There’s a lot you miss behind the wheel of a car. With driving, there’s no sunshine on your face, wind in your hair, an opportunity for exercise, and avoiding traffic and the hassle of finding a parking spot. Life is better on a bike. Just ask Nate Woiwode, the supervisor at the UCLA Bike Shop.
“I bicycle commute to UCLA from Venice, and it turns a mundane and frustrating drive into a fun and wonder-filled ride. It takes the same amount of time to bicycle commute as it would to be stuck on the 405 freeway,” he said.
Nate explains it's generally faster, always cheaper, and more fun riding his bike to work instead of driving, with the by-product of exercise also wonderful.
His shortest route is eight miles, but Nate often extends the ride to explore different neighborhoods in Santa Monica or wander around West LA.
"Cycling in Los Angeles has shown me amazing corners of the city I would never have encountered if I had been around using a car. It's introduced me to an incredibly rich, inclusive, and diverse community," he said.
There’s also the environment to consider.
“Simply put, our planet needs bikes. The carbon footprint discussion is a no-brainer,” said Nate.
New Bruins, take note: Nate, a resident of Los Angeles only since 2021, feels nothing truly introduces you to the city like riding a bicycle around it. He's also here on campus at the bike shop to be a resource to all Bruins when it comes to getting to campus and getting around L.A. by bicycle.
“I’ve discovered so many amazing things and places around L.A. that I simply would have missed from inside an automobile. People are always shocked at how intimately I know the area,” said Nate.
“Cycling is also how I've been introduced to new friends here in Los Angeles and how I know so many of my oldest dearest friends.”
One of those friends who sometimes comes along for the ride is Nate’s 15-year-old poodle Ladybird, who goes in his backpack.
“She’s been riding with me forever and still loves the wind and sun in her old age,” he said.
Get rolling and pledge online now to ride a bike or try another sustainable commute option during October for a chance to win prizes, including Target gift cards and UCLA Football tickets.