Battle: Los Angeles, On My Electric-Assisted Bike

LA bikers cruise the Venice Beach boardwalk. Photos/

There are few ideas less believable than commuting to work in Los Angeles on a bicycle. Mention it to your family or coworkers and many respond with wrinkled brows, curled lips, dismissive guffaws, and sometimes even an expletive or two.

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Daily Commute: Life on the Metro Gold Line

Metro Gold Line at the Mission Station

CLICK IMAGE TO ANIMATE. The Metro Gold Line whizzes across Mission Street in South Pasadena on its way north from downtown Los Angeles.

Welcome to the life of an LA Metro Gold Line commuter. The light rail train you see here zooming across Mission Street in South Pasadena (CLICK IMAGE TO ANIMATE) is the trusty mode of transport that I ride each day to and from work. Every seven minutes during peak hours (and less frequently on weekends)  the Gold Line moves hundreds of commuters, kids, old folk, and homeless day drifters from the San Gabriel suburbs to downtown Los Angeles.

I’ve explored subway systems and trains in most of the major cities around the U.S. and I have to say LA’s Metro ranks up there with the best of them. Yet still, it’s public transportation. And that means it never goes exactly where you want to go without transferring or hoofing it.

My routine goes like this: Walk to station – 3 min. Gold line to Little Tokyo- 20 min. Walk to bus stop – 4 min. Dash A bus to a block away from office – 11 min. Walk to desk – 4 min. That adds up to a 41 min. commute, at best.

Which leads to the question I ponder most morning and afternoons as I make my way to and from the office: Wouldn’t it be more convenient to just drive? Don’t answer that…