My father, François Bar, has been working with community organizations in South LA and surrounding areas to try to create an interactive map of their neighborhoods, including tips and documentation of specific landmarks. The project is called Partour (see website http://www.partour.net/ ) and is funded through the Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California.
We biked from our house in Santa Monica on Exposition to meet the other riders and end up at the Watts Towers, biking back on Imperial Highway to the beach, back to our house.
The East Side Riders are a very fun group to ride with. They wave warmly at everyone we pass, have music playing, and, as the name of their last ride (the “Ride for Love”) suggested, spread the love. We stopped to hand out sandwiches to the homeless we encountered on the ride. Their goal is to create a neighborhood in which people can feel safe while on the streets.
While riding with them, receiving friendly greetings from people in their frontyards who were looking at the parade of bike riders in red shirts, I fully believe in their ability to accomplish this.
I have been biking since I was about 5. I bike to school everyday, including to the beach on Wednesday mornings to take samples for ocean water quality testing. I participate in the CicLAvia events every year. It makes you realize how pleasant and healthy a bike-friendly Los Angeles would be for everyone in our community.