It's a full moon tomorrow night and if you're out on the streets of LA, you may see the Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade.
The Ovas are an all-women of color bicycle collective that ride out every full moon for what they call a Luna ride. These rides can often draw up to 20 or 30 riders.
The group's founder Xela De La X spoke to Take Two about the group and why they ride.
What is Ovarian Psycos' purpose?
"A bicycling brigade specifically created for the benefit of healing our communities physically, emotionally and spiritually by addressing very important issues that affect us as women of color in our community here in Boyle Heights, East LA, Southeast LA."
Why bicycles? What do they represent?
"The bicycle represents a lot for us, as Ovarian Psycos. We are a working class community and a lot of us can't afford anything else but a bicycle. But also, the way that we grew up, we were not allowed as young girls-- we were not allowed to use bicycles. Our bodies have always been about containing them for the access of somebody else, usually a male. We're just trying to reclaim our bodies for ourselves."
Why did you feel it was important to form this collective?
"I just kept thinking about young girls and girls riding and how whatever issues that we're facing already as pedestrians or as--just like women in our community, we're also going to face it cycling. And so I felt compelled to begin a collective, you know for the purpose of my daughter having back-up, for the purpose of other young girls having back-up but also just to build community off of the fact that we're cycling."
On the pushback the bicycling brigade has received:
"You know it's not always been easy, from the gate we had a lot of pushback from folks that didn't understand like 'why did it have to be women only? Why did it only have to be women of color only?'. We're talking about rape, we're talking about domestic violence, we're talking about very personal realities, right? And so I feel like it necessitates an all women's space."
"At the end of the day, we really don't care nor are we looking for anybody's validations. So for us, it's--we do what we do because we understand that it's necessary in these times. It's necessary for my daughter to see a group of women that are coming together and are working towards building a better world."
For more on the Ovarian Psyco Bicycle brigade, you can look into the documentary coming out about them from filmmakers Joanna Sokolowski & Kate Trumbull-LaValle.
The documentary premiered to rave reviews at the SXSW festival in March and is making its West Coast premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival on June 3rd.
To hear the full interview, click the blue play button above.