One of the most gratifying developments in LA lately has been the growth in bike-friendly businesses, that is, businesses that make some overt effort to welcome cyclists to their doors. After all, it’s hard to use your bike for practical daily-life travel if you can’t park it by the shops, stores, or service providers you need to frequent…or of course your workplace!
This was my “parking spot” in the last place where I had a day job…a cubicle-turned-storeroom/studio, always cluttered and unaccommodating…and I was lucky to have that! Customers were welcome to lock up to a parking meter outside…where irritable drivers would often kick bikes that blocked their access to the coin slot.
Things are slowly but steadily getting better, so I wanted to laud some businesses in the vicinity of the Mighty Pigeon that make it a point to make it easier for cyclists to visit them. (That this is a cheap and easy way of getting more business is all to the good–keep the money flowing locally!)
Here, in no particular order, is a decidedly incomplete list:
Café de Leche
5000 York Blvd.
Personal friends of Flying Pigeon and sponsors of what will be LA’s first public bike corral if our foot-dragging LADOT ever gets around to putting it in. Their support was vital in convincing the City Council to approve the corral. Meanwhile, there are four standard bike racks in place, and a Flying Pigeon hanging on the wall..not to mention excellent coffee, ambience, and service.
Good Girl Dinette
110 N. Avenue 56
Vietnamese-American fusion diner food, beautifully done and served in a comfortable, casual atmosphere. A whole row of bike racks right in front of the giant picture window makes it easy to keep an eye on your ride without distracting yourself from the excellent eats. And they were supremely understanding when thirty hungry cyclists showed up recently after an FP night ride.
1006 Mission Street (South Pasadena)
Not too far from the Pigeon despite being over the York Blvd. bridge, Buster’s features ice cream, coffee, pastries, and sandwiches, with the best items being made inhouse. No racks, but plenty of room to lean a bike and lock it up if you want to. Hordes of cyclists of all types drop in, and the staff makes you feel right at home. (They do ask that you don’t wear cleats inside.) It was there I was given the bike-themed rosette in my cuppa…it was a shame to drink it down!
Okay, these are just the ones I’ve been to myself. Let’s hear from you in the comments now: what places have you found to be particularly bike-friendly businesses within a half-hour’s riding distance of Flying Pigeon Central? Bike racks, discounts for cyclists, bike-riding staff, or just a friendly and understanding attitude all count. So long as you feel comfortable riding there. Let’s support the folks who support the urban cyclist!