Meet Eligio Fonseca Jr., the first in our Rider Profile series. He’s a Los Angeles native, who likes the beach lifestyle though not necessarily the beach. Prefers bacon-burgers to tacos in a city full of amazing taco places. Grew up roller-blading until he realized bikes were so much cooler/safer. Is a Minnesota Vikings fan with no ties to the mid-west? Waaaaaaaa. Take it away good sir….
We’re friends now yeah? Not yet? Even so, please call me Eli. All of the above things mentioned about me are correct, though I wouldn’t say I grew up on roller blades, I dabbled, and once I knew that riding a bike was easier and most importantly safer, in the sense that it prevented me from falling straight on my ass causing me to gasp for air for what felt like an eternity, I immediately knew it was for me. So let’s go grab a refreshing pint of Franziskaner and talk a little bit about me.
What does being an' LA native' even mean?
It mean’s I was born in LA and have lived here since then. Pre-K to 6th in the Hollywood area. 7th thru high school in the Los Feliz area. Lived in San Bernardino to attend Cal State SB which barely counts because I drove most weekends back to my parents in LA. I now reside in Redondo Beach, CA. Catch me on The Strand, but not in the water though, that’s for the sharks.
Is LA like the movies?
For the most part, I’d say yes. Though I have yet to see "La La Land." I’d describe it as equal parts Training Day, Clueless, Swingers, and Hollywood Homicide. The last of which is very underrated. NOTE: There aren’t enough bike related movies, “Slay The Badger” is an amazing doc.
Isn’t LA a terrible place to bike in, how’d you get started?
I was 5 years old, and like most, had training wheels put on my Huffy. Thank gaaaawd for Sears and their lay-away plan. My parents are the best! Yes LA is a terrible city to bike in especially as a kid, but as evidence of the progress made in the past 10 years I see nothing but sunshine and green lanes ahead. At the forefront of which is CicLAvia. Cant recommend their causes and open street type events enough.
What bikes have you owned since then?
I had a Specialized MTB bike that I rode from 8 til about 12 years old. I left it outside our apartment complex for 2 mins to go throw out the trash, that’s the last I saw her. From their I replaced that with a green hybrid that I bought at a yard sale. Owned no bikes in college. Which takes us up to 3 years ago when I decided I needed a break from running marathons and got a 2014 Specialized Crosstrail Disc hybrid bike and later a 2015 Orbea Avant Carbon Disc road bike.
Which is easier: running or cycling?
Seems like an easy question to answer if it weren't for hills being real and brutal! Easier on the body? cruising on a bike for sure. Easy on time? running. I did the math (sorta), takes twice the amount of time and four times the distance to burn the same amount of cals in cycling as it does running. Nothing like grabbing a bike, bite, brews with friends though. Easy choice there.
Bacon burger over street tacos?
Yes. I consider BBQ’ing a great past time of mine so crafting juicy burgers on the charcoal grill is my. While I do admit that the street tacos in LA are epic, a bacon cheddar burger with: avocado, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, lots of pickles is still my go-to. Though fish tacos sound amazing right about. Micro climates are really something else. HOTTT!
If you could live somewhere else other than LA, where?
Minneapolis, Minnesota. Not just because it's home to the best team in the NFL (Vikings!). They truly have great Spring/Summer weather, scenic lakes, and their biking infrastructure is easily ten to fifteen years ahead of anything I’ve seen. The people and beer there a top notch as well.
Where else have you been? Want to go?
I’ve been to: Honolulu, Denver, New York, San Francisco. With Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Austin, New Orleans, Washington DC, Nashville on my to-do list. Internationally: Germany, Spain, Toronto, and Paris would be sweeeeeeet. Are bikes difficult to travel with? Guess I'll find out….
Sounds like traveling is your hobby, any others?
- Movies (I dedicate a large portion of my living to the ultimate movie watching experience. I plan on watching on all the classics, mostly westerns)
- Gaming (Xbox One S, currently hooked on Titanfall 2)
- Tech (Love them unboxing/reviews/creator YouTube videos)
- Yelp-ing (Love trying new places. Usually hard to have a bad experience if you do some research ahead of time)
- Sports (Dodgers, Clippers, LA Kings, Vikings, UCLA everything, Tour De France)
- Photography (I just use my phone, nothing fancy)
Alright, Alright…. What advice do you have for those that just want to bike all day?
Invite friends, and have them invite even more friends. Always have a spare bike to lend them. Attend all the open street type events. Not only are you supporting the local economy, great bike causes, you are also exploring parts of neighborhoods you couldn’t have from inside a car. Know routine bike care/maintenance as it will save you a ton of money. Always wear a helmet and carry a spare tube.
Words to live by?
Heart of a Lion. Mind of a Champion.