Nobody Bikes in LA?

The other day I read an absoludicrous article on the Times of London website that appeared in one of my feedster search RSS feeds for Los Angles about how nobody in LA rides bikes and that to do so would be suicidal. I really wanted to write about it and didn’t, but thankfully Mack Reed also read the article and tore the limey a new asshole. Mack gets bonus points for calling me a “Downtown, code-punching fixie freak.” =]

6 Replies to “Nobody Bikes in LA?”

  1. Yeah, I read that crap yesterday and my hackles rose then fell as he seemingly embraced two-wheeled travel, only to rise back up at the close of the article when he gave up and got a bike rack for his SUV so he could drive to the beach and ride there. What a smugfuck tool.

  2. I posted this in comments to the LA Voice article, but I think it bears repeating here:

    Anyone who’s actually interested in what LA City planners really ARE doing should check out the LA DOT’s Bicycle LA site at http://www.bicyclela.org/, especially the Bicycle Plan element of the LA City General Plan.

    (Why is it that so many “in-depth looks at LA” are written by people who haven’t been here long enough to even get the clichÈs right, let alone notice that those clichÈs seldom reflect actual reality?)

  3. Aw, have a sense of humor.

    Donít get me wrong: I have always hated cyclists. Thereís something insufferable about their tight, inappropriately bulging shorts; their skinny, hairless legs; and the way they cut between gridlocked traffic and mount the pavement whenever it suits them. Not to mention the unbearable smugness that comes from saving the planet while staying fit at the same time.

    Come on, this is too close to truth to not be funny. Not to mention the deeper issue he brings up later: bikes compete with autos for paved right of way. And cycling in traffic, especially in auto-addicted L.A., is as much a political statement as it is a way to get from point A to B.

    And he’s right. Nobody in their “right mind” cycles in L.A. It’s crazy people, homeless people, or someone who’s lost their license. Anytime it comes up that I bike to work, it usually kicks off a conversation that begins, “what — are you nuts?” To many people, that unprotected person pedaling in front of them is waving one big metaphorical middle finger in their direction.

  4. Seems pretty easy to accuse those of us offended of being humorless. I didn’t miss the funny stuff, David. Even chuckled in a couple places. But Ayres takes some cheap easy and tired outsider shots and is well deserving a swift kick in his bloody “buttock pads.”

    If he’d softened it even a smidge and perhaps broadened his perspecive or given and angle that didn’t become so anti-bike, I would have been able to let it go, but I have to deal with that attitude enough from the locals. I don’t have to take it from some limey on a work visa.

  5. I think we can agree that the most disappointing part of the article is that he concludes that the bike is just a toy for the beach, neither a viable mode of transportation nor a remedy for congestion, pollution, and consumption.

    Is there a Greater L.A. Blogger/Biker roll call somewhere?

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