Ride A Bike To Work Week (from Glendale?)

montrose, CA

Everyone’s talking about bicycles these days. it’s almost like, “Hey did you see that wacky new invention? You ride around on only two wheels, not four!” Not since the days of Ginger has there been so much hoopla surrounding locomotion. Well, alright, I’m exaggerating a little, but there a lot of people discovering the excellence of pedaling to work this week. I hope the fascination sticks.

For the past four years I almost never rode my bike to work. But then I didn’t have to since work (Amoeba) was only a few blocks away. I walked. But now that I’m back in Los Angeles and I’m looking for a new place to live I realize that I may not be as fortuitously near my workplace, I’m starting to consider just how I’m going to get around L.A.

In my search for a place I ended up wandering around Montrose a little. Montrose! I didn’t even know that place existed! It’s that lovely berg wedged into that gap between mountain ranges out past Glendale. And I love mountains. But I think it’s just a bit further from Hollywood than I’d be able to reliably cycle every day, and, while the Glendale freeway is nice on a Saturday, at 8 AM on Monday morning it’s a parking lot. So Glendale it is. But I’m asking Glendale residents, or indeed, anyone who cycles around that Los Feliz-adjacent terrain if they’ve discovered any terrific little routes into or out of the Sunset/Gower area.

Los Feliz Blvd to Sunset? Hyperion to Fountain? What are some of the better ways around Glendale and Silverlake on two wheels?

10 Replies to “Ride A Bike To Work Week (from Glendale?)”

  1. Montrose is a cute little town. Glendale has a lot of pluses, but the way those Glendalians drive you take your life in your hands just walking. Good luck biking. Back in the day when I was a cube dweller at Brand/Lexington the auto vs ped collisions were just horrendous.

  2. From one Will to another, ask and ye shall receive. My favorite conduit into Glendale from Silver Lake and the other way around usually involves Flethcher Avenue, which joins the south end of Atwater Village to Silver Lake across Riverside Drive. Going toward Hollywood you’d bear left off of Fletcher to Glendale and then right on Silver Lake Boulevard, which will take you around the reservoir and onward to Sunset Boulevard.

    If that’s too south for you, another interesting option is Los Feliz Boulevard to Riverside Drive south to the Hyperion Viaduct, then hike it with your bike up the viaduct’s pedestrian staircase and a few pedals after that you’re sailing down Hyperion across Rowena on your way to the junction of Sunset and Fountain.

    If you’re in north Glendale you can scoot over Glen Oaks to Sonora and towards Griffith Park where you’d make a left onto Riverside Drive then you could either run south through Griffith Park (some minor inclines involved) or board the L.A. River Bikeway, which’ll get you all the way south to Los Feliz or Glendale Boulevard or Fletcher.

  3. I would definitely recommend making your way to Hyperion (perhaps via Riverside with the staircase portage as noted above). This way you get to Fountain, which is a little tight in places, but is actually a fairly decent ‘bikeway’. Sunset can be a little horrendous.

    Also do a search of bikely.com – someone may have posted a route. If not, post a route and share it!

    Wear a helmet.

  4. Let me start this by saying I’m 110% pro-bike, 500% against cars. But I cannot ride my bike to work because I have to drive FOR my work.

    This morning I TOTALLY ACCIDENTALLY cut off a guy on his bike on Marengo in Pasadena. I was already into my right turn onto Colorado before I even noticed him. I almost hit him. It was my fault. I was on another planet and just wasn’t being as observant as I usually am. He was OK but I was horrified, I felt really awful.

    I was trying to figure a way to pull up next to him to apologize. I was mouthing “SORRY” to him and he looked right at me. Before I could roll down my window to actually say something in apology, he suddenly darts RIGHT in front of my truck – I’m talking his back tire INCHES from my bumper, extends the proper finger my direction, and proceeds to pedal veeeeerrrrrrry S-L-O-W-L-Y (less than 5MPH). It was a construction zone so he was holding up the ONE lane available. He did this for a little over a block, and the line of vehicles behind me started honking like crazy. He kept on flipping everyone off and going SUPER slowly on purpose.

    Now, I can see why the dude was mad. And part of me thought, “I totally deserve this. Justified road rage. He’s punk as fuck. Cool.” But another part of me thought “WTF. You are making ALL bicyclists look REEEEALLY bad, acting like that.” All the other people behind me, on their way to work, didn’t deserve what he did. I did. I think it REALLY STINKS that he reacted in such an extreme, babyish way.

    Again, I’m pro-bike and I HATE that I have to drive for work. But what happened today REALLY made me feel conflicted. If bicyclists want to be taken seriously they can’t do this sort of shit. It’s just road rage on a bike. Which helps no one. Total lack of self-control. I would have apologized up and down had he just had enough self-control to keep it between him and me, not him and the 20 or so other drivers behind us.

