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  1. #1
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    Commuting by Bike in Los Angeles

    OK..I'm a bike commuter in LA.

    No...I have never gotten a DUI, I can "afford" a car, thank you very much, I am "car-lite" by choice. A friend wrote this article describing her experience as a commuter in Los Angeles. I thought it would be a refreshing addition to the awful things we read and hear about riding the roads in LA and other major cities in America.

    Any other LA Commuters? Let's hear your stories, too!!

    http://www.cicle.org/cicle_content/p...p?id=1513#body
    Last edited by alicestrong; 11-04-09 at 09:08 PM.
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

  2. #2
    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    I'm not as hardcore, i only bike commute 2 times a week usually. Bike-train-bike with the final bike segment being from LA Union Station to the LAC+USC MC (~2.5 miles). It's not too bad and there's no traffic to contend with in the mornings.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    A girl once asked me to give her twelve inches and make it hurt. I had to make love to her 3 times and then punch her in the nose.

  3. #3
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    Bike commuting is awesome. It's impractical for me, though, since most of my commutes involve walking from one room into the next.
    Last edited by Happytime; 09-19-07 at 10:38 AM.

  4. #4
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happytime View Post
    Bike commuting is awesome. It's impractical for me, though, since most my my commutes involve walking from one room into the next.
    If you rent a studio a few miles away from your home, then you can commute by bike.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    If you rent a studio a few miles away from your home, then you can commute by bike.
    George, you always make so much sense!

  6. #6
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    If you rent a studio a few miles away from your home, then you can commute by bike.
    Or move into a much bigger place...

    Or ride to the store..you go to the store, right?
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicestrong View Post
    Or move into a much bigger place...

    Or ride to the store..you go to the store, right?
    I go to the Farmer's Market sometimes. No way will I leave my bike outside a storefront, though. Sacha doesn't leave my sight.

  8. #8
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happytime View Post
    I go to the Farmer's Market sometimes. No way will I leave my bike outside a storefront, though. Sacha doesn't leave my sight.
    Funny but alot of stores, banks will let you bring the bike right in. I think Roadfix and I discussed that on another thread once.

    Or get a beater bike. Ah..the wonderful world of cheap used bikes!
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

  9. #9
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    I tried it for a few weeks, and it was liberating despite the chilly mornings and hot afternoons. Now I live too far from work to bike there without getting up at an ungodly time.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  10. #10
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psydotek View Post
    I'm not as hardcore, i only bike commute 2 times a week usually. Bike-train-bike with the final bike segment being from LA Union Station to the LAC+USC MC (~2.5 miles). It's not too bad and there's no traffic to contend with in the mornings.
    Which train do you take your bike on?
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

  11. #11
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicestrong View Post

    Any other LA Commuters? Let's hear your stories, too!!
    I think it's great you commute, Alice. I wish I could, but I'd be taking a terrible risk trying to get through the Glendale nightly traffic back over to the bike path in GP, not to mention traffic into Sherman Oaks. I really wish LA would finish the LA River Trail path all the way through the valley to downtown. Then I think more people would and could commute without fear of being run over by an angry/cell phoning chatting/distracted motorist.

  12. #12
    Slow and Steady ClanLee's Avatar
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    I commute 2 or 3 days a week, 13 miles each way. For the most part, drivers are very courteous and give me lots of room. Of course there are those drivers who don't and I do get a scare one in awhile. I use my commute to ride my bike. I have a difficult time finding time to ride because of my three little ones on the weekends so commuting works well for me. I feel refreshed and I get my exercise.

  13. #13
    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicestrong View Post
    Which train do you take your bike on?
    Metrolink between upland and union station.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    A girl once asked me to give her twelve inches and make it hurt. I had to make love to her 3 times and then punch her in the nose.

  14. #14
    Turtle1
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    I wish I could bike commute, I'd get 70 miles minimum every day.

    Psydotek, how long does it take to get from Upland to Union Station in the morning?

  15. #15
    My bicycle is fixed Brian Sorrell's Avatar
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    Great article!

    As a year-round commuter, I get all kinds of (ridiculous) questions about how dangerous it is, how can I stand the heat / cold / rain, am I just a glutton for punishment??? They don't get that, as the article points out, riding to work is a JOY. I don't mean to hijack your thread Alice, but I have to add my favorite new comback: When someone asks me "What do you do when it rains?" I answer, "I get wet."

    Every once in a while I'll write something about commuting or riding or whatever here:
    BriCycle

  16. #16
    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle1 View Post
    I wish I could bike commute, I'd get 70 miles minimum every day.

    Psydotek, how long does it take to get from Upland to Union Station in the morning?
    About an hour. Train leaves at 4:43AM from Upland and gets to Union Station at 5:40AM usually. Sometimes it's afew minutes late which means i really have to push to get to work since i have to be clocked in at 6:00AM (and i've gotta climb 3 flights of stairs and wait for an elevator in addition to biking).

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    A girl once asked me to give her twelve inches and make it hurt. I had to make love to her 3 times and then punch her in the nose.

  17. #17
    Turtle1
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    That's cool, I've thought about trying the train/bike commute and your experience is inspiring.

  18. #18
    Mooninite shakeNbake's Avatar
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    I used to.

    About 10 miles + bus ride (bike on the bus' rack) each way.

