During Bike Week LA, we collected nominations for the Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s annual competition for great stories about bicycling. We’re featuring these stories in a weekly Why You Ride series – because for many Angelenos, every week is Bike Week!
Breeanna Taylor bikes 12 miles down the Imperial Highway to get to work.
Name: Breeanna Taylor
End: La Habra
Distance: 12 miles (one way)
Time: 90 minutes (one way)
She gives us her tips on bicycling to work and tells us about handling “steep hills and scary car situations” in an interview after the jump.
Why do you take Imperial Highway?
“Imperial is the fastest way to my work. I’ve tried to map out an easier way to get to my job so many times. I know the streets of La Mirada and La Habra better than [the streets of] the city I live in!”
Why did you start bicycling to work?
“I wanted a healthy, green, and cost-free way of getting to work. I don’t like to drive, I don’t like waiting on the bus and my work is way beyond walking distance – so bicycling was the only way to go for me, and I enjoy every second of it.”
What has kept you riding for the last one and a half years?
“What keeps me riding when the commute is so long and full of traffic is just thinking that I got to get to work on time, I’m helping better off my body and the planet, and really just the excitement of riding your bicycle on such a long trip. You never know what you’re going to encounter.”
Have you had any memorable experiences while biking to work?
“I was [going] north down a small hill coming from work and preparing to stop at the red light ahead of me, and just as I applied my front brakes, the cable snapped, which made my front brakes fall apart. So I’m heading fast towards a red light with only faded back brakes and I was just grateful to God that I was able to think fast and had an option of turning east on the upcoming four-way street with no cars going east at that moment. I kept heading down that street until my bike finally stopped. Anytime I make it to my destination safely on my bike is a good experience to me.”
Do you ride outside of your commute?
“I ride my bike everywhere: to run errands, visit family and friends, work. So my bike means a lot to me. I do want to try riding competitively since I ride my bicycle so much and enjoy it so much.”
Breeanna’s bicycling tips:
- She rides a 12-speed mountain bike – the gears help her climb the hills in her neighborhood.
- Whenever possible, she bikes on roads that have wide lanes and less car traffic. She uses Google Maps’ “bicycle” feature to plan her commute.
- She wears sunglasses to keep dirt, debris, and sun out of her eyes. She said, “My glasses really help keep me focused.”
- Her flexible work schedule allows her to take a break from commuting once or twice during the week.
- She highly recommends taking a ride along the San Gabriel River Trail, her favorite bicycle path in LA. “It’s very peaceful and scenic.”
Thanks Breeanna for being a bicycling inspiration! With help from our generous Bike Week sponsors, we’ve sent you a Nathan safety vest, RydeSafe reflective decals, Clif Bars, and a free year of bicycle roadside assistance from Better World Club.