“Brooklyn with Highlights” (Forth Magazine)

A personal essay by Amanda Montell

There are zero cars on Wilshire Boulevard today. Between Johnie’s Coffee Shop at Fairfax and the end of the road Downtown, the normally swarming thoroughfare lacks in automobiles entirely. It is 2014, Los Angeles, and this never happens.

But this is not the apocalypse. In fact, Wilshire is more crowded than I’ve ever seen it. In place of the beamers and hybrids whirring hostilely by the thousands, the street is ridden, sidewalk-to-sidewalk, with bicycles. A stampede of two-wheelers, manned by cyclists of all sorts. Families in five-packs on mountain bikes; UCLA kids on pastel beach cruisers; silver-haired women on single speeds, pedaling puppies in wicker sidecars. I’m on a black Dutch style with a basket in front. Purchased three months ago, after my move from New York to LA. It’s been virtually unused since, and we’ve been itching for a spin.

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