Heaven on Earth? Or hell on wheels?
Los Angeles may look like a great place to ride a bike. But don’t believe everything you see on TV. From broken streets, gridlocked traffic and bike lanes that vanish without warning, to a cadre of over-stressed, angry drivers more engrossed in their cell phones than the roadway ahead of them. Where beach-front bike paths are so choked with tourists and pedestrians there’s no room for bikes. And riding at rush hour is a contact sport.
And yet, I love it here.
I’m a confirmed roadie, despite the prop bike in the picture. I bought my first grown-up bike from Gus Betat in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, back when Ronald Reagan was still running for president. I’ve ridden through the Rockies, dodged gators and pickups along backwater bayous, and circled the sunny sands and tans of San Diego. The past two decades, I’ve called L.A. home — largely because I married a local girl who isn’t likely to leave in this lifetime. Besides, I was born here.
In real life, I’m self-employed as freelance writer and advertising copywriter; contact me if you want more information. I’m also a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.
And yes, I am the guy who spent a couple nights in the ICU after the Infamous Beachfront Bee Encounter.
Want to know more? Listen to my 2009 appearance on KPCC’s AirTalk program, discussing bike rights in the aftermath of the Dr. Christopher Thompson/Mandeville Canyon case.
I try to keep my ear to the ground, but that’s not always easy when you’re on a bike. So maybe you’ve heard something I haven’t. Email your tips, comments and suggestions about cycling the City of Angeles to: bikinginla at hotmail dot com.
Follow me on Twitter @bikinginla.