by Jessica Kendall-Bar
The South LA ride and festival organized by Shuntain Thomas of the Real Rydaz brought people from many different parts of Los Angeles to Vermont and Exposition to ride together on July 1. With support from other local bike clubs, including the East Side Riders and Los Ryderz, the Real Rydaz led this ten mile bike ride through South Los Angeles. They encourage being active and fighting obesity by biking in the local community. They raised awareness of the problem of child obesity by having the bike tour end with live performances from local artists, a raffle bike give-away, and presentations by health outreach services.
Shuntain Thomas, the Real Rydaz, and We Are Responsible People (WARP) worked to create this event not only to spread awareness of the possible health problems related with inactivity, but also to encourage the creation of bike lanes and bike friendly city planning in South L.A. This year has given rise to many more bike lanes than in previous years, but safety concerns still exist. There are complicated intersections which make community members concerned that children or other bikers may be hit by trains and cars. The Real Rydaz surpassed many obstacles in acquiring the needed permits for the ride and put on an event which effectively brought people together to celebrate their community and what it has to offer.