Excerpt from Intersections South LA. Click here for the complete story.
On Sunday, May 5th, Javier Partida rode his bike around the Watts neighborhood with a group of 30 young adults that live in the area.
While approaching a red light at the intersection of 108th Street and Compton Avenue, Partida lifted his fist in the air, as a way to direct the rest of his bike squad behind him.
As the rest of the bikers behind him came to a stop, a man in a black Impala with tinted windows and silver rims stopped next to Partida.
“You’re doing a great thing for these youngsters, man,” the driver said. Partida nodded his head and replied, “I appreciate it, man. Good looking out.”
The light at the intersection turned green and the Impala sped off. “Everybody let’s go,” said Partida. “Don’t stay behind!”
Partida is the founder of Los Ryderz B.C., a bicycle club in Watts. He founded the club a year ago. Partida organizes bike rides every weekend for about 30 young adults between the ages of 15 to 21 years old. The bike riders come from Watts, Compton, South Central L.A. and South Gate.
The purpose of the club is to prevent the youth in Watts from joining gangs and using drugs. Partida said he wants to engage the youth in the community by organizing recreational activities.
Partida provides the club a total of 20 bicycles. He keeps them at a local school where he works as a security guard. The rest of the club members bring their own bikes.
Partida recently organized a softball tournament with a bike club from East Los Angeles. He said that organizing activities that are free of charge allow everyone to take part.
“I rode with the majority of my squad to a park in East L.A.-that was free,” said Partida. “And we played softball in a park — that was also free.”
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