So you finally purchased the women’s cruiser bike of your dreams and are headed down one of Los Angeles’ beautiful bike paths. Do you know and understand the rules of biking in LA? If not, take a moment to learn about the correct way to ride in the City of Angels.
Before you start to ride, check LA’s rules for the safety equipment all bikes are required to have. Failure to equip your bike properly is not only dangerous, it can result in fines or citations. According to the law in LA, bikes must have the following:
- A brake that allows for a wheelskid on dry, level, clean pavement
- A permanent, regular seat
- Yellow or white pedal reflectors and a red rear reflector
- Handlebars that are not higher than the operator’s shoulders
- A white or yellow reflector on the front that is visible from the side
- A red reflector on the back that is visible from the side
If you plan on riding your bike at night, it must also have a white headlight. Alternatively, the rider can be wearing a white light that is visible from the front.
In addition, bicyclists may not wear earbuds in both ears or headphones that cover both ears. Riders under the age of 18 must wear an approved helmet, whether they are a passenger or the operator of the bike.
A beautiful beach cruiser bike or trail bike can be a real temptation to bike thieves. Keep your bike locked up tightly to protect your investment. There is no such thing as a steal-proof bike lock. Any lock can be broken eventually. The object of the lock is to buy you time. The longer it takes the thieves to break the lock, the less likely they are to steal your bike.
There are four basic types of bike locks. Consider your options and choose the one that will offer your bike the most protection for your situation.
- Chain locks. These have been around for a long time, and they’ve only gotten better. A strong chain that is at least 12mm thick will delay any would-be thieves the longest.
- U-locks. These have the advantage of being the easiest to toss into a backpack or messenger bag. Be sure to use the U-lock on the wheel, not the top tube.
- Cable locks. Lightweight and easy to carry, these are fairly easy to cut with bolt cutters, so they aren’t the best choice for most situations.
- Folding locks. Another good lock to toss into a backpack, these locks are strong and designed to withstand cutting.
Remember, your bike lock is only as good as the pole you’ve attached it to. So when you’re trying to secure that electric fat tire beach cruiser, make sure the pole you’ve chosen is solidly in the ground and can’t just be lifted right out. Also beware of scaffolding as it comes apart quickly.
Do your research and invest in a quality bike lock to protect your fabulous set of wheels.