UCLA’s Great Bike-U-Mentary Focuses on Two Familar Faces and Their Commutes

Yesterday, UCLA Transportation released a Bike-U-Mentary highlighting two very different bike commutes to UCLA in Westwood.  Director Brent Pantell follows Mihai Peteu and Herbie Huff from wake up to their arrival on campus after traveling through the city on two pedal-powered wheels.  If those names seem familiar, they should.  Peteu is heavily involved with the Bike Working Group and will be speaking at the Bikeside Speaks events this weekend.  Huff is both an avowed Shoupista and a rising star in the bike advocacy community in her own right.

But the film isn’t about advocacy, it’s about their commute.  In a non-preachy way it shows how easy it is to be a bicycle commuter.  Neither rides because they have to, Peteu’s introduction to biking in L.A. was actually looking for a car and Huff owns a car that she "almost never uses."  But the film deals with the "people that ride bikes can’t afford cars" argument subtly, as the film does with a lot of the "anti-bike" arguments you’ll hear from car-culture warriors.

But my favorite part of the film is at the end.  Huff and Peteu pull up to the same intersection, exchange a quick greeting and bike into campus.  It’s a quick nod to the inclusiveness of the "bike scene" in Los Angeles and throughout the world…and a nice way to end an enjoyable and easy-to-watch documentary about something as simple as biking to work.

  • Hanging out with Herbie and Mihai is so inspirational. They’re both passionate and laid back. I’ve started bike commuting again because of them (although I still alternate between biking, the bus, and my awesome Xootr Scooter).

    There were a lot of advocacy issues we could have brought up (um, Herbie’s bike got a flat tire along the way), but for our first film, we wanted to stick to conveying the positive aspects of cycling – of which there are many!

    Please check it out – AND, more importantly, share the film with your friends (particularly those like me – on the cusp of riding, but just need a little kick in the rear to get back on a bike.)

  • The commute to work can be chill on most days, with the occasional incident sprinkled in every so often. We all have our fast routes and the more relaxed way to get somewhere. I think this video does a good job juxtaposing the feeling you get when you get around by bike rather than car or bus. Only averaging 12-18mph, but hey, we’re always moving!

  • Brent

    @Mihai – “Only averaging 12-18mph, but hey, we’re always moving!”

    My car’s computer tells me I average around 15 MPH (stop lights included) on most trips within the city during the day.

  • I love that LACMA (where I work and bike to daily) was featured as well! Hah! I also love that Herbie was taking the whole lane on that stretch on Wilshire. It’s such a narrow lane and I see some cyclists unwisely try to scoot so far to the right.

    PS I think speed in the city depends on the route. When I take major roads, I can hold at upwards of 17mph the whole ride. It’s when I have to take collector streets that I slow down because of so many stop signs. Regardless of speed, bicycling is not as slow as people think. When I used to drive to work it took 30 minutes. Cycling takes 20 or less plus I don’t have to work out if I don’t want to. How’s that for a time saver?

    Great video!

  • The film inspired me to bike to work today.

  • “My car’s computer tells me I average around 15 MPH (stop lights included) on most trips within the city during the day.”

    It’s really cool idea. I think you have to think about your car computer. hehh…

  • Silverlake to the Beach in 45 minutes. Try that in a car. On a good day you might beat me by 5 or 10 minutes until you factor in parking time.

  • biking to everything & everywhere for life!


The Streetsies (Now Interactive!): Best of the Web

Every year between Christmas and New Years, Streetsblog celebrates the year that was by handing out our Streetsie awards celebrating the best, and remembering the worst, of the  year that was.  This year, we’re going to have a few fewer awards than last year, but also a chance for you to give out your own […]

Streetfilms Praises Orange Line BRT and Bike Path

While in town last month, Streetfilms took its second look at Los Angeles’ Orange Line as a model for BRT’s around the country.  In his summary of the above Streetfilm, Clarence Eckerson doesn’t hold back his praise for the Orange Line calling it "one of the best Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in the U.S" […]

Livable Streets People of the Year

This is both my favorite and least favorite column to write.  On one hand, it’s amazing to reflect on all of the people that make up the movement that will change Los Angeles.  On the other hand, trying to decide a “person of the year” from all of those same people is kind of difficult.  […]