By Talya Adams
I’ve often regarded Koreatown, LA as a headache. There’s usually traffic, bad decision making at play, confusing parking limitations, and general adrenaline spiking vibes all around. However, recently I’ve started to look at Koreatown with a slight affection as a motorcyclist. So much so that I think Koreatown might actually be a biker’s best friend.
You’re probably thinking I’ve gone off the deep end, but give me a moment to plead my case. I might just open your eyes to a new way of viewing one of the most avoided neighborhoods in all of Los Angeles.
I’ve been navigating Koreatown as a motorcyclist for over five years now, and I pretty much have the neighborhood mapped out in my mind. I could probably tell which road has the most potholes, which street has the most reckless and temperamental drivers, and various short cuts which are less traveled.
Basically, if you view Koreatown as a motorcyclist training ground, you’ll approach it differently. Heck, you may even start to have fun while riding through the obstacle course of a neighborhood. For example, I often get to work on my slow speed counter steering skills, lane splitting in congested traffic, and intersection tactics. All this while watching out and avoiding potholes and road erosion.
I also noticed my prediction skills sharpened from my time spent in Koreatown. I’m always thinking of worse case scenarios while driving through the neighborhood. This has served me tremendously as my anticipation helps me avoid possible collisions. This is especially true for cars preparing to turn into oncoming traffic, or at intersections when cars are preparing to turn left. I always prepare myself for the possibility they might do just that, and if I see them even flinch I’m honking my horn and making sure I have a well-planned escape route.
My eyes are constantly roaming, searching out scenarios which might put me in bad positions. I’m always reading driver mannerisms as well. A lot of times drivers are multitasking in their cars, which might cause them to swerve, drift right, or the driver in front or behind me might be a tailgater; either way I’m prepared to deal with a variety of drivers.
I don’t think I would be half the rider I am today without the help of the sweet chaos of Koreatown. Does a good friend want to push you to be better? Does a good friend prepare you to defend yourself? Does a good friend challenge you? So, I ask you, is it possible for Koreatown to be a biker’s best friend?
Stay safe in these streets!