Southern California is a cyclist's paradise, with some of the most stunning highways and coastal views in the world. It's also home to some of the best biker bars and hangouts in the country. But biking in Los Angeles can be a risky endeavor, with 96 cyclists losing their lives on Los Angeles highways over the past five years. Despite this, 3% of L.
A. residents, some 120,000 people, choose to make their daily trips on two wheels. So why do they do it? And what are some of the best places to hang out on motorcycles in Southern California?At its best, biking in Los Angeles is an eco-friendly way of transport, leisure and economic exercise. Michael Runnels, adjunct professor of business law at Cal State LA, explains that cyclists feel the inequality of the city and glide between neighborhoods with smooth pavements and those whose roads are riddled with potholes.
Pauletta Pierce adds that cyclists have an “appreciation for the natural world” that unites them and encourages them to advocate for a city with a safer and more connected transport infrastructure. We asked some cyclists why they ride bicycles in Los Angeles and how they have fun despite the inconvenience. Lena Williams, a community organizer, says she has been cycling in Los Angeles for years. She was encouraged by her friends who told her that as long as she stayed in the gutter or on the road, she had every right to be there. She started cycling to work and home to feel safe from harassment. Williams adds that she feels most connected to her tribe when she's on her bike.
She loves being around people who deeply appreciate the natural world and enjoy group trips. She also finds it more fun than driving a car. Pierce has been cycling in Los Angeles since 2000 when there were only 30 people who used bicycles as a means of transportation. Two years later, they were on bike rides at night in themed costumes with 2000 or 3000 people deep in Los Angeles. They went to cumbia concerts, punk shows, tacos, attractions for drunks and parties. Runnels says that the most fun he's ever had on a bike is on a road without cars.
He loves pedaling along the Santa Monica Beach Trail and taking a look at what L. could be if it were really impressive. A change in state law last year gave local officials some leeway, allowing Los Angeles to lower speed limits on major corridors for the first time in decades. The Department of Transportation is also testing universal basic mobility, a program that provides South Los Angeles residents with cheaper and cleaner options for getting around. Runnels adds that cycling itself is a fun act for him and he loves going to Bruce Beach or small local businesses in the area. He also sees it as a form of meditation in motion that is closely linked to his spiritual practice. So if you're looking for bike-friendly bars near Los Angeles, here are some of the best places to check out: Bike Shed Moto Co - Los Angeles, Rock Store, The Salty Dawg Tavern, Defiant Ones Motorcycle Club and Burgundy.