03 November 2007

The Biker's Perspective

I know I talk about my bike constantly, or at least it seems like I do (oh, I don't know, here, here, and here). But I'm happy to report that I'm not the only one who writes about biking through a sea of car-fanatics. I just discovered this rather old article from Slate.com, in which Andy Bowers writes about how "nobody bikes in LA" but they would probably be a lot happier if they did. I especially relate to this anecdote:
One day, I found myself biking down an empty little access road next to the notorious 405 freeway during the evening commute. The freeway, as usual, was paralyzed, and I noticed I was actually moving faster than the cars. That's when the revelation hit: Over the past few months, I had discovered a different Los Angeles.

I have had a similar experience but on a much larger street, called Figueroa. This road is the major thoroughfare between Downtown Los Angeles and USC, and it also goes through the heart of the Staples Center/Convention Center/Nokia Theater activity area. I have biked home numerous times through traffic due to a Kings game, or a convention, or even a Justin Timberlake concert once, and every time I can't help but smile because I'm usually gliding along and the cars around me are all stopped. I imagine the people in the giant Hummer stretch limousines think I'm a huge dork since I have my helmet on, but I usually make it from school to my apartment in the time it takes them to turn into a parking lot. Which makes me exceedingly smug, I admit it.

Just imagine if all of those people going to see the next Lakers game all hopped on their bikes to go to the Staples Center instead of getting into their Excursions and sitting in traffic for 2 hours. LA would suddenly look like Amsterdam! It would be glorious! Then maybe the city would spend money on a bike highway and have millions left over for the public transportation system they so desperately need out here. A girl can dream, can't she? :o/

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