Celebrate L.A.’s New Bike Plan In Style

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It’s been a big week for bicycle advocates in Los Angeles. First, the City Council announced a new bike plan designed to make pedaling around the city safer and easier. The new plan calls for 1,680 miles of interconnected bikeways in the next five years, helping Angelenos to overcome their auto dependence. Another encouraging sign is the great turnout this past weekend at GOOD magazine’s fundraiser for CicLAvia, a now semi-annual event that shuts down city streets to cars and opens them to pedestrians and bikes. With the next one on April 10th, that leaves just a month to find a stylish cycling option.

While most bikes today are made overseas, there is one artisan in L.A. making hand-crafted, individual frames, Gregory Townsend. Each of his bikes are made to measure according to the customer’s specs. These don’t come cheap, starting at $2,300 for road bikes and $2,200 for track/fixed frames, but if Portland’s renewed interest in handmade, custom bikes is any indication, there may soon be a larger market for these bikes here in L.A.

Or maybe you want something with a little history. Coco’s Variety Store located in Silver Lake specializes in fixers. While the store also sells brand new Linus bikes, it trades mostly in refurbished used bikes. Coco’s has a reputation for selling them at fair market prices, and the advantage over Craigslist is the ability to try them out and choose from the always-changing selection.

Or maybe you’re both lazy AND a big Lakers fan. Then this Laker-themed electric bike from Pedego might be a suitable choice. This model features a 36 volt propulsion system that includes a lithium battery, a proprietary electromagnetic motor and a heavy duty controller.

Or maybe you just want a workhorse—something functional without a lot of bells and whistles. A good choice might be a Flying Pigeon, sold at (where else?) Flying Pigeon LA. Just $200 and in continuous production since the 1950’s, the Flying Pigeon is a single-speed roadster that comes in just one color: black. Owner Joseph Bray-Ali is incredibly knowledgable and helpful, and leads great dim sum rides from the shop in Highland Park to Chinatown or San Gabriel. He even rents bikes for the ride for just $10.

Of course, you’ll need a helmet too (safety first!). My current favorites are the bold and bright helmets from Nutcase. If only the padding on this cheeky watermelon helmet was pink.

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