The new *Cool* for Eastside kids?

Yes, I ride a track bike. I have for 3 years now. I’d rather have a nice ten-speed these days but I don’t have the money for that kind of purchase right now.

But interestingly enough I have noticed a surge in “fixed-gear” bicycles (and bicycles in general) in the Eastside in general; and being that I live in El Sereno & work in Lincoln Heights, my perceptions arise from these neighborhoods. I have been a bicycle-commuter (& bus commuter) to get to work & school pretty steadily for almost 5 years now. As a young kid I used to get around by bicycle & bus too, but typcial of Los Angeles kids, I started driving as soon as could! Once I grew tired of driving and became aware of the social, environmental, health repurcussions due to car culture I sought to abandon it (though I am no anti-car evangelical!).

At work (a local high scool), I would often be asked why I did not drive a car; most students would see me walk onto the campus with my bicycle. I would say the usual environmental, social, political, and economic reasons: still most 16 years old are baffled when an adult doesn’t drive. I get the same response when I tell them I don’t have a TV at home. For them a car is equated with freedom of movement: anyone that has driven in Los Angeles for a few years knows that this myth slowly erodes…

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