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An Outsider’s Perspective On Bicycling In Los Angeles

Stephen Corwin describes a Vancouverite’s experience cycling throughout Los Angeles.
October 30, 2014, 6am PDT | Maayan Dembo | @DJ_Mayjahn
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In a recent post on Medium, hard-core cyclist Stephen Corwin rides with his girlfriend, a recent newcomer to Los Angeles, from downtown to Koreatown. Along the ride, Corwin shares they "had a near-miss with a driver pulling out of a curbside parking space before checking for cyclists, and shortly after we were aggressively honked at by a young woman in a sedan who was simultaneously sharing an apparently hilarious story with her passenger."

After the stressful ride, Corwin asked his girlfriend to recount her first experience cycling. She remembered it quite clearly, sharing that "the biggest shock was when she rolled out onto the street and realized she had no idea where she was supposed to ride. Coming from a place like Vancouver, where bike lanes are clearly marked and are available on almost every road, that’s not surprising. She spent the entire journey teetering on the edge of the road, trying hard to find a balance between interfering with the rapid flow of traffic and scraping her bike wheels on the curb."

Corwin states how her stressful experience cycling through Los Angeles points to the failure of the cycling infrastructure, even the beautifully green-painted Spring Street bike lane. Currently, casual cyclists still feel unsafe riding through the city, alluding to a failure on behalf of the city to create safe infrastructure that makes cycling attractive.

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Published on Sunday, October 26, 2014 in Medium
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