  19. #19
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Sorrell View Post
    As a year-round commuter, I get all kinds of (ridiculous) questions about how dangerous it is, how can I stand the heat / cold / rain, am I just a glutton for punishment??? They don't get that, as the article points out, riding to work is a JOY. I don't mean to hijack your thread Alice, but I have to add my favorite new comback: When someone asks me "What do you do when it rains?" I answer, "I get wet."

    Brian, just curious why you say ridiculous? I know for myself, I am concerned about the danger of commuting in traffic - especially when it rains (and not because I could get wet). Visibility to motorists is decreased in the rain not to mention wet streets and more debris. I agree that it would be a joy to ride to work, IF I could find a safe route where I'm not in fear of heavy traffic. My point is, a lot of that concern is justifiable, and what we really need as cyclists are roads/bike paths/bike lanes that accommodate us even during the busiest times of the day (traffic wise) and that are well-maintained. I know...I can wish away, huh?

  20. #20
    I'm Just Sayin'..... Scootcore's Avatar
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    12 miles each way, right through the heart of the valley!!! three to four days a week. only ever had a few close calls/run ins....from what i can tell most people who have trouble commuting(with cars, buses, peds, etc...), cause most of their own problems(just my two cents...).
    Mistakes are just fine. Just don't make excuses....

  21. #21
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scootcore View Post
    12 miles each way, right through the heart of the valley!!! three to four days a week. only ever had a few close calls/run ins....from what i can tell most people who have trouble commuting(with cars, buses, peds, etc...), cause most of their own problems(just my two cents...).
    Do you commute into Glendale, Bill?

  22. #22
    I'm Just Sayin'..... Scootcore's Avatar
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    nope....studio city.....ive come down through glendale to studio city from pasadena before, not too bad...but i kinda cheated and cut throught the foothills...

    and the cause their own problems crack is in reference to light runners and that their ilk...
    Mistakes are just fine. Just don't make excuses....

  23. #23
    My bicycle is fixed Brian Sorrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1 View Post
    Brian, just curious why you say ridiculous? I know for myself, I am concerned about the danger of commuting in traffic - especially when it rains (and not because I could get wet). Visibility to motorists is decreased in the rain not to mention wet streets and more debris. I agree that it would be a joy to ride to work, IF I could find a safe route where I'm not in fear of heavy traffic. My point is, a lot of that concern is justifiable, and what we really need as cyclists are roads/bike paths/bike lanes that accommodate us even during the busiest times of the day (traffic wise) and that are well-maintained. I know...I can wish away, huh?
    Well it all depends on the nature of the complaint (hence the parenthetical remark).

    For example, if someone asks me about temperature, the answers seem obvious -- in the heat I take measures to hydrate and keep cool, in the cold I take measures to keep warm, and in the rain, I take measures to keep dry. These seem to me to be ridiculous questions.

    If someone comments that "drivers are crazy!!" then I'll agree, and gently point out that it's not my being on a bike that makes them crazy -- they're just as crazy and dangerous to other drivers. Usually this will elicit a follow-up along the lines of, "well if you get hit on a bike...." Undeniably, if you get hit by a car on a bike, you're going to be in a world of hurt. That's what makes you conservative / defensive as a biker. Similarly, if I'm driving a small car on the 10 in what always seems to be a convoy of semis, I watch out! The nature / size of your vehicle dictates your level of caution.

    I also like to point out that there are trade offs when you choose the "safety" of the car over the bicycle. For example, in the car, you can't *hear* what's behind you. And odd as it sounds, you can't *smell* the other vehicles. After enough riding in heavy traffic, I pretty much know exactly what kind of vehicle is behind me and how far back they are by sound alone. The deprivation of these senses in the car makes me nervous, quite frankly.

    Furthermore, the bicycle is more agile, if you will. If I see danger, I can get the heck out of the way quick! In a car, that's not always possible; it's what I call "sitting duck syndrome" -- the freaked-out feeling I get in traffic.

    Again, none of this is to deny that if someone in a car hits you on a bike, you're going to get hurt. It is to emphasize that there are trade offs and risks in any form of transportation. It's how we mitigate that risk that makes us "safe".

    Anyway, to your point about facilities, I agree that we need better facilities both for safety's sake and to get more people to ride! Not all of the concerns about riding are ridiculous, of course. My big wish is that we could educate people about how to mitigate the risks of bicycling, just as people mitigate the risks of driving, and that we could ensure proper facilities for cyclists. Our day is coming though.....

  24. #24
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scootcore View Post
    and the cause their own problems crack is in reference to light runners and that their ilk...
    I know you were thinking "Oh, lord, let me not get M.E. started." I'm actually not debating you or Brian...just presenting a side that if it were even a somewhat perfect world, we cyclists could commute without issue. But as it is (so not anywhere near perfect), I just get nervous thinking about the motorists and the anger out there. Last night on my way home a guy damn near side-swiped me by swinging around into the left turn lane and then forcing his way in front of me. How dare I drive 40 mph in the left lane on a street where the speed limit is 35mph, even though I was in the left lane to turn LEFT just a block up at a stoplight? It's freaks like that who cause accidents and don't look where they are going. What if a cyclist had been in that lane trying to turn left safely across traffic? It's scary out there.

  25. #25
    I'm Just Sayin'..... Scootcore's Avatar
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    i cant deny its scary...ive had my share of close calls for sure! the greatest thing i ever did was constantly edit my route in until i found one that kept me off the busier streets(as much as possible at least!). ive found that as long as i avoid freeway on/off ramps, life is good. i think those areas are where drivers get the nuttiest.
    Mistakes are just fine. Just don't make excuses....

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