The Hoop Bus led hundreds of bicyclists through the streets of West Hollywood for a peaceful Bike Ride For Black Lives Matter demonstration from Hollywood to Santa Monica. The long line of cyclists reached WeHo around 3pm yesterday, Sunday, July 12, 2020. The protest is a continuation to several demonstrations against racism, police brutality and calls for justice in the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and a long list of others who have lost their lives at the hands of police officers.
The ride, organized by Bike Rides or Black Lives, began at 6422 Selma Avenue, at 2pm. It moved west on Selma Avenue, turned south on Schrader Avenue, west on Sunset Boulevard, south on Highland Avenue, before heading west on Santa Monica Boulevard towards West Hollywood. The route ended in the city of Santa Monica.
The demonstration was quiet and peaceful. There was no chanting or or yelling during the ride. Riders would throw an occasional Black Power fist in the air and they’d get a response from moving vehicles who would honk their horns in support of the movement. There were also traffic handlers who stopped at intersections to make sure riders were safe at busy cross streets.
Organizers emphasized the need for masks or other face coverings during the ride, along with other essentials like water, sunglasses and sunblock. However, not all riders wore face coverings at the ride.
At the head of the demonstration was the Hoop Bus, the iconic yellow old school bus that travels around the country on a mission to reconnect people with the game of basketball while making a statement. It’s been billed as the ultimate basketball traveling machine, uniting communities around the world by inviting them to shoot some hoops. It was founded in Venice California by Eliot Robinson.
Bicycling Magazine reports that in the weeks since Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets in cities across the country, bikes have become more than simply a method of transportation. They’ve become a tool for societal change. Activists have organized bike-specific marches: mass rides, galvanizing thousands of cyclists, from seasoned riders to occasional Citi Bikers to newbie pandemic-pedallers.
This past weekend marks the second Black Lives Matters demonstration staged by Bike Rides for Black Lives. The first ride took place on June 7, 2020 from Hollywood to Venice Beach. For upcoming rides, visit https://www.bikeridesforblacklives.com/.