15 May 2006

Into The Wild.....

I was about 4 or 5 years old and we were living in Iowa when my Dad took off the training wheels. You should have seen me! This undersized, toe-headed hyperactive kid taking off from my fathers steady hands.....and then........kurplunk! One quick moment and lots of blood later I had had my first bike accident. To this day I still have the scars in my hairline from that life changing day. I was hooked! When we moved to Connecticut, while still in elementary school, I used to bike the 3 miles down the road to my best friends house - who coincidentally lived near a general store where they sold the candy I wasn't allowed to eat....but I digress. Needless to say biking has been a life long passion of mine and through countless miles in 3 major cities, the endless hills of various states, 2 left broken elbows, 1 left broken wrist, and a many-times-over sprained left shoulder I still can’t get enough! I find it exciting, challenging, and I’ll never stop doing it!!

These days it makes economical as well as environmental sense to bike as many places as possible - never mind the obvious health benefits. I bike when I can, nearly every day. In fact until this past weekend I hadn’t driven in a month. But in this city people are in love with their cars, and the aloneness that comes with driving. We just don't make it easy here for most to want to bike. It’s not like Boston where you can bike around The Charles for 27 miles on a bike path - not to mention the countless paths throughout the city that kept me out of harms way of cars, and my favourite that lead out of Davis Square - a former railroad track that was converted to a bike path (go to www.railtrails.org for more info).

L.A. is full of too many cars, too many people on their cell phones and too many near misses. We have very few bike paths - which also doesn't help - the one around the corner from me that runs through West Hollywood is all of 1+ mile long - and we were supposed to kiss the feet of the City Council for that! I’m not surprised at all that more people don’t bike here - the horrendous roads that caused my above mentioned broken bones can deter even the most adventurous. While I do see some cyclists, even a neighbour that I never thought knew how to bike has gotten into it - if only to get to her job 8 blocks away, there are not as many as I would hope considering our lack of weather here. But for every cyclist I see I figure that's 1 less car on the road, 1 less tank to fill and 1 slightly healthier person. Every little bit helps and maybe if more people were biking in this city more motorists would get used to seeing us and would be applauding us, in their heads thank you very much, instead of barely missing us!

Thanks for tuning in.....untill next monday......Cheers!


abby said...

Precisely why I was glad to take my $100 to the bank off the sale of my bike! Someday, when I don't have to dodge potholes and a bunch of sorry glances from people who think bikers are somehow beneath usual LA fabulosity, I will find a nice old bike with a basket, pedal myself to farm markets and be happy to do so!

Sara said...


I just got my bike fixed up last week, so I best get out and ride the dang thing, eh?