Every year the halloween-themed bicycle event "Choppercapras Horrorcycles" takes place in the middle of the San Fernando Valley. This year it was to start 12 sharp, "not 12 hipster time," according to their facebook event page. I'd hate to imagine how late hipsters tend to be as this event didn't get going until 1:15 P.M. However, I forgave the tardiness after witnessing the games.
A host dressed like a Spartan stood at the back of a coliseum improvised from a parking lot with a circle of orange traffic cones. The steeds were tall bikes, welded together from the frames of two smaller bikes. The swords and maces were made from Styrofoam and duct tape; the audience roared and threw these weapons and nets at the participants.
During the chariot races the athletes rode dirty pick child's bicycles, their teammates on carts in tow. Between the intensity of the race and the shoddiness of the mount, several fell and wheels broke off mid-race, follies which only served to further enliven the audience.
The entropy, amiable bicyclists so mired in their own subculture, the silly costumes and rough-housing illustrated a notion that has been denied historically by Los Angeles residents--that the San Fernando Valley does have culture. The culture of the bicyclists embraces gritty, hap-hazard spontaneity was unlike any other I had witnessed, in LA or elsewhere.