Cycling in LA: A Very Good Idea!
You live in LA, where it sometimes seems as if cars spend more time sitting still than rolling forward. You have a full time job that you're expected to show up to work every day. You want to stay in shape, yet by the time you get out of work and endure the commute home, it's often too late to go to the gym. You resent the amount of time you spend sitting in traffic, watching people on bikes roll by unimpeded. Arrghh! What's a person to do?
Wait. You have a bicycle! What if you change your life and made the decision to commute to work each day? You'd no doubt eliminate all the boredom inherent in sitting in traffic, you'd get your workout in even before getting to work, and you'd save a ton of money on expensive gasoline. You'd eliminate all of your frustrations, right?
Now the only thing you need to do is finding the best streets that can take you to work. There are several bike lanes, bike paths and streets with moderate traffic that can lead you to work without problems. Check out this great map at http://www.bicyclela.org/maps_main.htm#lamaps.
There are more save bike streets in and around LA than you are aware of and the number of bike lanes is increasing. There is much more to do to make LA the Bike City of the US, but we’re working on it!
On the other hand Santa Monica has so many new bike lanes that there are rumors Santa Monica is going to be one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the US. Watch out Portland!
After you find the savest routes with the help of the map you can fully concentrate to bring your bike up to speed on traffic regulations. You need a good helmet, a front and rear light and you need to make sure that your bicycle is in good shape. Best if you bring it for your annual tune up to the local bike shop who will make sure that the bike is safe to ride in traffic and in good working order.
A spare tube, a pump, some clips for your pants so they don’t get into your chain, a wind resistant jacket and you’re good to go! You can get all of these items at your local bike shop who will also inform you about safe riding tips and advice on bike safety, best streets (and the ones to avoid) and local bike maps.
If you don’t have a bike you love, this might be the time to buy a new one. Remember the more you are going to be able to invest - the more likely it is that you’re going to stick to your plan to ride your bike to work every day.
Here are a few of the bike styles that we recommend for commuting to work in the city of Los Angeles and neighboring cities like Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, Playa Del Rey, Beverly Hills etc.
-Cyclo Cross Bikes or Commuter Road bikes (they are pretty much fast road bikes with wider tires to make it easier to withstand the occasional bump in the street, they also have the ability to install all kind of racks and bags so you can carry a lot of stuff). These bikes are not recommended if you want a bike with a more comfortable upright riding position. The positives of cyclo cross bikes and commuter bikes are that they are lightweight and fast. They go from $800 and up.http://www.bikeattack.com/cyclocross-bikes/
-Hybrid Bikes and Urban City Bikes (they are a mix of a mountain bike and a road bike, using the more comfortable flat bar of the mountain bike and combining that with faster 700c tires of a road bike. All kind of racks can be easily attached. Nowadays a lot of people like the style of the retro city bikes which are mostly made of steel and cater to the rider who prefers the urban style). Hybrid bikes are the choice for most people to commute in the city. They range form $400 - $1200. http://www.bikeattack.com/urban-city-bikes/
-Electric Bikes (they give you the ability to ride pedal assist, meaning you still get your exercise and you are out in the fresh air - but the motor helps you getting to work faster and with less effort). Good electric bicycles start at around $1700 and up. http://www.bikeattack.com/electric-bikes/
Visit your local bike shop to make sure that all your questions and concerns about riding in the city are answered.