My name is Steve Herbert and I’m the Chief Engineer at KCRW. For the past year I’ve become a low level bicycle commuter activist, encouraging my friends and co-workers to consider cycling as a method of commuting. I’ve been riding to work for the past 3 years, originally as a way to sneak in some bike time while training for triathlons after being brought into the sport by KCRW volunteer Tim Bomba; but
that’s another story.
What I didn’t expect to happen is I actually prefer to ride my bike the 6 miles it is from Santa Monica to my home on the westside of LA.
ME, the person who the day he turned 16 had his mother take him to the DMV to get his drivers license.
ME, the person who drove everywhere and have owned as many as five cars simultaneously.
ME, who when I later had a home out in Cerritos I used two cars & the Greenline to commute.
Car one was to drive the three miles to the Norwalk Greenline station. Car two was to drive from the Aviation station to KCRW. But in the 32 years since I received my drivers license the westside has grown more crowded, the streets are at capacity and it only takes one medium size freeway incident, or one presidential visit to cause the spill over onto the streets to cause gridlock. On a bad day it can take 50 minutes to go the 6 miles home by car. In the same traffic conditions of I can be home in under 30 minutes on the bike.
There’s something else though.There’s the interaction with the environment, the neighborhoods and the folks out walking or jogging you don’t get when you are in your car. I probably say good morning to more than a half dozen people crossing streets or to others riding as I make my trek. I was born in Santa Monica, raised here on the westside and yet there are so many streets I never encountered here prior to commuting by bike.
May is bike month across the country. Next week is Bike Week in LA County. May 19th is bike to work day and between now and then Kajon is letting me share with you some encouragement and things that may get you to consider getting out there and giving it a shot.
Here’s a quick 60 seconds from Ernie Lehman, who logs over 5000 miles per year commuting by bike, and you might not guess what he is going to say…