“Worst City to Ride A Bike”
Los Angeles is considered by many to be the worst city in the U.S. to ride a bike. And it sure ain’t because of the climate!
No, it’s believed to be a terrible city to ride because of L.A.’s car-centric transportation culture, high speeds, heavy traffic, and frustrated motorists.
Our wonderful classical music station even plays an “Anti-Road Rage Melody” each weekday at 5 PM in an attempt to soothe the savage beasts — er, L.A. commuting motorists.
K + SI = HIN
Transportation officials love acronyms. L.A.’s transportation officials have special terms for the corridors and intersections with the highest concentration of people killed or seriously injured in cars, on bikes or on foot.
People killed or seriously injured are somberly referred to as “KSIs.” The roads on which these horrific injuries take place are known as part of the “HIN,” or High Injury Network.
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
What might it be like to ride a bike on L.A.’s most dangerous streets? Indeed, wouldn’t you have to be crazy to even want to bike on the most dangerous streets in L.A.?
And wouldn’t you have to be even crazier — if possible — to ride during the busiest traffic periods on a weekday morning or late afternoon?
Riding on the City’s High-Injury Network
What if you were a CyclingSavvy Instructor and program developer wanting to show how CyclingSavvy’s defensive bicycle tips and techniques can make bicycling on L.A.’s most challenging streets easy and fun?
What better place could you choose to make your point than Los Angeles’ High Injury Network?
Hey, if you can bike and stay alive in these conditions, you should be able to bike and thrive anywhere, right!?
Am I Crazy? You Decide
So this spring, after making sure all my affairs were in order, I started shooting traffic cycling videos on High Injury Network roads close to my home in Westside L.A.
The first is Lincoln Boulevard in Venice, between Venice Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue. This 1.12-mile stretch had 19 KSIs over five years from 2013 to 2017, making it the fifth most dangerous segment in the city during that time period.
Check out the two short videos below. Let me know what you think. Is this foolhardy, confidence-inspiring or oddly uneventful? You can choose more than one!
Northbound on Lincoln Boulevard in Venice, CA
Riding in the Other Direction on Lincoln
See In All Directions With “Pseudo-Drone” Video
I used a “pseudo-drone 360-degree” video technique. This means that if you view these videos on your computer using an updated browser (Chrome and Safari 12.1.1 work) or on your portable device using the YouTube app, you’ll be able to control the direction and zoom of the videos. Using a web browser on your portable device will not allow 360 and zoom control.
Don’t be fooled by the video. I’m not riding fast.
Because the extreme wide-angle perspective of the Garmin VIRB 360 camera makes speeds appear much faster than they are, be sure to check the speed display in the forward and rearward views of the video. You’ll see that I’m usually moving about 15 MPH and often slower on my cargo bike, showing that you don’t have to be a high-speed bicyclist to fit into L.A.’s traffic system.
Disclosure: ABEA is an Amazon affiliate. If you are in the market for a 360 camera and use the link above, your purchase will help us continue our work.