The Rise of Bike Trains

Los Angeles group wants to ride to work with you

bike commute

A bike commuter waits for traffic.     Photo: Gary Mark Smith/Wikimedia

In Los Angeles, pedestrians and bicyclists account for about a third of all traffic fatalities, nearly triple the national average, according to the Los Angeles Times. And a new grassroots project believes there's safety in numbers for bicycle-riding residents.

Called L.A. Bike Trains, this organization encourages bicycle commuters to ride in groups. Instead of riding alone to work, an experienced cyclist, called a "conductor," will meet you at your door and ride with you to work and back. The average pack is about five people; the largest grow up to ten.

According to L.A. Bike Trains' website: "By riding together in a pack, you get safety in numbers and contribute to making drivers aware that cyclists are on the roads."

As many as a dozen volunteer conductors escort residents as much as 20 miles per trip each way on their bikes. Barbara Insua, who commutes seven miles from her home in Pasadena to NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab told NPR that she only started riding a few months ago.

"He came and picked me up from my house," Insua told NPR. "[He] went out of his way to get me to bike for two or three weeks. Then I was conditioned. Then I was brainwashed."

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