This is a blog about and for those new to biking as a lifestyle and serious mode of transportation. Much of the content here is specific to those who live in the Santa Monica/Venice/West LA area, but I hope that everyone, regardless of locale, can gain something useful here.
I am Vivian, an ocean- and food-lover who had spent way too many hours sitting on the eastbound 10 at 4PM, wondering if I could make it to where I needed to be on time. I was sick of radio music, the ugly freeways, the horrid manners of other drivers (and myself sometimes), how faraway traffic makes everything feel, paying for gas, being in a pissy mood, etc. etc. When I heard the second run of “All Things Considered” on the same drive, I made the decision to re-align my life so that I would no longer need the car (Prius though it is).
I am not quite there yet, but definitely getting closer. I have managed to find a temporary job (in the environmental field, no less) within easy biking distance. I am biking to work at least 50% of the week. I also bike to the Santa Monica Co-Op for groceries or walk to the supermarket around the corner. Honestly, living in Santa Monica is half the battle; the city offers so many options for business/recreation/necessities within car-less distance that it’s often more work to drag out the Prius.
Lest you think what I’m doing requires athletic abilities/super-human determination/buns of steel, here is an embarrassing secret about me: I didn’t know how to bike until I was 27! I actually learned in the parking lot of the SMC Madison Campus! Also, my Crotch Rocket was picked up from the Salvation Army for $60. I’ve had quite a few things done to it (I don’t know how to work with bikes myself), but it remains the functional, non-hipster, non-Tour de France bicycle it was meant to be.