As we are a Boston based company, I’d like to kick this post off by saying “GO CELTICS!” We, as a folding bike company, always enjoy a little healthy competition and thought we’d take this rivalry one step further – from basketball to cycling – we’re here to compare which is better: Boston or Los Angeles. Let the games begin!
The battle between East Coast and West Coast is a classic American rivalry that exceeds the realm of basketball. Which is the better side? Is one good while the other evil? Why? Let us know what you think.
In cycling as in all sports, there are rivalries, arguments, and passionate participants to fuel the fire of competition. The east and west coast (Boston and Los Angeles in particular, here) present two very different sides of the spectrum in the cycling world. Is one better than the other? Well, we certainly think so, but we’re a little biased.
Los Angeles Cycling
Considering the size of Metro LA in comparison to Metro Boston, the number of bike routes and paths are surprisingly minimal. According to the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, massive hesitation from LA’s Department of Transportation for the past six years has finally subsided and new “sharrows” will soon appear on many Los Angeles roades by the end of June. LA seems to be one of the last major Metropolitan areas to jump on the sharrows band wagon. “Sharrows are used to show motorists that cyclists may “take the lane” and it helps show cyclists good lane positioning, especially where lanes are too narrow to share safely. In San Francisco, which studied design and placement of sharrows in 2004, sharrows were shown to improve lane positioning of cyclists and improved passing distance by motorists,” according to Commutebybike.com
“One day, I found myself biking down an empty little access road next to the notorious 405 freeway during the evening commute. The freeway, as usual, was paralyzed, and I noticed I was actually moving faster than the cars. That’s when the revelation hit: Over the past few months, I had discovered a different Los Angeles,” say Andy Bowers of Slate.com.
Los Angeles is notorious for its dead-stopped traffic and smog produced by all the cars. “…Los Angeles is an almost pathologically bike-unfriendly city. It has pathetically few marked bike lanes, and those it has often peter out for no reason and at the worst possible place. Its drivers go ballistic when a cyclist slows them down, even for a few seconds,” continues Andy. Andy Bowers has the right idea, though. He enjoys L.A.’s empty back roads and neighborhoods from atop his bike saddle and soaks up the beautiful weather (year round, too! L.A. definitely beats Boston in that category!)
Download Boston Bike Map
Grab a Guinness and celebrate – in this debate at least, Boston is the clear leader. (Finger’s crossed for the same outcome in the NBA Playoffs!) Recently featured as one of the Top 50 U.S. Biking Cities, Boston had previously been struggling to find its place in the cycling world.
While Los Angeles has the leg up on Boston in year-round cycling weather, thanks to Mayor Menino’s passionate campaign for the equal treatment of bikes in Boston, local cyclists enjoy miles of new bike lanes, sharrows, safety regulations, and parking all around the city. At Mayor Menino’s Bike Safety Summit in Morse Auditorium at Boston University (Go Terriers!), the Mayor announced that “the car is no longer King is Boston…We should have a shared, common respect for everyone who uses Boston’s roads . . . we all have the right to safe passage through our city streets,” continued Menino.
So while the East Coast – West Coast debate will continue on everything from cycling to basketball, we think it’s safe to say that in the cycling debate, Boston takes the title.
Hey, Matt Damon gets it….
No Matter Where You Ride
If commuting is part of your daily routine, then no matter where you are, a folding bike could be the perfect ride to complement your car and help you integrate cycling into your daily commute. Lots of Montague bike owners (including several of us in the office here) put their bike in the car trunk, drive part way and then ride their bike the rest of the way to work. Contact us if you have questions on how to make this work for your situation.
Rivalry or not, Cyclists share a common passion
There are passionate cyclists from both the east and west coast, everywhere in between and around the world. Whether you ride a folding, road, tri, fixie, townie, cruiser, mountain, unicycle, recumbent, e-bike or handcycle, cycling advocacy is an area that all cyclists can rally around. There are encouraging programs such as Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood’s new policy, which states that “walking and biking should not be an afterthought in roadway design” and will require states and municipalities competing for federal highway funds to include “equal access” for pedestrians and bicyclists. However, let’s use our friendly competition to go beyond policy and raise the overall level of cycling advocacy activity, no matter where you ride.
Ride Safe and GO CELTICS!