Tag Archives: beverly glen

two truths about the road

Or maybe just one truth with two kinds: To bike in Los Angeles requires dealing with cars. There are two kinds:

  1. The first are the ones who don’t see you. They might be the ones talking on a cell phone, yelling at their kids, tuning their radio, late leaving work and looking to roll a couple stop signs on the side streets because all the arterials are clogged. They might be the ones who nearly right hook you because they can’t be bothered to look over the shoulder. I get mad about these people, but I don’t stay mad. There’s no point, because I realize that it’s not really about me. These drivers are the ones who merge without looking on the freeway, who get stuck in the intersection going the wrong way at red lights. They’re the self-centered ones who treat the rest of the road like so many video game dots and numbers. Out there, but not really enough to worry about. They’re fat and happy in their steel cocoons, coddled in roll cages and crumple zones like so many eggs in cardboard cartons. When they cut me off, I know it’s not about me.
  2. It’s the second group that piss me off. It’s the second group that sees me pushing it down Westholme, heading south through the last roundabout before swinging left at Santa Monica, riding to catch the green light. It’s the second group with the driver’s side window of their white sedan rolled down and the driver peering through his thin glasses up the road to where I’m bearing down and still thinking it’s a good idea to swing out into traffic because he doesn’t want to get stuck waiting for the cars that are trailing me. It’s the second group of drivers who see me brake, pull up, raise my hands to ask what the fuck, then gun their engine through the light because they know they’re in the wrong and think they can leave me in the dust. It’s these second kind of drivers who think that just because I’m a little fucking cyclist on a dark single-speed that that makes it OK. And do you know what? It’s those second group of drivers who sit in their car waiting to turn right onto Beverly Glen at the red light, one arm dangling a lit cigarette out the window as I pull up to the intersection, then see me roll up to the light beside them.

The moral of the story? Your shit catches up to you.

Ride safe.

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route adjustment

One of the worst sections of my ride home is the area between Holmby Park and the east side of Beverly Hills. Traffic sucks, the roads suck, and I always feel as though I’m heading really out of my way to get wherever I’m going. My usual route takes me down Comstock, onto the sidewalk along Wilshire. Depending on my mood, I’ll sometimes cut up Whittier to Elevado and take that as far east as Canon before cutting south to Burton Way. It’s not great, but it feels safe and keeps me out of the mash-up that is the intersection of Santa Monica and Wilshire.

Today, though, I picked a new way home (see map for updated route): Cut south on Beverly Glen, cross Wilshire, and swing down to Santa Monica Blvd. You’re still left to contend with the incredible disappearing bike lane, but as long as you’re intending to merge onto Santa Monica South – which I was and usually am – the road is wide, well-paved, and generally rideable. From there, I split lanes through heavy traffic until things opened back up east of Rexford.

It’s not perfect, but it feels like a quick way to push past the worst of Beverly Hills traffic, especially at rush hour.

Anyone have any advice on negotiating that stretch? Please check out the map and some of the thinking behind it.