Biking for a living

I was set to meet a client in West L.A. today, which from the South Bay, or any bay, means only one thing: “Traffic.”

I guess it also means another thing: “Parking.”

The place we were supposed to meet was near Wilshire and Federal. I figured it would take at least an hour to make the 34.8-mile trip, and when I got there I could expect to pay $30+ to park.

So I put my bike in the trunk and drove to Brentwood. Yep, took an hour, but since I had my bike I could fish for free curbside parking. Who cares if it’s a mile away from the meeting? And I landed a spot, easy.

Pulling out the bike and zipping to my appointment was the best feeling of all until I got there and found out that the actual meeting was indeed on Wilshire, but in Beverly Hills.

Not too familiar with West L.A., I figured “How far can it be? I’ll just zip on over, ten minutes, max. Brentwood, Westwood, Beverly Hills, whatevs, it’s all the same conspicuous consumption zone.”

After zipping for a couple of minutes my zip faded to zup as I realized that the 8300 block of Wilshire was a long way off. There was no bike lane and traffic was dense, so I took the lane and pedaled hard. Every light was red, too.

The meeting went great, and there is something that is VERY SATISFYING about being a bike lawyer riding a bike in the crush of L.A. traffic to meet a bike riding client about a bike case. Having the entire right lane to myself was so awesome as cars patiently, yes you read that right, drove behind me.

On the way back I sniffed out the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd., adding even another level of bike to what was already a very bikey day. It is crazy to think that Los Angeles and most American cities are designed for cars in such a way that getting around by car is inconvenient, expensive, stressful, inefficient, and not especially safe.

Funny how adding a bike to the equation changes that.

END

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8 thoughts on “Biking for a living”

    1. Hahaha! So funny to look at all the miserable people in their cars. And so much space on the road if they were just on bikes. And in Beverly Hills the traffic was such a snail’s pace that no one seemed to care that a bike was in front of them.

  1. Commuting by bike is one of my favorite cycling activities, you stop being traffic, you get some exercise and I get some me time. Ps nice exchange on the loaf of bread.

  2. I’ve found that cyclist lane control works very well all over Los Angeles–at least on streets without door-zone bike lanes. That’s when motorists expect you to be riding in the door zone which can lead to disaster.

    For video evidence, the link below will take you to northbound Hoover Street leading to downtown L.A. It’s a 360° video, so you can see all around, including the traffic behind.

    You’ll need an up-to-date browser or the YouTube app on your portable device to control the view.

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