For Bike Month, LACBC Everywhere returns for it’s third season of sharing stories from people across Los Angeles. LA County has a lot to offer in terms of places to ride, but its the experiences that shape us. Today’s profile features Maribel Briseño from the Montebello Bicycle Coalition:
What was it like to grow up in Los Angeles?
Growing up in LA was tough, especially because I grew up in South LA, and lived in Watts and East LA. I lived in some of the toughest areas but I enjoyed the outdoors, even though it wasn’t always safe to be outside. LA was predominantly African American then, and ‘one day’ it became predominately Hispanic, or as we call it now, people of color.
How did you get involved with cycling?
I got involved in cycling as an adult in Chicago. My boyfriend at the time lived out there and we decided to go on a night bike ride, so I bought my first bike. This night bike ride was something like CicLAvia and there were so many people. I hadn’t ridden a bike before in my life and this was the craziest night to start. I was so nervous because there were so many people and we ended up riding 45 miles that night. I liked it, but not really. Haha! I enjoyed riding my bike more when we rode to the movies or farmer’s market.
What are some of your favorite places and things to do around Los Angeles?
My favorite hobbies are definitely riding my bike with Montebello Bicycle Coalition and trying to keep up with at least one of them. I also enjoy spending time with my adult-child and visiting different restaurants, especially my most recent and favorite place right now, Brew Kitchen in Monterey Park. They are so supportive of MBC, and have great service and good food & drinks.
What are some of your biggest challenges about getting around LA?
Some of the biggest challenges are not having bike lanes where it matters, and Montebello not being bike-friendly, although we are working on that. I believe we are making progress. We will soon have a bike lane on Montebello Blvd. from the mall to Lincoln Ave and I hope to have more very soon…it’s just a matter of time. We need to expose the cycling community more and get more residents involved in order to enact change. The traffic in LA is a challenge in itself.
Can you name a place nearby you would consider a hidden treasure?
A hidden treasure…..hhhhmmm, my mother’s home for authentic Mexican food.
What are some of your favorite places to cycle in Los Angeles?
I like cycling everywhere, I wish I could cycle to and from work to the San Fernando Valley, but my work meetings will not allow for that. I will figure out the route for the days when I’m in the office all day and I’ll be riding my bike.
What do you like most about biking around Los Angeles?
I enjoy riding in groups and hearing people yell my name as I’m riding wherever it is I’m going. I love knowing awesome cyclists and I’ve made great friends. I love going on social bike rides and I enjoy presenting about Montebello Bicycle Coalition and bragging about how awesome those lady and male beasts are.