Myth-busting: Bike Commuting Edition

UCLA Transportation, of the House Bruin, supporter of sustainable transportation, pedestrian protector and now breaker of bike commuting myths. Here are seven myths about bicycling to work and why they shouldn’t keep Bruins out of the bike saddle.

Myth #1: It’s not safe

Every way of commuting comes with some risk. As bicycling grows in popularity, so does awareness of bicycles on the road. Dedicated bike lanes are popping up all over the place, and on campus, we’re continually adding bike infrastructure.

Be safe by keeping your bike maintained, stay aware at all times, follow the rules of the road, know your route well and wear a helmet and use lights and reflectors. Want to make riding even safer? Create a bike train with fellow riders.

Myth #2: You need a certain bike

You do not need to own a bike. Bike share systems are all over So Cal, including Bruin Bike Share, part of the Bike Share Connect network that gives users access to the systems in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. There’s also Metro Bike Share and JUMP dockless electric bikes.

If you prefer your own set of two wheels, visit Helens’ Cycles here in Westwood. There’s no need for a special or expensive bicycle, just something reliable you are comfortable riding.

Myth #3: It’s all or nothing

You can ride every day, a few times a week or just once in a while — there will still be an impact on your health and the environment. If you live far from campus, take public transit part of the way. UCLA offers discounted passes for multiple bus and rail lines including LA Metro, Culver CityBus, and more.

Myth #4: You need special clothes

If UCLA Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck can ride to work in a suit, you can make it in professional attire too!

Myth #5: You won’t be able to carry everything you need

Accessorize your bike with a basket and rear rack, add a backpack, messenger bag, or other carryall and you can easily transport all your stuff.

Myth #6: You’ll get sweaty

Bike commuting qualifies employees for the Bruin Commuter Club, which offers bicyclists the benefit of a Commuter Passport, granting access to showers at UCLA Recreation’s Student Activities Center.

Myth #7: It’s faster to drive

In densely populated cities like L.A., there’s a good chance you’ll get to work quicker on a bike. Only cars get stuck in rush-hour traffic. Especially during peak travel times, it can be faster to cruise to campus by bicycle. And you don't have to worry about parking!

Ready to start riding? Check out Bicycling at UCLA for more resources.