In Celebration of “Bike To Work” Week
May 12-16 is Bike to Work Week, and it looks like the weather here will be accommodating as usual. So take this opportunity to leave behind L.A.’s bumper-to-bumper traffic and get on the side of the greasy, dirty road — permanently if possible. It’s easier than you might think.
Every week for me is bike-to-work week, because I have done the unthinkable and decided to live without a car in Los Angeles. I’ve biked sporadically for a few years, but since my Honda went to compact heaven in January, I’ve adjusted to a new reality: riding to work every day whether I feel like it or not, biking to grab dinner when I’m so hungry I can’t see straight, and tempting fate on the way home from bars/parties. The past few months have been eye-opening, and the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that only about 2% of drivers know what to do when they encounter a bike. I have been car-doored, honked at, sneered at. One morning I almost wiped out a squirrel, which really entertained a woman driving in the opposite direction. I’ve been mentally filing away run-ins with idiotic drivers and other dangers, and I’ll be checking in here with some tales as well as detailing the latest reasons for swearing at motorists.
Getting around L.A. could be a lot less of a hassle for bikers, and the key is to get more of us out there. So stop making excuses and hop on the bike, maybe use the next five days as an experiment. Los Angeles County seems to want to boil this week down to one official day (May 15, when proof of cycling means riding transit for free); here’s a form you can fill out to pledge to ride on Thursday, and you could win some stuff.
It would be great for the carless to be able to get around this city more efficiently. Widespread bike lanes somewhere besides the westside would be a start. As for making L.A.’s many freeways bikable, that would be fantastic, but I’m not holding my breath. I was, however, holding my breath during this video: