Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

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Cycle
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by Cycle » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:25 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:29 pm
less than 25lbs ideally
Agree, try to get something lighter than 25 lbs. Order a luggage scale so u can weigh bikes at a lbs or for a cl deal. 7 miles is very doable, but imo the upper limit of bikeable daily... With hills might be a bit much, but better than sitting in a car.

My bike is like 30 lbs, but I have thick tires and a nuvinchi cvt. I may get a lighter bike for the 6months the roads are ice free around here. Last year I foolishly sold my 1990s era carbon commuter and have been on the hunt for a light weight commuter ever since.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by GCD » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:26 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:29 pm
As someone who has participated in rock climbing, SCUBA diving, and rock climbing, think this shows a lack of understanding of the risks of these activities.
I disagree with your characterization of risk and these sports. I dived and climbed in the distant past, as well as engaged in numerous other high risk activities. We probably don't have a fundamental disagreement, but I'm not going to write a book to parse the nuances with you. And it would be off-topic anyway. :happy

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by taguscove » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:53 pm

So much great content from people on this board.

I started full-time bike commuting in Boston 2 years ago, and it has been a life changing positive experience. More than fitness, there's a feeling a freedom when everyone else is stuck in their car. Ironically, I feel stressed driving the same route because I'm afraid I'll hit someone.

Your risk of early death from heart disease and obesity will substantially decrease, partially offset by the increase of accidental injury, death, and dismemberment. From a financial perspective, life insurance is a fantastic deal. I picked up a $2 million policy, which is super cheap for someone under 40. The insurance company has no clue how much riskier I truly am compared to the population. A real steal!

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by skteam » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:05 pm

All of these comments about the dangers of road cycling are ignoring just how dangerous inactivity is. I regularly commute by bike (in SF) partly because it is far more enjoyable than the other options and partly because the fitness benefits are amazing. If you look at the studies, the positive effects of 30+ minutes of light exercise daily are absolutely enormous for your physical and mental well being. Unless you are already building in a lot of exercise day-to-day, you have to consider those benefits against the fear-mongering about out of control motorists.

Every change comes with risk, but let's not forget the risks that come with the status quo.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by Pajamas » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:13 pm

EddyB wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:44 am
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:49 am
Talk to some other people where you work about their experience and to get tips. Buying a bike at a shop is a good idea, but consider buying a used bike with a warranty provided by the shop. A new bike becomes a used bike very quickly, anyway.
harrychan wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:22 pm
unwarranted hostility towards cyclists
I'm sure that you are a respectful and law-abiding cyclist, but even if the hostility towards you in particular is not warranted by your behavior, at least acknowledge that a lot of the hostility towards cyclists in general IS warranted by poor behavior by some cyclists, starting with a selfish refusal to follow applicable laws accompanied by a failure to show any respect for pedestrians.

Pedestrians should not have to worry about being clipped by a bicyclist while walking on a sidewalk or about being mowed down in a crosswalk by a bicyclist running a light, for instance. Because pedestrians do experience the consequences of such illegal behavior, it's hard for them to feel any sympathy for a bicyclist hit by a bus and severely injured, especially when it is the bicyclist's fault. It's a lot easier to feel sorry for the real victim, the bus driver, and for other potential victims of cyclists.
Please explain how hostility toward an entire group is justified by your personal perception of the actions of certain members. If you actually want to, please explain why it’s not similarly justified for all drivers, or all pedestrians (none have ever intentionally crossed against the signal, or done so because they failed perceive an appReaching cyclist, right?).
Please re-read what I actually wrote instead of inventing straw men, intentionally or not. A lot of the general hostility is appropriate and absolutely justified because it is directed at the bad actors. The general hostility that is directed at cyclists who obey the law and are respectful of pedestrians is inappropriate. The "good" cyclists should at least partially blame the "bad" cyclists for the hostility that is inappropriately directed at them.

lws
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by lws » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:20 pm

Too dangerous. LA drivers are not good at dealing with cyclists.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by JDot » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:50 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:13 pm
EddyB wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:44 am
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:49 am
Talk to some other people where you work about their experience and to get tips. Buying a bike at a shop is a good idea, but consider buying a used bike with a warranty provided by the shop. A new bike becomes a used bike very quickly, anyway.
harrychan wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:22 pm
unwarranted hostility towards cyclists
I'm sure that you are a respectful and law-abiding cyclist, but even if the hostility towards you in particular is not warranted by your behavior, at least acknowledge that a lot of the hostility towards cyclists in general IS warranted by poor behavior by some cyclists, starting with a selfish refusal to follow applicable laws accompanied by a failure to show any respect for pedestrians.

Pedestrians should not have to worry about being clipped by a bicyclist while walking on a sidewalk or about being mowed down in a crosswalk by a bicyclist running a light, for instance. Because pedestrians do experience the consequences of such illegal behavior, it's hard for them to feel any sympathy for a bicyclist hit by a bus and severely injured, especially when it is the bicyclist's fault. It's a lot easier to feel sorry for the real victim, the bus driver, and for other potential victims of cyclists.
Please explain how hostility toward an entire group is justified by your personal perception of the actions of certain members. If you actually want to, please explain why it’s not similarly justified for all drivers, or all pedestrians (none have ever intentionally crossed against the signal, or done so because they failed perceive an appReaching cyclist, right?).
Please re-read what I actually wrote instead of inventing straw men, intentionally or not. A lot of the general hostility is appropriate and absolutely justified because it is directed at the bad actors. The general hostility that is directed at cyclists who obey the law and are respectful of pedestrians is inappropriate. The "good" cyclists should at least partially blame the "bad" cyclists for the hostility that is inappropriately directed at them.
Hostility is never justified imo (see my comment above). I'm surprised to see you advocating for this. I hope I am misunderstanding your views.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:50 pm

skteam wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:05 pm
All of these comments about the dangers of road cycling are ignoring just how dangerous inactivity is.
That's a good point. But would have to know more about the OP's lifestyle and health to know how much of a benefit it would be. If the OP is obese, has high blood pressure, and very inactive, then commuting to work would be a huge benefit. If the OP is fit, active anyway, and young-ish then the health benefit obviously decreases.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by bstewie » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:53 pm

During my tenure in LA, I regularly commuted by bicycle and was often on the roads on my bike outside of my commute. That being said, I was hit by drivers on a regular basis due to them not looking or assuming I wasn't going 25-40mph with them. More often than not it was a tourist on busy connecting roads to beautiful, safe rides. On occasion they had no idea and kept on driving. The most typical is a side panel body check when a driver makes a right hand turn directly in front of you with no blinker. Avoid sidewalks as many of the blind driveways increase your risk. Wear proper visibility and safety gear and constantly keep your head on a swivel. Know the area before you begin the commute so you can map out the safest route. Saving a few minutes or a few tenths of a mile are not worth increased risk on roads not well suited for sharing between the drivers and cyclists. Certain roads are obvious to stay off of, and if you can't avoid them, you should minimize your amount of time on them by all means necessary. In some cases there are safer sections to cross, make a left, etc. as needed a mile up the road even if it is slightly off course.

There are some very enjoyable rides in LA, and they are much safer earlier in the morning if you want fitness rides. There are many great groups to ride with which is much safer. Once your fitness level increases I highly recommend riding Mandeville which is off Sunset.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by Pajamas » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:00 pm

JDot wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:50 pm
Hostility is never justified imo (see my comment above). I'm surprised to see you advocating for this. I hope I am misunderstanding your views.
From your comment above, you seem to be trying to equate hostility with acts "punishing" bicyclists, which I have not so much as mentioned, much less advocated, so you are likely misunderstanding my views. Please don't create straw men.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by MrWow » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:15 pm

I've been commuting by bike in LA 3-4 days a week for like 6 years. I actually don't mind it. As it stands right now, I'm going 12 miles each way. At a previous job, I was going 17 each way.

I should caveat that. I was riding up the bike path along the beach form the South Bay most of the way of that 17 miles, but would cut into Venice/Santa Monica from the bike path and take neighborhood streets from there.

As it stands right now, I'm going from El Segundo to North Culver. I ride the Ballona Creek trail almost the entire way, over the course of the 12 miles, I see 4 stop lights. Again, I avoid La Cienega like the plague, and stay on neighborhood streets.

I'm also lucky enough to have always had access to a shower at any of my jobs. If it wasn't for that, I think anything over about 6 miles would do me in. A bird bath isn't the worst thing in the world.

I was hit once pretty hard by a driver, which destroyed my bike and put me in the hospital, but I'm no worse for the wear, and I would still rather ride than sit in the car. Especially given it takes the same amount of time.

You can check out a post about it: http://wafflesonwednesday.com/wisdom-fr ... commuting/

Words to the wise:
Stay off the main streets. Usually there's a street that runs parallel to where you're trying to go with way less traffic, so take that one, even if it's a little longer. Don't be afraid to end up on the Sidewalk some if you need to.
Get gatorskin tires. They've saved me a ton of flats with all the garbage in LA.
Get some reflective gear, I just use a construction safety vest and I have lights and DayGlow gloves for signaling.
Also, please wear a helmet.

Regardless, people are crazy, drive & ride defensively... And be safe... Hope to see you out there! :sharebeer

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by EddyB » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:35 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:00 pm
JDot wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:50 pm
Hostility is never justified imo (see my comment above). I'm surprised to see you advocating for this. I hope I am misunderstanding your views.
From your comment above, you seem to be trying to equate hostility with acts "punishing" bicyclists, which I have not so much as mentioned, much less advocated, so you are likely misunderstanding my views. Please don't create straw men.
Perhaps you're being genuine, but you wrote "a lot of the hostility towards cyclists in general IS warranted by poor behavior by some cyclists ... ." I'm really not sure how you think my reaction, or JDot's, has introduced a straw man. Since "a lot of" the hostility toward cyclists is those attempts to punish cyclists (the faceless group), I hope you'll consider that those of us who have been on the receiving end of it would rather that reasonable people not encourage hostility of any sort.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by Pajamas » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:35 pm

MrWow wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:15 pm
Don't be afraid to end up on the Sidewalk some if you need to.
That's apparently legal in L.A. but I wouldn't be surprised if you still experienced some hostility from pedestrians on those sidewalks. :beer

EddyB wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:35 pm

Perhaps you're being genuine, but you wrote "a lot of the hostility towards cyclists in general IS warranted by poor behavior by some cyclists ... ." I'm really not sure how you think my reaction, or JDot's, has introduced a straw man. Since "a lot of" the hostility toward cyclists is those attempts to punish cyclists (the faceless group), I hope you'll consider that those of us who have been on the receiving end of it would rather that reasonable people not encourage hostility of any sort.
I don't have anything else to add to what I've already said but I don't want you to think that I'm ignoring you, so have a lovely evening. :happy

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by shawndoggy » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:09 am

I think it’s an issue of word choice. “Hostility” connotes at least some level of potential violence. “Frustration” would probably be better.

For those of us who do pedal to work, there are already plenty of people who seem to be motivated to be hostile to cyclists. No need to encourage that behavior or impliedly condone it.

There are plenty of stories in this thread of cyclists being injured in traffic. There are no stories of drivers being injured by cyclists. Not condoning bad cyclist behavior, but the consequence of that bad cyclist behavior is typically a very very minor inconvenience to a motorist. On the other hand, bad motorist behavior can be deadly to cyclists. It might be annoying that a cyclist rides on the sidewalk or up a one way street the wrong way. Those behaviors don’t justify any action by a motorist other than maybe a little ire.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by triceratop » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:12 pm

I do not commute by bicycle but I pleasure ride on the weekends. I have been pleased with drivers on the east side, and disappointed with drivers on the west side (so I avoid cycling on busy streets there).

I suggest the apparently-substantial-number of Boglehead bikers in Pasadena go on a ride at some point.
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by ArmchairArchitect » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:04 am

I commute by bicycle in Philadelphia, but it's a very bike-friendly city (#1 in bike commuting per capita of major cities). Lots of bike lanes, flat terrain, and enough other bicyclists where drivers are aware to look out for bikes.

My commute is 3 miles each way, but I would probably do up to 5. Benefits are I get to work in half the time, it's free, it's exercise while commuting (2 birds with one stone) and refreshing/liberating. My commute is mostly downhill on the way to work, and uphill back home, so I'm not arriving to work all sweaty, which could be different for you in LA.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:25 pm

I would do a test commute.

Get up 30 minutes early. Pick a perfect weather morning. Put on your bike helmet. Set your course with a "road less traveled" route.

Pedal at a nice leisurely pace. 11 to 13 mph max. Take note of busy areas and other bikers. Enjoy the breeze in your hair and bugs in your teeth.

Reverse the process going home. Report back on how the commute went. Maybe you start with a 1 or 2 days a week goal and see how it goes.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by investor997 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:58 pm

bstewie wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:53 pm
There are some very enjoyable rides in LA, and they are much safer earlier in the morning if you want fitness rides. There are many great groups to ride with which is much safer. Once your fitness level increases I highly recommend riding Mandeville which is off Sunset.
Speaking of Mandeville:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2 ... enced.html
A doctor convicted of assaulting two bicyclists by slamming on his car brakes after a confrontation on a narrow Brentwood road was sentenced today to five years in prison.
Bikes and cars don't mix. I strongly recommend picking up a good mountain bike and staying on dirt trails in the Santa Monica and/or San Gabriel mountains.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by ofckrupke » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:52 pm

investor997 wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:58 pm
A doctor convicted of assaulting two bicyclists by slamming on his car brakes after a confrontation on a narrow Brentwood road was sentenced today to five years in prison.
Bikes and cars don't mix. I strongly recommend picking up a good mountain bike and staying on dirt trails in the Santa Monica and/or San Gabriel mountains.
I suspect that the now-imprisoned sociopath shares your opinion.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by lightheir » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:03 pm

investor997 wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:58 pm
bstewie wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:53 pm
There are some very enjoyable rides in LA, and they are much safer earlier in the morning if you want fitness rides. There are many great groups to ride with which is much safer. Once your fitness level increases I highly recommend riding Mandeville which is off Sunset.
Speaking of Mandeville:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2 ... enced.html
A doctor convicted of assaulting two bicyclists by slamming on his car brakes after a confrontation on a narrow Brentwood road was sentenced today to five years in prison.
Bikes and cars don't mix. I strongly recommend picking up a good mountain bike and staying on dirt trails in the Santa Monica and/or San Gabriel mountains.

Don't get caught up in the hype. Crazy things happen but that is a rare event which is why it made such headlines news for awhile.

Mandeville Canyon road is an excellent road for road biking, and safe.

That said, I strongly recommend if you are bike TRAINING (NOT commuting), to ride in the Santa Monica mountains - I don't even mean necessarily mtn bike - I did tons of awesome road cycling up there for years. It's bike heaven. And as safe as it gets.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by Raybo » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:34 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:13 pm
Please re-read what I actually wrote instead of inventing straw men, intentionally or not. A lot of the general hostility is appropriate and absolutely justified because it is directed at the bad actors. The general hostility that is directed at cyclists who obey the law and are respectful of pedestrians is inappropriate. The "good" cyclists should at least partially blame the "bad" cyclists for the hostility that is inappropriately directed at them.
I find it interesting that you would deem hostility toward bad bicycling actors as both "appropriate and absolutely justified." Do you have the same hostility toward car driving bad actors, many more millions of whom break the same laws these bad bicycling actors do? What about pedestrians who break traffic laws? People who break traffic laws should be ticketed, regardless of what part of traffic they are or what part of the vehicle code was broken. Should they have to suffer hostility too? It seems you are advocating hostility toward anyone who breaks traffic laws. Do you always make a full stop are every stop sign when you are driving? Do you deserve hostility for doing so even if it is safe?

I've had drivers who cut me off because they were passing me on a blind curve when a car approached in the opposite direction yell at me out their windows because I didn't stop at a stop sign (so I could get far enough away from them). Is this justified hostility?

I've done a lot of bicycle riding in the US, Canada, France, Switzerland, Italy, England, Scotland, Austria and Germany. The "hostility" towards bicycle riders is much worse in the US than in any of those other places, save England (becoming more like the US every day!). I don't think that bicyclist's obey the rules any more in those countries than in the US. But, the people are either more tolerant (not a signature virtue of the US) or more willing to share the road with bikers.

In both Italy and France, I've had cars crawl behind me as I climbed up a steep road where sight lines didn't allow a safe passing distance. In the US, drivers honk, swear, yell and often pass on blind curves in the same situation. Hostility directed at cyclists is not universal. Frankly, in my experience, it is more a US (and growing UK) phenomenon.

Running red lights, scaring pedestrians, or blowing through stop signs is not limited to bicyclists. I see cars do this all the time. And, frankly, I see a great deal of hostility toward other drivers, as well. If bicyclists are violating the vehicle code, they should be ticketed. As should car drivers and pedestrians. Being hostile towards any of them will neither solve the problem nor make things better.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:11 pm

Raybo wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:34 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:13 pm
Please re-read what I actually wrote instead of inventing straw men, intentionally or not. A lot of the general hostility is appropriate and absolutely justified because it is directed at the bad actors. The general hostility that is directed at cyclists who obey the law and are respectful of pedestrians is inappropriate. The "good" cyclists should at least partially blame the "bad" cyclists for the hostility that is inappropriately directed at them.
I find it interesting that you would deem hostility toward bad bicycling actors as both "appropriate and absolutely justified." Do you have the same hostility toward car driving bad actors, many more millions of whom break the same laws these bad bicycling actors do? What about pedestrians who break traffic laws? People who break traffic laws should be ticketed, regardless of what part of traffic they are or what part of the vehicle code was broken. Should they have to suffer hostility too? It seems you are advocating hostility toward anyone who breaks traffic laws. Do you always make a full stop are every stop sign when you are driving? Do you deserve hostility for doing so even if it is safe?

I've had drivers who cut me off because they were passing me on a blind curve when a car approached in the opposite direction yell at me out their windows because I didn't stop at a stop sign (so I could get far enough away from them). Is this justified hostility?

I've done a lot of bicycle riding in the US, Canada, France, Switzerland, Italy, England, Scotland, Austria and Germany. The "hostility" towards bicycle riders is much worse in the US than in any of those other places, save England (becoming more like the US every day!). I don't think that bicyclist's obey the rules any more in those countries than in the US. But, the people are either more tolerant (not a signature virtue of the US) or more willing to share the road with bikers.

In both Italy and France, I've had cars crawl behind me as I climbed up a steep road where sight lines didn't allow a safe passing distance. In the US, drivers honk, swear, yell and often pass on blind curves in the same situation. Hostility directed at cyclists is not universal. Frankly, in my experience, it is more a US (and growing UK) phenomenon.

Running red lights, scaring pedestrians, or blowing through stop signs is not limited to bicyclists. I see cars do this all the time. And, frankly, I see a great deal of hostility toward other drivers, as well. If bicyclists are violating the vehicle code, they should be ticketed. As should car drivers and pedestrians. Being hostile towards any of them will neither solve the problem nor make things better.
You can create straw men if you want to, but don't expect a response. Bottom line: If you behave badly, don't be surprised if others react to your bad behavior negatively.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by RCL » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:15 pm

How much do you value your life?
I personally know far more people who have been severely injured (disabled) or killed due to riding bikes in the Los Angeles area, than driving in the same area.

Their attitudes were always; it won't happen too me, I'm safety oriented.
It's not them, it's mostly the drivers of the autos that cause the problem.
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by EddyB » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:09 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:11 pm
You can create straw men if you want to, but don't expect a response. Bottom line: If you behave badly, don't be surprised if others react to your bad behavior negatively.
You can keep claiming that others are inventing straw men, or you can reconsider what you wrote. Your "bottom line" here is much less objectionable than where you started (i.e., "the hostility towards cyclists in general IS warranted by poor behavior by some cyclists...").

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:13 pm

EddyB wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:09 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:11 pm
You can create straw men if you want to, but don't expect a response. Bottom line: If you behave badly, don't be surprised if others react to your bad behavior negatively.
You can keep claiming that others are inventing straw men, or you can reconsider what you wrote. Your "bottom line" here is much less objectionable than where you started (i.e., "the hostility towards cyclists in general IS warranted by poor behavior by some cyclists...").
You left off a few words from the beginning of the quote, "a lot of". You can keep trying to manipulate and reinvent and quoting out of context, but it won't work. I won't even react negatively to your bad behavior. :beer

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by shawndoggy » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:29 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:13 pm
EddyB wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:09 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:11 pm
You can create straw men if you want to, but don't expect a response. Bottom line: If you behave badly, don't be surprised if others react to your bad behavior negatively.
You can keep claiming that others are inventing straw men, or you can reconsider what you wrote. Your "bottom line" here is much less objectionable than where you started (i.e., "the hostility towards cyclists in general IS warranted by poor behavior by some cyclists...").
You left off a few words from the beginning of the quote, "a lot of". You can keep trying to manipulate and reinvent and quoting out of context, but it won't work. I won't even react negatively to your bad behavior. :beer
I think the umbrage is that *any* hostility would be *warranted.* Hostility can connote violence. Its a bad word choice.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:36 pm

shawndoggy wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:29 pm

I think the umbrage is that *any* hostility would be *warranted.* Hostility can connote violence. Its a bad word choice.
I was quoting someone else, so blame them. All of the hostility being directed at me by cyclists is unwarranted.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by ofckrupke » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:56 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:36 pm
All of the hostility being directed at me by cyclists is unwarranted.
I can't speak for others, but mainly what I feel is pity, as from the sequence of ideation expressed below you appear to suffer from cyclist derangement syndrome.
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:49 am
Pedestrians should not have to worry about being clipped by a bicyclist while walking on a sidewalk or about being mowed down in a crosswalk by a bicyclist running a light, for instance. Because pedestrians do experience the consequences of such illegal behavior, it's hard for them to feel any sympathy for a bicyclist hit by a bus and severely injured, especially when it is the bicyclist's fault. It's a lot easier to feel sorry for the real victim, the bus driver, and for other potential victims of cyclists.
While the first sentence is true, any stateside pedestrian whose principal concern is being struck by a bicyclist has the risks all out of proportion.
Perhaps in that world and yours, Daisy was actually captaining Jay Gatsby's yellow tandem when they ran over Myrtle on their way back to East Egg...

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by LarryAllen » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:58 pm

7 miles, even 7 hilly miles, seems like you barely work up a sweat but it would be just enough to have to shower or whatever at work. Seems like a hassle to me. I too have seen some LA bike accidents. Be careful!

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unclescrooge
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:46 pm

furwut wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:48 pm
GCD wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:29 pm
We use road bicyclists as examples to our children of how not to take risks in life.
Number 1 cause of death of children are traffic crashes. Seems that even riding in a car is an unnecessary risk.
This seems false.

The number one cause of death for kids over 1 and under 10 is untentional accidents, which includes car accidents, drownings and guns.

freckles01
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by freckles01 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:07 pm

<QUOTE author="Pajamas" post_id="3831420" time="1521156980" user_id="37675"><s>
Pajamas wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:36 pm
</s>
<QUOTE author="shawndoggy" post_id="3831411" time="1521156562" user_id="124748"><s>
shawndoggy wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:29 pm
</s>

I think the umbrage is that *any* hostility would be *warranted.* Hostility can connote violence. Its a bad word choice.
<e>
I was quoting someone else, so blame them. <I><s></s>All<e></e></I> of the hostility being directed at me by cyclists is unwarranted.
<e>
i was following this thread because i too live in los angeles and ride a bicycle for work and errands. it has been such a positive change for me and i was excited to hear from others who like to ride their bicycle's too and hoped OP would get some sound advice and support.... but the responses such as this quoted is such a downer.

please remember, "cyclists" are PEOPLE riding a bicycle, we are PEOPLE who are just as fallible as "drivers" - PEOPLE in cars, as "pedestrians" -PEOPLE walking/jumping/skipping on the sidewalk.

we are all fallible people using different modes of transport/movement to get to one place to another. it should be the responsibility of the more dangerous/faster mode to be considerate/mindful of the slower mode because of the damage they can cause.

it would be very unlikely for people walking or on a bicycle to hurt any people INSIDE a car just by walking into the car whereas a person driving a car can do great damage driving into people walking or on a bicycle.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by 2pedals » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:39 pm

I commute to work about 20 miles one way. Great for your health and stress relief. Since I have a desk job it is a good way to get some exercise instead of waiting in traffic with road rage, there seems to be plenty of that going around. I would look of the "safest" route to work. Sometimes this requires a lot more miles. Look for wide shoulders, bicycle lanes and trails. For night riding use high visibility clothing, blinky tail lights, head lights, bike tires with reflective tire sidewalls. I find that very early commuting 4:00am-5:00am has much less traffic. Ride your trip in the day time to get a feel for the traffic and things to avoid. Some roads are in disrepair and are frankly just not safe for riding on. Avoid construction zones and stay away from steel plates. I have gone down on wet steel plates.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by bstewie » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:55 pm

lightheir wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:03 pm
investor997 wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:58 pm
bstewie wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:53 pm
There are some very enjoyable rides in LA, and they are much safer earlier in the morning if you want fitness rides. There are many great groups to ride with which is much safer. Once your fitness level increases I highly recommend riding Mandeville which is off Sunset.
Speaking of Mandeville:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2 ... enced.html
A doctor convicted of assaulting two bicyclists by slamming on his car brakes after a confrontation on a narrow Brentwood road was sentenced today to five years in prison.
Bikes and cars don't mix. I strongly recommend picking up a good mountain bike and staying on dirt trails in the Santa Monica and/or San Gabriel mountains.

Don't get caught up in the hype. Crazy things happen but that is a rare event which is why it made such headlines news for awhile.

Mandeville Canyon road is an excellent road for road biking, and safe.

That said, I strongly recommend if you are bike TRAINING (NOT commuting), to ride in the Santa Monica mountains - I don't even mean necessarily mtn bike - I did tons of awesome road cycling up there for years. It's bike heaven. And as safe as it gets.
Wow, I'm surprised something like this would happen there. By far the most dangerous aspect of mandeville is the transfer across sunset. Haven't been there in years but I loved that ride. Agree this is a rare event but a good reminder to be aware of all drivers at all times and to never intentionally antagonize them. When riding solo or in small groups we would happily break our pace to let an anxious driver move past.

2pedals
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by 2pedals » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:05 am

To get a good understanding where the cyclists ride the most, check out the Strava Heatmap.

GCD
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by GCD » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:07 am

bstewie wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:55 pm
Agree this is a rare event but a good reminder to be aware of all drivers at all times and to never intentionally antagonize them. When riding solo or in small groups we would happily break our pace to let an anxious driver move past.
Unfortunately all bikers aren't as polite as you. And then all the good guys have to eat the antagonism generated by folks like Critical Mass.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass_(cycling)

From the link:

"In order for the event to function, the only requirement is a sufficient turn-out to create a "critical mass" of riders dense enough to occupy a piece of road to the exclusion of drivers of motorized vehicles... Because Critical Mass takes place without an official route or sanction, participants in some cities have sometimes practiced an illegal tactic known as "corking" in order to maintain the cohesion of the group. This tactic consists of a few riders blocking traffic from side roads so that the mass can freely proceed through red lights without interruption. Corking allows the mass to engage in a variety of activities, such as forming a cyclone, lifting their bikes in a tradition known as a "Bike Lift" (in Chicago this is referred to as a Chicago hold-up), or to perform a "die-in" where riders lie on the ground with their bikes to symbolise cyclist deaths and injuries caused by automobiles..."

furwut
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by furwut » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:25 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:46 pm
furwut wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:48 pm
GCD wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:29 pm
We use road bicyclists as examples to our children of how not to take risks in life.
Number 1 cause of death of children are traffic crashes. Seems that even riding in a car is an unnecessary risk.
This seems false.

The number one cause of death for kids over 1 and under 10 is untentional accidents, which includes car accidents, drownings and guns.
CDC breaks it out
https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-ch ... 0w760h.gif

MV traffic is the leading accidental cause of death from age 5 to 24.

GCD
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by GCD » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:42 am

furwut wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:25 am
unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:46 pm
furwut wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:48 pm
GCD wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:29 pm
We use road bicyclists as examples to our children of how not to take risks in life.
Number 1 cause of death of children are traffic crashes. Seems that even riding in a car is an unnecessary risk.
This seems false.

The number one cause of death for kids over 1 and under 10 is untentional accidents, which includes car accidents, drownings and guns.
CDC breaks it out
https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-ch ... 0w760h.gif

MV traffic is the leading accidental cause of death from age 5 to 24.
Regardless, riding in a car is probably a necessity in the US today. It is a culture entirely designed around the car after all. Riding a bike in traffic is a choice. Lots of risks in life. Take your pick.

rob65
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by rob65 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:22 am

The following study found that the fatality rate per person trip for bicycles was slightly more than double that for cars. For 25-64 year olds, the bicycle rate was more than 4 times the car rate. The data is from 1999-2003, so increased numbers of bike paths and improved safety equipment could have altered these numbers. Both forms were substantially safer than motorcycles and both are relatively low risk, but, unless your trip is almost entirely on bike paths, I think it is safe to say that a bicycle commute is statistically more risky than a car commute.

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/166/2/212/98784

freebeer
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by freebeer » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:09 am

GCD wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:09 pm
...

My dad was hit twice by cars. Both times ended up in the hospital. Once he had a broken back and was in the hospital for a couple weeks and in a brace for 6 months. Both times the driver said they didn't see him/weren't expecting him. ... Perhaps there is more to it than I thought. The randomness of drivers still seems overwhelming though. Although many here have posted that biking is statistically safe, I wonder if anyone has done an accurate study of biking safety per miles ridden vs. drivers miles driven...
I respect the impact on your thinking of your dad's experiences. Having a neighbor hit and nearly killed by an inattentive driver made me push my kids to avoid the busy artery where that happened even though it's not clear that the backroads are any safer. And of course individual anecdotes aren't reliable data.

But, I do wonder if your "lesson" for your kids is an example of futilely attempting to hold back the tides of life. We are all going to die and in most cases it will be from something unexpected and random, whether that's a car T-boning us or a stray gunshot, or cancer or a piece of plaque that happens to detach from an artery wall and cause a massive heart attack. So yes road biking carries some extra risk, but that's in exchange for extra rewards (health and fitness, as well as fun and enjoyment). And as social animals humans reside in community with others so are necessarily subject to risks based on the misbehavior of others. We can't make all these risks go away so trying to avoid one or a few of them just because they are highly visible doesn't necessarily seem rational to me.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by kosomoto » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:29 am

I occasionally commute to work via skateboard when the traffic starts to bother me. I am also in California in a busy city.

It’s a five mile commute each way so it takes about 30-40 minutes. The best part is that I can use the sidewalks rather than streets which means very little risk of being hit by a car. (There are no driveways I pass on my way to work since a bike trail is available to take me into the business area of the city)

I would recommend wearing a mask for the pollution, N95 or better. A study was done showing that pollution in the blood from the air is pretty high when going at a slow pace, but for some reason if you’re working hard and sweating blood pollution levels are low. I however have no intent on arriving sweaty so I just use a mask.

furwut
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by furwut » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:39 pm

rob65 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:22 am
The following study found that the fatality rate per person trip for bicycles was slightly more than double that for cars. For 25-64 year olds, the bicycle rate was more than 4 times the car rate. The data is from 1999-2003, so increased numbers of bike paths and improved safety equipment could have altered these numbers. Both forms were substantially safer than motorcycles and both are relatively low risk, but, unless your trip is almost entirely on bike paths, I think it is safe to say that a bicycle commute is statistically more risky than a car commute.

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/166/2/212/98784
Two things,
1. The study admits that data for measuring non-motor vehicle trips is poor so it could be widely off. I know, in my city, that multi-mode commuters (bike/train) are reported only as train commuters.
2. Many cyclists deaths occur at night or when the cyclist has been drinking. So the risk to a (sober) daytime commuter should be less.

GCD
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by GCD » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:09 pm

freebeer wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:09 am
GCD wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:09 pm
...

