BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: California

Fuel prices dip in California – Gas vs. Bike

That ish is spensive

Gas prices in SF in April 2012 - image courtesy of calitexican.

As the prices of gas rise and fall in California like my head nodding off during weekly office meetings, we can’t help but wonder if more people will choose the bike over fueling up at the pump this Autumn.  We talked about the spike in gas prices in 2008 and increased ridership from earlier this Spring… and we can’t forget the massive spike in gas in California in the middle of October!  I happened to be in L.A. for my cousin’s wedding at this height of it all, and even my family (notorious for driving three blocks to each other’s houses) opted to carpool to the wedding events to save some cash.  Holy isht, it blew my MIND!  This article from the San Francisco Chronicle website from Oct. 14, 2012 said the gas spike made bike commuting more attractive for Los Angelonians:

The car-centric City of Angels is in the midst of building almost 1,600 miles of bike infrastructure over the next five years — so far, it has completed more than 83 miles of lanes and paths linking key areas — and its largely underutilized subway has seen a slow increase in ridership that only grows when gasoline prices soar.

Los Angeles County’s Metrolink, which features open train cars for bike riders and connects the county’s far-flung cities, has seen record ridership over the past week, said Sherita Coffelt, the system’s spokeswoman.

“Historically there have been spikes whenever gas prices rise, but with the past gas spike, we sustained our ridership; that was breaking the cycle,” Coffelt said regarding an earlier spike in 2012.

My Cycle Ladies and Gents in L.A. tell me the same, bike commuting is more than just a passing fad.  But, the the gas prices in California finally dropped below $4/gallon for the first time in a LONG time this week, according to this article by the L.A. Times.  Let’s hope the Bike wins outas the Gas vs. Bike battle continues…

Mission Bicycle California Cap

Commuter Profiles: Freddie & Vi!

Howdy from the west coast again, cyclegators!  For this week’s commuter profile series, we present to you MORE architects and Los Angeles Bike Commuters: Freddie & Vi!  Freddie and Vi are both friends of mine who responded to much internet poking and cajoling to show off their ultimate cuteness as a cycling couple.  Vi is a friend of the recently-profiled super hot strong bike chick, Sarah Eberhardt, and Freddie joined Task Force Chicago (a.k.a. me and Elizabeth) last summer for some midwestern two-wheeled excursions.  Get ready for some bikealicious fotogs and bikey adventures, peeps.  Without further ado: a combo-profile from two of my favorite kids from Ohio who ride bikes in L.A.!

Freddie and Vi

Vi and Freddie, making those god-awful groomsmen ties look GOOD.

Name:

(Freddie) Michael Frederick

(Vi) Ha-Vi Tran

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How long have you been a bike commuter?

(Freddie) since grad school at UCLA started in Fall of 2009.

(Vi) Since 2010!  Two, almost 3 whole years better!  You could say living in the LA “bicycle district” that I call Silverlake has had quite the influence…

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Bike Friends, hanging out in the neighborhood!

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Who needs freeways in Hell-A anyway!?


Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?

(Freddie)  Because being on my bike is 10 million times better than sitting in LA traffic and it takes just as long! My commute is 16 miles.  I mostly commute by bike on Fridays.

(Vi) Why ride when you can walk?!   My current commute is a 10 minute walk but hasn’t always been.   Before I developed “assertive” road riding skills, I took the bus and subway to work.  I love bikes as much as public transportation and use them for fun weekend rides and utility cycling.

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How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?

(Freddie)  Bike riding saves money and kills two birds with one stone. I get exercise for the day and get to work all in the same time I usually spend in my car… oh, and it’s awesome fun so that’s a double bonus. My girlfriend (Vi) and I both love our bikes so its pretty awesome when we get to share our riding time too.

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(Vi) So so grumpy in my car, so so happy on my bicycle!  I have no problems searching for a parking spot and get to fly by traffic.  It’s exercise that doesn’t FEEL like exercise, and I show up more positive to wherever it is that I’m going.  I save money on gas, and it’s the cheapest date EVER.  Luckily my boyfriend (Freddie) likes nighttime adventures on our bikes; it’s an awesome way to explore the city together.

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What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?

(Freddie) I’m an architect in Los Angeles.

(Vi) Architect / interior designer in LA-LA land!


What kind(s) of bike do you have?

(Freddie) Surly Pacer

(Vi) Just my trusty hodgepodge of a road bike, Mr. Soma Smoothie.

Surly Pacer

Freddie's blue Surly Pacer is his pride and joy: no more ghetto Costco MTB shipped out from Mom & Dad's garage that was his college campus commuter!

Soma Smoothie

Ha-Vi's Soma Smoothie. I like that front rack and the white saddle!


Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?
(Freddie) No funny stories to share yet. Just a massive hatred for extended length buses and how big and slow they are and always in the way!

(Vi) Don’t you just love it when you’re climbing uphill all hot and sweaty on your bike and a runner passes you by?  Yeah.

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What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?

(Freddie) People in Los Angeles think your nuts if you don’t get in your car to go across the street.

(Vi) You biked how many miles?!  You biked where?!  You’re going to get hit by a car!  My favorite is my dad’s reaction, “Why do you choose to ride in the street?  Couldn’t you pick a safer hobby?”

How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?

(Freddie) I try to encourage my friends to ride with me on the weekends and after work as much as possible. I participate and support CicLAvia when I can.

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(Vi) Isn’t the best advocacy showing up at a friend’s door so excited, sweaty, beet-red in the face, with helmet hair?   Come on, you know you want a hug and to ride with me…  I have friends come up to me all excited telling me about their weekend rides which is absolutely fantastic.  That to me is advocacy at its best.  In all fairness, CicLAvia (based on Colombia’s original Ciclovia) is my favorite holiday to gather everyone and anyone to participate in the ride for the first, second, and whatever time.

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Anything else that you want to share with us?
(Freddie) Carmageddon and CicLAvia should team up to make a annual shut the freeways down and ride your bike holiday in Los Angeles!

(Vi) I love the fact that regardless of socio-economic background, bikes give people some commonality to talk to each other.  That is such a beautiful thing.


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Well Freddie and Vi, thanks for hooking it up with your bikely adventures throughout the west coast and cute couple cycle craziness! You might have a stalker with that yellow man in red overalls… watch your backs, yo! Any of you other readers want to show us your ride and tell us all about it?  Then send an email and we’ll send you our Commuter Profile questionnaire!  Email mir[at]bikecommuters[dot]com for details.


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