Living Car Free - carfree in southern california/orange county
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05-24-07, 06:40 PM
It is no wonder that most of the U.S. thinks that not driving is insane. I count myself lucky to live in a state where riding a bike is seen by most as simply stupid rather than insane. Being in a completely different part of the country, missing my bike, and curious about bicycles and cyclists in this wild untamed suburban monster, I kept my eyes open for certain things. Like bike lanes, bike paths, actual people on bicycles. I feel bad for those who ride in southern California, especially Orange County. I didn't see ONE bike lane, I saw one guy riding on the street, (55mph speed limit), less than a dozen people slogging around sidewalks on walmart mtbs, 3 kids riding down a grassy hill in a park on their walmart mtbs, and one guy in full roadie kit doing 3mph circles on his Litespeed in a cul-de-sac. Bicycle parking at Disneyland = eight spots on the worst looking rack ever. car parking at Disneyland = 900,000,000 spots in a 1,000 different lots each with their own adorable Disney character mascot.
Does anyone here ride in Orange County? Is it the nightmare I imagine it is?
Can't speak for OC specifically, but i grew up in the 'burbs (Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks). it was quite bike-friendly 15 years ago. as a teenager I rode all over that place, saw everything within a 30-mile radius, roads without a bike lane were rare. bikers were kinda rare too...
Some of my best childhood memories are tooling off to the mall across town to "test" the boomboxes in Sears, JCPenny, etc till they threw me out :)
05-25-07, 07:53 AM
I count myself lucky to live in a state where riding a bike is seen by most as simply stupid rather than insane.
Having them think your insane is much better. You get treated better out of fear of what you might do.
05-25-07, 09:06 AM
Did anyody read the Orange County trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson?
Three novels about different futures for OC and America. Two books are carfree -- one an ecological utopia, the other a post-holocaust dystopia. And one book very definitely is not carfree. Great reads from a fantastic author.
05-25-07, 11:55 AM
I never lived in Orange County CA. I did and still do live in Los Angeles County and ride my bikes throughout most if not all of Southern California. I rode more 15 or more years ago-the traffic was not as heavy or fast then. Now I have a folding bike and if the roads are too fast or clogged with traffic, I switched to another mode of transit-even with the fares going up (see my blog below for more information on that topic).
05-25-07, 12:02 PM
Depends where in OC. Around Lake Forest/Mission Viejo/Tustin/Irvine there are nothing but nice, clean, wide open bike lanes, and every bus has a big fat bike rack on the front. In Santa Ana, etc... there isn't a whole lot ime. Course, the only time the lanes are really used is on the weekends by spandex clad warriors, but having 'em there is still nice. Iirc, going down to Laguna Beach is actually faster on bike if there's traffic.
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