L.A. BIKE TRAINS

Tuesday Morning Coffee and Community in Benny H. Potter Memorial Park 

 


AugustBikeEvery Tuesday morning at 7:30, an ad-hoc coffee stand appears at the picnic area of Benny H. Potter Memorial Park at 24th St and 2nd Ave. The coffee is free, as is the opportunity to connect with neighbors, fellow early risers, and those out for some morning exercise. The group setting up the coffee stand is L.A. Bike Trains (http://labiketrains.com/), a recently founded organization that meets in the park before commuting as a group by bike to Culver City. 

     
Wait a second…. Commuting by bike?! For many Angelenos with cars the thought of biking on city streets is, “You’d have to be crazy!” It’s not a completely unreasonable response; biking in Los Angeles can be very unforgiving, and Angelenos face a steep learning curve to figure out safe and comfortable routes, rules of the road and basic biking skills during rush-hour traffic. That’s exactly the problem that saw the founding of, L.A. Bike Trains, a volunteer-run method of communal commuting (think carpooling, but with bikes). Run by experienced bicycle commuters called “Conductors,” L.A. Bike Trains offers a way to empower neighbors to consider biking as a fun and safe way of getting to work or school. Conductors ride on tried and true routes, guide the rides at an easy and comfortable pace, and are on hand to help with any problems – such as a flat tire – that could come up along the way.

  
One of the group’s first routes, Route 008, is operated out of West Adams Avenues. The group ride departs from Benny H. Potter Memorial Park at 8:00 a.m. and the last stop is the Media Arts Park in Downtown Culver City at about 8:30-8:40 a.m. Despite the easy pace, biking with the group is probably faster than taking the Freeway, and certainly offers a lot less stress.

  
As a new organization, L.A. Bike Trains is constantly expanding and opening new routes. But unlike the ongoing construction of the Expo Line, new Bike Train routes are “constructed” relatively quickly based on feedback on the group’s website. If you are interested but not served by a current route, be sure to submit a request online.

   
For West Adams Avenues, a neighborhood that lacks walking-distance coffee shops, providing morning coffee to commuters and residents alike is a welcome addition. But the big payoff is to those that take the opportunity to leave behind their cars and frustration of morning traffic in favor of a bit of exercise on a beautiful Los Angeles morning.

   
Michael MacDonald is an architect and longtime resident of Kinney Heights, and is the conductor of L.A. Bike Trains Route 008 from West Adams Avenues to Downtown Culver City.


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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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