"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Riding Bikes in L.A.

An article from Slate HERE on biking (bicycling) in L.A.

I am an avid bicyclist.  Me ‘n my rapidly aging, and overweight, buddies refer to ourselves as F.O.M.Bi.C. – Fat Old Men’s Bicycle Club.  We ride for exercise and fun.  Basically there are two rides we use.  One is an 8 or 13 miler down the coast and back.  Generally we’re riding very early and it is primarily through neighborhoods so it’s quite safe.  Our second ride is a “Rails to Trails” 15 miler that is totally safe.  It is a paved road but no motorized vehicles are allowed so one is bicycling along very nicely having no traffic concerns.

On my own I do a couple of different rides in the city streets.  One is an 18 mile loop that is a combination of bike lanes and a few neighborhood streets.  I feel relatively safe though the cars go wizzing past on the 3 lane boulevard.  The bike lane is about 5 feet wide but you don’t want to ride too close to the curb because that is where the majority of glass, nails and road debris end up.  Of course the closer you are to the lane, the more dangerous it can be so there are decisions to be made.

Then a ride I like to do on Sunday afternoons is to head on downtown.  Our city is NOT one of those where people live.  Downtown is where people work and then go home.   So once I get past the requisite mall I have 8 or 9 miles of lightly traveled main roads until I get to the downtown bus stop.  There I load up my bike on the bike rack, pay my 75 cents and bus back to within a mile or two of my home.  It’s quite interesting if not down right fun.

I have biked in L.A., I was reared there.  The most fun biking in L.A. was when I would head down one of the dry, concrete riverbeds where there is a paved road along the top of the bed.  I lived in Whittier and I’d get on the Rio Hondo and head on down to Long Beach.  It was probably 15 to 20 miles.  That was fun.

I feel blessed that my knees, legs, hips all seem to work okay at this time.  I’m way too heavy but my body is used to it and the good bikes are so light weight that it can seem almost effortless once you’re in basic biking shape.

Hey, if you get a chance, get your bike out, clean it up, pump up the tires, oil the chain and have yourself a nice ride.

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