    Sorry, I just needed to vent about this. I think Bike to Work Week is a cool idea, and I’m well aware the power differential on the streets is tilted toward cars, but this guy’s behavior was pretty psycho. He single-handedly carved out a spot for ALL cyclists on my Shit List today. I hope he reads this and knows A) that I am REALLY sorry for cutting him off and B) that his reaction was insanely shitheaded.

    Over and out.

  5. Interesting. I’m looking at a place today in an area of Glendale a few blocks west of Brand, so the LF Blvd to Riverside to Hyperion route sounds like a good one. I can’t wait to explore. I used to commute (weather and energy permitting) eleven miles each way to work and back, but that was in Santa Barbara, where you can go for miles without having to stopping.

    Riding in L.A. is a defensive game. I drive with an eye for cyclists, but sometimes I make turns and realize, only after making them, that if there’d been a bicycle there…

    For that reason (among others) I don’t get on a bike without a helmet and I ride as if I expect EVERY driver will to cut me off, run the stop sign or try to take my left shoe off with his right front tire.

  6. bbxx,

    You sound totally level-headed and understanding and would be in my top .0001 percent of drivers I’d like to be biking beside. I’m not excusing what the cyclist did and neither can I give you a pass for extrapolating his attitude and behavior to put all of us out there on two wheels on your shit list. What he did comes across as excessive and antagonistic, but my suggestion to you would be to use that ability you had to see both sides to also recognize that making us all unworthy does none of us any good.

    Here’s hoping a kinder, gentler cyclist comes along your way and helps restore a balance.

  7. I live in Los Feliz and bought two of my road bikes from Montrose Bicycles in Montrose. The shop is at the end of the commercial strip of Honolulu Ave. It’s mostly a Specialized dealer but carries Trek and a handful of odds and ends brands. They’re low-key, low-pressure, and honest. I hate that I am driving to my bicycle shop, but *sigh* this is Los Angeles. If someone opened a good bicycle shop in Silver Lake / Los Feliz that carried higher-end-ish marques but also urban/commuter cruisers, damn, that shop would do really well.

    Anyway, not a bicycle route but did want to give a shout-out to that bicycle shop in Montrose.

    Also, bbxx, your feelings are very understandable. As I said, I live in Los Feliz. I work in Santa Monica, near the ocean. Yes, my commute sucks. I drive 4x/wk but once a week, I ride all the way. (Quickly, my route: Commonwealth > Fountain > Wilton > Venice > The Strand along the beach > my office in Santa Monica.) So I cover a lot of asphalt by car and by bicycle each week. And I gotta say, though you DID NOT deserve his retaliatory behavior, I understand why he did it and what he was feeling. Bicyclists are so put upon so many times by so many drivers that that reaction (“Fuck you you asshole driver!” or something like that) is, well, understandable.

    Does it make for a better society and does it help your fellow cyclist? Nope. But I understand.

    Ride on.

  8. Aside from everything else, I think bbxx and Will illustrate that we all need to lighten up a bit and realize we aren’t each other’s enemy. Yea, sometimes I mess up and cut someone off. And yea, sometimes they do it too. But we all really need to start relating to each other (regardless of propulsion system) as human.

    Pipe dream? Perhaps. The bottom line is we all live together, so don’t be a dick, even if the they are. Maybe they’ll learn something.

  9. bbxx writes: …this guy’s behavior was pretty psycho. He single-handedly carved out a spot for ALL cyclists on my Shit List today. I hope he reads this and knows A) that I am REALLY sorry for cutting him off and B) that his reaction was insanely shitheaded.”

    You criticize the cyclist for punishing 20 motorists for your behavior and then turn around and put “ALL cyclists” on your Shit List because of his behavior.

    I think perhaps you were driving the High Horse to work today. No?

  10. soapboxla,

    Mentally putting all cyclists on my Shit List for ONE DAY doesn’t make 20 people late for work, or almost cause an accident.

    If I was driving the High Horse to work, I would have been HAPPY about cutting him off, and might have even rolled my window down and yelled HEY YOU ASSHOLE HIPPY BUY A CAR. That’s what people driving the High Horse do. I can’t imagine what you’d post if I’d written THAT.

    I wanted to apologize to him because I felt rotten for cutting him off. I was honest that it made me feel discouraged – temporarily – about all cyclists. How the hell is that me on a High Horse?

    Doran makes an excellent point. We ALL need to lighten up and remember that it’s not some Grand Theft Cyclist Death Race 2000 War Between Us and Them situation. Sometimes people drive shitty, sometimes people bike shitty, and I hope that we can all apologize and move on when it happens.

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