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How To Bike Commute Safely in Los Angeles

Updated On: May 2, 2023

When people think of commuting to work, they don't often think of LA. Only about 1% of LA residents bike to work, but does that mean it's impossible or unsafe?

Is It Safe to Ride a Bike in LA?

According to Bicycling Magazine, LA is one of the worst bike cities in America. The California infrastructure does not seem to address the growing congestion on streets and sidewalks, resulting in more risks for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

Still, as with any busy metropolis, there are risks to commuting. The primary concern is that cyclists take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others. Therefore, if you choose to bike in LA:

  • Obey traffic laws
  • Use designated bike lanes
  • Wear protective equipment
  • Use caution when cycling on pedestrian walkways

Can You Commute on a Bike in LA?

You can commute by bike in LA, but most people use cars. If you choose to commute by bike, look for routes that use bike paths and lanes, and opt for low-traffic areas.

According to reports, LA has more than 700 miles of bikeways, which were established after 2010. Still, you should expect to travel some typical roadways to commute to work.

What To Look Out for While Biking to Work in LA?

As with any cycling commute, you want to watch for pedestrians, bicycles, vehicles, pets, etc., while biking to work. In LA, cyclists can ride on sidewalks, which removes some danger from traffic. However, the city does have heavy pedestrian traffic in specific areas, requiring extra care.

It is best to stick to bike lanes and bike paths whenever available. Designated trails provide the most protection from other commuters and bystanders. If you must leave a trail, it is best to ride slowly with an abundance of caution.

Are Electric Bikes Good for Commuting in LA?

Any person 16 or older can ride an ebike in LA. You do not need a license or insurance, and ebikes are usually permitted everywhere a standard bike is.

Because ebikes require less exertion from the rider, they can be effective commuting devices. They do not require gasoline and allow for more maneuverability in heavy-traffic situations.

Safety Tips for Biking Through Busy Traffic

If you choose to commute by bike in LA, you will probably deal with heavy or busy traffic from time to time. You should follow several safety tips to ensure your safety, including:

  • Bike with the flow of traffic, not against it
  • Obey traffic laws (stop at stop signs and red lights)
  • Wear bright clothing
  • Use lights and reflectors to increase visibility

Choosing the Best Commuter Bike

Commuter bikes come in various styles. The ideal commuter bike for you might not be what a friend or coworker chooses. For example, maybe you are most comfortable on a mountain bike whereas your friend prefers a traditional road bike.

When selecting an electric commuter bike, the main things to consider are comfort and range. You can find beach-style cruisers with a more upright position or mountain bike frames for a more streamlined riding experience. Most ebikes can handle a range between 20 to 80 miles or more, depending on the bike classification and motor size.

LA Bike & E-Bike Laws

Before buying or riding an e-bike or regular bicycle on the streets and sidewalks of LA, you should check with local law enforcement about any existing regulations or restrictions. Currently, no one under the age of 16 can legally ride an electric bike in LA. For anyone over 16, the laws typically permit riding anywhere traditional bikes are allowed. You will need to check local mandates to be sure of the most current bike laws.

Are you ready to explore electric biking options in LA? Contact a local e-bike supplier for more information.


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