I was talking with Russ Roca last night for an article I wrote for Momentum Magazine. Russ is the eco friendly bicycling photographer who uses a cargo bike and trailer to haul his photo gear around the Los Angeles area. You might know him from Bike Commuters, his personal blog or his Flickr stream.
Russ lives in Long Beach, California (south of L.A.) He’s visited Portland, OR several times, and I was a little bummed to learn that Russ and his girlfriend plan to move from California to Portland this spring. The “bike friendliness” of Portland has a lot to do with their decision. Russ tells me that the cycling environment in Portland is “vastly more appealing” than southern California. When comparing his cycling experiences in Portland versus southern California, Russ describes cycling in L.A. with words like “warrior,” “draining,” “struggle” and “thick skin.”
This Wall Street Journal article describes cycling in L.A. as “Risking Life and Limb.” Reporter Rhonda Rundle writes about several new bike commuters who encounter motorist harassment, poor road conditions, and drunk drivers. C.I.C.L.E.‘s bike riding safety workshops are mentioned in the article, but bike commuting in the L.A. area still comes across as something only for the foolhardy or brave.
There’s an online poll to accompany to the Wall Street Journal article, asking the question “Is bicycling a realistic commuting option for you?”
How about you? Is cycling relaxing for you in spite of the traffic? Or is it something you feel you must do? Do you enjoy biking, or do you grin and bear it?
Props to Jack in St. Louis and Alison for the Wall Street Journal links.