My dad was hit twice by cars. Both times ended up in the hospital. Once he had a broken back and was in the hospital for a couple weeks and in a brace for 6 months. Both times the driver said they didn't see him/weren't expecting him. ... Perhaps there is more to it than I thought. The randomness of drivers still seems overwhelming though. Although many here have posted that biking is statistically safe, I wonder if anyone has done an accurate study of biking safety per miles ridden vs. drivers miles driven...
I respect the impact on your thinking of your dad's experiences. Having a neighbor hit and nearly killed by an inattentive driver made me push my kids to avoid the busy artery where that happened even though it's not clear that the backroads are any safer. And of course individual anecdotes aren't reliable data.

But, I do wonder if your "lesson" for your kids is an example of futilely attempting to hold back the tides of life. We are all going to die and in most cases it will be from something unexpected and random, whether that's a car T-boning us or a stray gunshot, or cancer or a piece of plaque that happens to detach from an artery wall and cause a massive heart attack. So yes road biking carries some extra risk, but that's in exchange for extra rewards (health and fitness, as well as fun and enjoyment). And as social animals humans reside in community with others so are necessarily subject to risks based on the misbehavior of others. We can't make all these risks go away so trying to avoid one or a few of them just because they are highly visible doesn't necessarily seem rational to me.
I've clearly cluttered my main point with too many specific examples and managed to confuse, rather than clarify my position.

My view on risk is driven by personal control, not objective quantity of risk. I would accept X risk that I control over 1/10 X risk that someone else controls for me. When I tell my kids road biking is not the way to take risks it isn't primarily because of the amount of risk, it's because they don't control it - someone else does.

I wholeheartedly embrace risk and encourage my kids to do so too. To my examples of SCUBA diving and rock climbing, these involve risk that the individual can mitigate. It's up to you to check your gear, place your chock, maintain awareness of ocean conditions, etc. There is admittedly risk you can't control, but most of it you can. Someone noted that in rock climbing rocks can break loose and this is risk you can't control. I disagree. You aren't being randomly assigned to climb a random wall. You pick what you want to run and your knowledge of how certain rocks can splinter would be incorporated into your plan. You can't pick whether the driver behind you is drunk or texting or hates bikers because of Critical Mass.

It was my previous perception that in road biking whether you get hit was largely dependent on the driver of the car, not the rider of the bike. However, someone noted that there is a body of knowledge that is teachable WRT riding a bike in traffic. If this body of knowledge (skill) is great enough that it changes the equation such that the rider is now in contol of getting hit, not the driver, then I would change my position.

My view on risking ones life is driven more by the amount of personal control you can exert, hence rewarding skill, than on absolute risk. I would have no problem if one of my kids wanted to do something that carried a statistically larger absolute risk than riding a bike in traffic as long as they exerted control over the risk.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by investor997 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:37 pm

GCD wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:09 pm
My view on risking ones life is driven more by the amount of personal control you can exert, hence rewarding skill, than on absolute risk. I would have no problem if one of my kids wanted to do something that carried a statistically larger absolute risk than riding a bike in traffic as long as they exerted control over the risk.
This is precisely the reason why I prefer mountain biking on fire roads and singletrack over road biking on roads shared with vehicle traffic. If I get seriously injured or die on a mountain bike, it's my own fault. Sure, the odd mountain lion hungry for lunch lurks out there but they're far, far fewer in number than the average distracted driver with a cell phone.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by lightheir » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 pm

@GCD - I see your point, but I still don't think you have the scenario completely right.

As a good bike commuter, you will control your riding environment to a great degree - choice of road (safe side roads, etc.) and time of day (early), and skill are all huge factors.

It could even be argued that you will run into substantially more dangerous environmental or out-of-your-control scenarios scuba diving and rock climbing as compared to road bike commuting, which by all statistics, has not been shown to be a hazardous activity. (Life insurers agree - no premium for bike commuters or cyclists.)

It is true that you have no control over a drunk driver or inattentive texter, but you can substantially mitigate those risks as a planning bike commuter. It's no different than how meticulously a scuba diver would plan their dives - if they would just 'dive anywhere, anytime' as some folks think bike commuters do (most bike commuters actually very carefully plan the route/plan), it would be one of the most dangerous activities in the world, even for a professional.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by GCD » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:54 pm

lightheir wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 pm
@GCD - I see your point, but I still don't think you have the scenario completely right.

As a good bike commuter, you will control your riding environment to a great degree - choice of road (safe side roads, etc.) and time of day (early), and skill are all huge factors.

It could even be argued that you will run into substantially more dangerous environmental or out-of-your-control scenarios scuba diving and rock climbing as compared to road bike commuting, which by all statistics, has not been shown to be a hazardous activity. (Life insurers agree - no premium for bike commuters or cyclists.)

It is true that you have no control over a drunk driver or inattentive texter, but you can substantially mitigate those risks as a planning bike commuter. It's no different than how meticulously a scuba diver would plan their dives - if they would just 'dive anywhere, anytime' as some folks think bike commuters do (most bike commuters actually very carefully plan the route/plan), it would be one of the most dangerous activities in the world, even for a professional.
OK, fair enough. The examples I point out to my kids are people who ride bikes in heavy traffic or who ride on very winding mountain/rural roads with no shoulders and blind spots. I haven't been using people riding in residential areas as my example. However, that wasn't clear from what I wrote.

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JupiterJones
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:03 pm

Whew! In before the lock! :D

Anyway, getting back to the OP's question... I'd say that, if you can find a good route to take (as mentioned, it almost certainly won't be the same way you'd drive to work) then get a cheap bike and give it a shot!

