Daily Marauder



Downtown LA

Downtown LA

Photo Credit: the bocket

For the past 2 years, I’ve fancied myself a biker. Not simply one of those Spandex-wearing weekend riders but someone who commuted to her midtown office from the East Village frequently. Upon moving from NYC to LA, I thought my cycling would surely increase in intensity. After searching tirelessly for a new bike after mine was stolen in Brooklyn, I picked up some new wheels from Monty at Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica.

Daily Marauder Bike Weho

My Baby at the Starting Point/ West Hollywood, CA (I can finally rock a spoke card)

After a few weekend rides from Manhattan Beach to Palos Verdes, I thought I was ready to try the commute from my home in West Hollywood to Daily Marauder’s office downtown LA.

The Road

After procrastinating for far too long, I left my house at approximately 9:45AM. I took the diagonal down to Venice Boulevard along San Vicente. The wide road and easy traffic left me feeling over-confident. The computer on my back in my messenger bag started to ping my former shoulder injury almost immediately. Venice Boulevard in sight, I made the left and continued on ‘glee’-ful that I would finally have a bike lane. I did, for perhaps 2 lights. Le sigh.

Then, it was bike lane-free for the remaining 7 miles downtown. The traffic was light which made things fear-free.

Daily Marauder Office Downtown LA

Downtown LA

After arriving at work, I picked up the prerequisite coffee and quiche and carried my bike up the 4 flights of stairs to our office. I was exhausted and what’s more, at around 5PM, I would have to do it all again. Speaking of which, the ride home was by far scarier darting in between cars and buses pretending to be a bad ass while I tried to keep from peeing in my pants.

Distance: 26 miles roundtrip

Time: 2 hours and change

Hills: YES. OK…maybe I’m exaggerating here but I’m used to FLAT.

Pride: You can suck it LA. I’ll be back out there next Monday. This time, I think a back pack is in order.

NYC vs. LA

Daily Marauder Bike NYC

A Statement on the MTA/ Taken at 42nd Street/6th Avenue

In NYC, my morning commute would only consist of 3 miles each way. I would wear my cute dress and flip flops and ride along with the bike messengers to prove you can fashionably pass on the left. I would breeze into HBO feeling hardly challenged and park my bike in bike parking in the basement. The bike messengers and mail people in the building thought my daily commutes were pretty hysterical, especially as I suited up in my heels whipping out my BlackBerry as I motored for the elevator. Bike Barbie in. Professional Barbie out.

In LA, I bike 13 miles to work sneakers and Lululemon wicking fabric in tow. On the eastside, I arrived at work with 2 computers staring back at me. In LA, my MacBook Pro travels on my back. NYC doesn’t do hills unless you count the approach to the George Washington Bridge which really only applies to weekend rides for most people. LA’s got hills boy…HILLS. The last thing you want to see after 12 miles home from work is a wall of hill staring back at you.

Let’s talk cars for a second. Yes, NYC drivers are mean, cut in and out of traffic and will swear at you on a daily basis.

But here’s the difference: at least they know you’re THERE.

LA drivers hardly seem to be paying any attention at all trying to get in that text while looking for the closest Coffee Bean. Wake up y’all! Between NYC and LA, far too many of my friends have been hit by cars. A friend was recently hit in Brooklyn and more than twelve weeks later is still walking with a boot. Hell, I’ve been hit by a cab before. Be careful out there. I know some bikers can be assholes. I’ve seen them and ridden with them. They drive me nutty. Keep in mind; they are the few. Most of us are cool people who just want an alternative means to work outside the 4 wheels and gas tank (not to exclude you hybrids out there). So, in whatever city you live, go get your bike commute on and drop me a note and let me know how it goes.

Bike Commuting in NYC:

Ride the City

NYC Bike Maps

Map My Ride

Bike Commuting in LA:


LA Bikeways

Map My Ride

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5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

My commute distance is about the same here in LA. But it is far less pleasant. From my home in LIC to anywhere in Manhattan, I would get beauty and variety in every ride. Different looks and neighborhood. Here I just get 6 miles of Washington Blvd and car exhaust. And the ride here feels vastly more dangerous. Bikes get more respect on the road on NYC. Here it is pure hatred.

Comment by Bryan


Keep up the good fight! I think the only way to change this situation is to keep riding and convince others that it’s OK. I agree with you on the variability in NYC. That said, I do think the danger level is about equal. I do miss swearing on a daily basis at someone. So helped get the violence out.

Happy commuting,

Comment by Marauder

you are such a badass

Comment by Mickipedia

I am heading out to Utah for the FrontRunner Century bicycle ride and I am looking to see if anyone has ever used Map My Ride for the FrontRunner Century Bicycle Ride. I have heard that people have used it for LOTOJA classic and for the Ulcer Ride as well as the Salt Lake City Century. If anyone has info for the FrontRunner Century they could give to me I would be happy. Check out the http://www.frontrunnercentury.com and please let me know.

Comment by Matt Storms

Didn’t see it in the search results. You could be the first!

Comment by Marauder

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