphalt jungle between the beach, mountains and valley, it’s become a faux pas to walk about the streets. But what about bicycling? Drive down virtually any street and you’ll be dodging bicycle riders left and right. The kind of people you see will range from experienced racers with fancy gear to girls wearing miniskirts late for work, and even 13-yearold biker gangs terrorizing random people in the night. In addition to those riding for exercise or the purpose of commuting, bicycle events are meeting grounds for mobs of people who dress up in costumes, and ride around the city into the late hours of the night. C.R.A.N.K. MOB is arguably the most popular of the many bicycle mobs that organize rides, seeing as the usual turn out can sometimes exceed 1,000 people. C.R.A.N.K. meets up on the Saturday after the third Friday of each month. Over the years this kind of event has become an underground phenomenon, with multiple rides every night of the week. Information about the rides travels by word of mouth as well as through forums such as Midnightridazz.com and C.R.A.N.K. MOB’s Facebook. People of all ages and walks of life attend these bicycle excursions with one main thing in common: a love for riding bikes. Los Angeles native

By John Stapleton IV Staff Writer Spending a lazy weekday night drinking at The Garter in Venice is like spending a night drinking at your buddy’s house, if your buddy could sing

Daniel Brooks, a student at SMC, says, “LA looks a lot different when you are on a bike. You’ll see things that you could have missed in the blink of an eye driving in a car.” From the beach into the city, Los Angeles biking groups cover vast ground and explore the city in a completely different way. Routes are planned to cover the span of anywhere between 1 mile and 30 miles at a time, sometimes beginning in Santa Monica and traveling through the city streets into downtown. With courses like that, it’s likely that LA riders are likely to witness parts of LA that are only seen via bike. “We once passed a colony-like place for homeless people downtown behind an alley. Its insane that it was there and I would have drove right past in a car without even looking,” says Daniels. While C.R.A.N.K. is described by its loyal members as a “religious organization,” there are others who ride simply for the exercise and breath of fresh air. A popular spot for tourists and locals alike is the Strand bike path. Running directly alongside the sand the ride runs about 22 miles and takes riders through Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan and into Redondo. Along with the plethora of adventures available for those interested in cruising LA, there is a type of bicycle appropriate for every venture. Most popular, especially in California, is the beach cruiser, which is loved in bright, fluorescent colors. The only downside to a beach cruiser is that cruising the beach is all it is really good for. The enormous weight, single speed, and girth of the bike make it hard to go

all night while accompanying himself on the piano, and if he had a hot girlfriend who liked to invent really strong cocktails and went skipping around being super nice to everyone. The bar wasn’t even close to capacity, but it was overflowing

Michelle Ponder Corsair Once a month hundreds of bicyclists gather on the streets of Los Angeles for Critical Mass, a ride that originally aimed to promote bicyclist’s rights on the road. This month riders gathered on Sept. 25 and were escorted by LAPD on the ride as a result of mishaps in the recent past.

very fast or up a hill. If you want to get somewhere fast and easy you should try out a road bike set up with gears, which are typically used for street riding and community by many Angelinos. I always say that Los Angeles is like

with charm, and the vibe is so relaxed and friendly you half expect to walk in and hear everyone cheer your name for finally showing up. General Manager Will Bailey calls his bar “a real sexy, chill night club with live music,”

Brian White Corsair Regulars visiting The Garter on a Monday night make conversation over the lyrical stylings of Ryan Brahams. The bar offers a neighborhood bar feel with live music and a friendly atmosphere.

one big playground, so get out there and go play. Get back to your inner child and get on a bike if you haven’t recently. Whether you ride to get somewhere or just ride to ride you will find that the best things in life really are simple.

which would (hypothetically) be a fair assessment if you went on a Friday or Saturday where the place (allegedly) packs in so tight you have to call ahead to reserve tables. But The Garter isn’t wildly famous for being sexy, and calling it a nightclub might be a bit of a stretch. That said, it also isn’t contrived, gimmicky, or phony. The truth is, The Garter is a bar – plain and simple. It is a neighborhood bar in the most raw and unprocessed ways, featuring live performances from local talent, a single pool table, and the kind of bartender you’d want to marry if Bailey hadn’t already called shotgun on that. Natively-Texan ‘tender Christa (spelled “like ‘Chris’ with a little T and A” she explained with a wiggle) Bradley has an entire menu of her own secret cocktail concoctions, but on the list of things that make her a keeper, her heavy pours take a backseat to her effervescent disposition. In fact, of the dozen or so patrons that strolled in while I was there, only one wasn’t crowded around the edge of the bar laughing it up with Bradley, and he was the talent. Said talent was Ryan Brahms,

whom you might remember from his gigs at House of Blues or Whiskey a Go Go. Brahms plays when other local artists aren’t on stage, but unlike his Hollywood gigs, playing blues at The Garter is just for fun. “They have like a singer/ songwriter thing here, so I stay a couple hours for practice,” Brahms said. “I play here because it’s home.” “Home” is exactly what Bailey was trying to create when he opened the stage up to artists from the area. “We always have somebody different,” he said “What I went for with this thing is a place you can come play and your friends can come listen.” Like your buddy’s house, your friends can come listen for free. And given its local locale, they can probably walk there. Unlike your buddy’s house, they won’t have to take off their shoes to come inside, and while there are dozens of couches to relax on while absorbing the music and alcohol, your friends can’t sleep over. But they’ll want to: It seems everyone that visits The Garter, stays. “The regulars here are so bad ass!” said Bradley. “It’s like a tiny little family.”

SMC Corsair fall 2010 Issuu 4  

Fall 2010