I also agree that an eBike is an option worth keeping in mind. I'm thinking about getting one myself one of these days. I understand they're a great way to commute in the summer without becoming a sweaty mess. But you don't need it to start out.

Third, what you probably will need is a rack for your bike. Beats using a backpack any day. Trust me.

Finally, you should really be posting your question on BikeForums.net.
Stay on target...

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by harrychan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:43 am

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:49 am
Talk to some other people where you work about their experience and to get tips. Buying a bike at a shop is a good idea, but consider buying a used bike with a warranty provided by the shop. A new bike becomes a used bike very quickly, anyway.
harrychan wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:22 pm
unwarranted hostility towards cyclists
I'm sure that you are a respectful and law-abiding cyclist, but even if the hostility towards you in particular is not warranted by your behavior, at least acknowledge that a lot of the hostility towards cyclists in general IS warranted by poor behavior by some cyclists, starting with a selfish refusal to follow applicable laws accompanied by a failure to show any respect for pedestrians.

Pedestrians should not have to worry about being clipped by a bicyclist while walking on a sidewalk or about being mowed down in a crosswalk by a bicyclist running a light, for instance. Because pedestrians do experience the consequences of such illegal behavior, it's hard for them to feel any sympathy for a bicyclist hit by a bus and severely injured, especially when it is the bicyclist's fault. It's a lot easier to feel sorry for the real victim, the bus driver, and for other potential victims of cyclists.
As many has stated, your response is confusing and outright wrong. I will not blame other cyclists if a car tries to stop short or drive recklessly with the intention of scaring me. The fault solely falls on the driver.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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Pajamas
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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by Pajamas » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:22 am

harrychan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:43 am
As many has stated, your response is confusing and outright wrong. I will not blame other cyclists if a car tries to stop short or drive recklessly with the intention of scaring me. The fault solely falls on the driver.
Of course I said nothing of the sort and I totally reject your attempts to make it sound like I did. This will be my last comment in this thread because it seems to be impossible to have a reasonable discussion with some of the commenters. :twisted:

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by amoose » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:30 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:22 am
harrychan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:43 am
As many has stated, your response is confusing and outright wrong. I will not blame other cyclists if a car tries to stop short or drive recklessly with the intention of scaring me. The fault solely falls on the driver.
Of course I said nothing of the sort and I totally reject your attempts to make it sound like I did. This will be my last comment in this thread because it seems to be impossible to have a reasonable discussion with some of the commenters. :twisted:
But you did say that, specifically:
I'm sure that you are a respectful and law-abiding cyclist, but even if the hostility towards you in particular is not warranted by your behavior, at least acknowledge that a lot of the hostility towards cyclists in general IS warranted by poor behavior by some cyclists.
Perhaps I an misreading it, but to me it seems you are saying that poor behavior by some people justifies hostility towards all others that share something in common with the offenders, such as being a cyclist. I wish I could interpret your comments differently, because as written they seem to support and encourage hostility towards all cyclists. I find that a very concerning opinion.

I wonder if you meant to express the opinion that drivers who see bad behavior by some cyclists become hostile towards all cyclists. That seems reasonable and probably happens (it is perhaps similar to road rage, where some drivers have a lack of control of their anger towards others). General hostility towards a group of people because of the behavior of a few should be condemned, since it leads to hostility towards those who are completely innocent.

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Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Post by EddyB » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:38 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:22 am
harrychan wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:43 am
As many has stated, your response is confusing and outright wrong. I will not blame other cyclists if a car tries to stop short or drive recklessly with the intention of scaring me. The fault solely falls on the driver.
Of course I said nothing of the sort and I totally reject your attempts to make it sound like I did. This will be my last comment in this thread because it seems to be impossible to have a reasonable discussion with some of the commenters. :twisted:
Reasonable discussion sometimes involves reconsidering one’s own words. You’ve made it clear that you’re not going to discuss it, but what you wrote earlier literally states that some amount (“a lot”) of hostility toward “cyclists in general” is justified as a reaction to the actions of specific cyclists. I, for one, don’t know how else to read your “in general,” and I disagree that any hostility toward any cyclist is justified by the actions of any other cyclist. It may not have been what you meant, but it’s what you wrote, and being indignant about others taking your statement at face value doesn’t advance reasonable discussion.

I have done some bike commuting in LA and the SF area, and I’ve ridden bikes on the road well in excess of 100,000 miles, in several countries on three continents, for leisure, for racing and sometimes as my primary means of transit. While I’m sure I’m not perfect, I make every effort to know and observe the applicable laws. Even so, I have been hit by cars on three occasions (all three drivers were cited and took financial responsibility). All that said, if I ever returned to a major metropolitan area, now having kids, I would commute by bike only if able to identify a route that provided me with reasonable bike lanes (or shoulders) or sufficiently low-speed urban streets that I could take the lane without unduly impeding other traffic, and I would almost certainly not suggest that an inexperienced cyclist attempt it. The gulf between the awareness, bike handling and traffic savvy between what I see from casual cyclists, on the one hand, and extremely experienced cyclists I know, on the other hand, is vast. My own spouse, while certainly a more experienced cyclist than the average adult, does not have a degree of awareness and experience that allows me to feel comfortable with her riding in situations like those that are common in LA. Think about how many hours the typical American drives in the first decade with a license; until you have the same kind of time on a bike, you’re inexperienced on a bike in the same way rental companies presume those under 25 to be in a car.

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