Get car on bike

OK, I am a car owner, but my motto hasn't changed

OK, I am a car owner, but my motto hasn’t changed

On occasion I find myself complaining about the weather. This is wrong. It’s not really cold at 50 degrees, even though my hands turn white as I ride my motorcycle home at night. It is not, for instance, 0 degrees like it was in New York yesterday.

This lovely, moderate climate is one of the reasons I can practice my deep love for two wheels almost every day in LA. It really is nearly always lukewarm or warm. Still, there are times when one needs four wheels. To bring people along, to move stuff, to bring a bicycle. The cost of renting cars was starting to add up, and so I found a used 2006 Jeep I liked in Thousand Oaks, about 45 miles away.

Who knew: great bike paths in LA

Who knew: great bike paths in LA

The question was how to get there. The answer was easy: The Cannondale. Under different circumstances I might have run there, but this is not yet the time for ultra training.

New Yorkers brag about their bike lanes and bike sharing and general recent bike friendliness. Fine, New Yorkers tend to brag – and look down on cities west of them. I have been infected by such Yankee superiority, I think, for I was clueless about LA’s attempts to accomodate bikers.

Incredibly, per Google’s bike map I rode 90 percent of my trip to Thousand Oaks on bike lanes. North Hollywood proudly boasts the Orange Bus Line, which travels on a dedicated road flanked by dedicated bike lanes. Great, flat riding for many miles; an oasis of alternative transportation. In Calabasas, too, there were wide, hilly roads with serious bike lanes. Drivers respected the lane and me on my bike – which does not happen in New York. And they have no patience for idiots on mopeds and other motorized vehicles, the kind that terrorize bike lanes in Holland.

photo 1Arriving just as sun was setting, I was glad to get off the pedals after more than three hours. Happily I put my bike in the back of the Jeep.

So now I have ten wheels. Two bicycles, a Triumph and a Jeep. I am glad to report that LA is a good place for all of those wheels.


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