1. First things first: LA drivers are angry. And they hate you so much.
This quote is taken from a story NPR ran in December of 2013 on LA Bike Trains. It’s important not to demonize drivers, after all bike commuters and the auto-set need to coexist, but never let your guard down on those mean city streets.
2. Therefore, protection is key. Helmets keep your brains inside your skull. And technology is making them safer and more stylish than ever before!
Check out the Invisible Hövding Helmet. Truly epic.
3. Second, choosing to commute by bike is a lifestyle choice. Some days will be harder than others…
SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t kill myself.
4. Luckily, rainy days in LA are few and far between.
This is our 7-day forecast in mid-January, which is why the rest of the country resents Los Angelenos and thinks we’re whiny complainers. Sorry we’re not sorry, ‘Mericuh. Now get me my sweatshirt, it’s a brisk 65 degrees outside!
5. Understandably, you may be nervous to embark on this endeavor alone. Luckily for you, you’ve got options, like LA Bike Trains.
“Bike Trains are individuals who commute by bike together.”
6. But if going at it alone is more your style, you should know that LA is more bike-accessible than you realized, and expanding all the time!
The Green, Orange, and Pink all represent bike lanes on city streets or separate bike paths. The thicker lines represent the LA Metro Rail, and the dotted gray are bus routes, both of which are very bike friendly. Follow the URL to see the full interactive map.
7. For example, Greenway 2020 is only six years from realization, with major progress being made everyday.
The project, from the LA River Corporation, is “in motion,” according to the website, and aims to revitalize the LA River with 51 miles of connected bike corridors stretching from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.
8. Q: “But aren’t you all sweaty when you get to your destination?”
A: Sometimes, there’s a light sheen, yes, but it’s never a profuse problem.
9. Not convinced? And bringing a change of clothes not an option?
Places like Santa Monica Bike Center offer membership services like showers, lockers, and a secure place to lock up your bike.
11. WHOOPSIE! Flat tire? Squealy brakes? Rusted chain? No problem is too big with a little help from a local co-op!
Learn to be your own Bike-chanic, which is a fun word I just made up which means “bike mechanic.”
12. Bikerowave, Bicycle Kitchen, Bike Oven, and Valley Bikery are all viable DIY bike repair shops and a valuable resource for any bike commuter.
The volunteers are always eager to help and they genuinely get the LA Bike Commuter struggle.
13. For general info, LADOT is a great resource for new bike commuters. Use it. Love it.
Their blog is pretty great too! Access it via their site.