Saturday, November 7, 2009

the LA Times has a piece on the Latebirds

...Pedestrians stop and smile as the riders cruise along Hyperion Avenue toward Hugo's, a taco stand in Atwater Village where they'll load up on horchatas and burritos before swarming up the hills of Griffith Park. Unlike some more fearsome biker gangs, this friendly two-wheeled tribe seems to elicit nothing but warmth from the general public, especially older folk who remember riding the bikes in the '70s.

Even tough-guy bikers seems to have a soft spot for them, based on their mutual obsession with mechanical problem-solving and the unending quest for speed. And there's a natural bond between the moped gangs and such vintage bike gangs as the Cretins (who ride vintage Café Racers) and South Bay skater/bikers the Cycle Zombies.

"We're pretty much the same type of people -- most of those guys get super stoked on us riding mopeds," rider Nik Jung says.

Among this band of brothers is a handful of girls, who plan to start a Girls-Only Moped League. One of them, Jennifer Anderson, was hobbling around Choke on crutches after breaking her femur at a Polini-sponsored moped race in Atwater, in the San Joaquin Valley, a few months ago. She's putting on a brave face, and joins her friends at Hugo's despite her injury. A founding member of the Latebirds, she says the scene has grown to be "bigger than I ever thought it would be."

via the LA Times

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