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Thread: Los Angeles by Bike

  1. #1

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    Los Angeles by Bike

    And, not the glitzy West Side. An interesting little essay by a kid who did a quick bicycle tour of all things of East LA and Downtown LA. I thought it was interesting, at least

    http://www.newcolonist.com/bikedayla.html

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    For me, no experience could be more death defying, more ESPN X-treme Sports meets Fear Factor, than spending a day exploring my native city of Los Angeles equipped with only a backpack, bicycle, and enough money for lunch and a day pass on the Metrorail.
    Talk about sheltered.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Talk about sheltered.
    Ah, come on jordan.

    He was being sarcastic. He grew up in East LA, for God's sake.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Talk about sheltered.
    Serenity Now!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Not a bad essay... and jordan you don't know the half of what happens in East L.A., and personally I think the kid has guts. Just riding your bike through some of those neighbourhoods is cause enough (in the minds of some of the thugs) to get beat up and your bike stolen. Thanks to magnet schools, I have a lot of friends from those areas, South Central, Koreatown, etc. and I know how bad it is because I've walked the streets (and dodged the bullets).

  6. #6
    I have biked the mean streets of L.A. I had the pleasure of riding my bike down Crenshaw Blvd -never again!!! This was the scariest thing for me.

    Jordan what is so sheltered about the statement you quote?

    (I don't even leave my bike unlocked in Santa Cruz.)
    Oh sweet Jesus, why would anyone leave their bike unlocked in Santa Cruz? I would leave my bike unlocked in many parts of LA before Santa Cruz and its buergeoning thief class.I have never seen so many effed up people just waiting to steal my bike. Dirty hippies whose parents are to wealthy.

    EDIT: Thanks for the post BKM, nice story!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    Oh sweet Jesus, why would anyone leave their bike unlocked in Santa Cruz? I would leave my bike unlocked in many parts of LA before Santa Cruz and its buergeoning thief class.I have never seen so many effed up people just waiting to steal my bike. Dirty hippies whose parents are to wealthy.
    I'm certainly not a work ethic drone, but to do nothing your whole life but sit on the street, beg, and bongo is...annoying. I hate to be prejudiced, but I have little patience for the "Bongoista" class. I love the Arcata Eye's take on these pests. I hate patchouli! I hate pit bull mixes.

  8. #8
    OT

    I hate patchouli!
    Yes of course your preference is for Nag Champa, right? (I actually love the stuff in very small amounts)

    I hate pit bull mixes.
    You say pit bull and I think Humboldt dope grower with a shot gun and a lot of meth just waiting to kill anyone who steps up on his million dollar crop.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Interesting article, reminds me of many of the stories/essays in the book I am curently reading, Bicycle Love.



    Off-topic:

    BKM your sig seems really familiar, is it a Heinlein quote?
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  10. #10
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Well if the guy meant it sarcastically, I take that back.

    Nerudite -- Is LA really that much worse than Chicago? There is no place in this city where riding your bike would be taking a significant risk (except on the expressways). Of course, you could find a ton of suburbanites who'd think that riding your bike through Chicago is akin to riding in a war zone.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally posted by donk

    Off-topic:

    BKM your sig seems really familiar, is it a Heinlein quote?
    Nah. Some many of my sigs are not necessarily "famous" but just quotes I read that I like. www.newcolonist.com

    From an editors' latest post, who's kinda into voluntary simplicity (e.g., no cars, no office jobs, less consumption, etc.), lefty politics, and skepticism about the current cultural/social milieu (including government). His co-editor is more of a libertarian, and they sometimes debate. This was the source of the other bicycle/anti-car essays as well.

    I thought Heinlein was VERY into obedience and obligation and the like? Haven't really read him since childhood, but the "F" (fascism) word is mentioned by some critics I've read. Richard would be definitely not into Heinlein, I'm guessing.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Off-topic:


    Quote Originally posted by BKM

    I thought Heinlein was VERY into obedience and obligation and the like? Haven't really read him since childhood, but the "F" (fascism) word is mentioned by some critics I've read. Richard would be definitely not into Heinlein, I'm guessing.

    Actually Heinlein is a pure and unabashed libertarian, and was also a nudist.

    From reading a few of his memoirs and biographies his general philosophy was as long as your actions cause no harm to others then the government should leave you alone and not regulate. His ideas of obedience and duty are built on the general idea that if people are too foolish to do what is right (not harm eachother) THEN and only THEN do you tell them what to do and you do it harshly. He was an eternal optimist, hoping that people would figure out what was the right thing to do and do it.

    Looking back on his work, from today, he does appear as a fascist, but consider when he was writing and who his target audience was (for the "juveniles" think 1950's and Boy's Life). His later works (Job, Cat who walks through walls, friday) are definitely based on his vision of free will, within the previously mentioned context of "do the right thing".



    Sorry.
    Last edited by donk; 02 Sep 2004 at 5:48 PM. Reason: typos
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  13. #13
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    I think the only place in Philly that you might look out of place riding a bike would be in the post-50's sprawl of the Northeast.

    The only place a white kid like me would get funny looks on a bike is west of Broad St. in deep South Philly and north Philly. The only time i've ever felt like i made a mistake in choosing my route was when i decided to use my bike for some field work in North Philly and rode down 22nd St. from Allegheny Ave. to center city. I didn't find the neighborhood around Allegheny very intimidating . . . then i went under the tracks and for 2 miles i stopped conversations, drew stares, comments, and even a "get the f*** out of here!"

    > The suburbanites love to pass reactionary legislation, but they never have to deal with the consequences. <

    or because they never have to deal with the consequences.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Well if the guy meant it sarcastically, I take that back.

    Nerudite -- Is LA really that much worse than Chicago? There is no place in this city where riding your bike would be taking a significant risk (except on the expressways). Of course, you could find a ton of suburbanites who'd think that riding your bike through Chicago is akin to riding in a war zone.
    I don't know how much worse it is than Chicago, because I have seen very little of Chicago personally. It's really, really bad though. Some places, like Watts for instance, have a really bad rap but in reality have a really tight knit, supportive community. And there are places that you don't hear about as often that are a total war zone. Even in the San Fernando Valley, there are streets that I wouldn't walk or drive my car down, just because the bullets fly so often. An ex-boyfriend who lived in the bad part of Canoga Park in the Valley, was beat up several times and had two bikes stolen while he was riding them (bike jacking I guess). He even made sure to wear neutral colors, not ride his bike at night, etc. It just doesn't matter in some neighbourhoods... they attack you for any reason or no reason. I'm sure it's probably gang related and really doesn't have anything to do with the majority of the people that live there...but it makes it scary nonetheless.

    This is all from experiences over a dozen years ago, so maybe things have changed and some of those areas area better (or worse). I wish there were more planners from L.A. on here that could pipe in as well to give a more complete picture.

  15. #15

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    Well, even I got nasty comments about "honkies" and the like when I rode my bicycle down Hanna Street in my home town (Fort Wayne, Indiana). Of course, many blocks of Hanna Street have returned to "urban prairie" status, so how much trouble one would get today is a good question

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