Los Angeles, CA – Safety is a big concern for the everyday commuter. Bicycle advocates across the country spend countless hours fighting for legislation and city planning, among many other things, that will improve the safety of riding bicycles. One such advocate is 40 year old Los Angeles attorney Ross Hirsch.
Bicycles have been a staple in Ross’ life since a young age. As a preteen, Ross and his friends would bike to school, to each others” houses and on their paper routes. They explored the inner and outer confines of their neighborhoods. As Ross puts it, they “took advantage of the freedom that two wheels can give on those lazy afternoons after school. The love and respect I have for bikes and my personal view of the bike as a wonderful mode of transportation (among so many other things) clearly has its roots in my childhood.”
Ross is a daily commuter during his work week at Castellon & Funderburk LLP. He rides the 13 miles year round. Los Angeles doesn’t have the most extreme weather changes, but Ross combats the summer heat by riding a “bit slower to avoid being overheated and drenched by the time he gets to the office.” His chilly winter rides are no match for a couple of layers of wool and fenders take the bite out of the occasional rain storms.
Ross has always avoided driving. He says, “the environmental, economic, and health costs never made sense to me.” Shortly after landing his first job as an attorney, Ross started looking into how he could commute to a suit and tie job. The answer was packing up a couple of panniers and pedaling to work! Ross has the program dialed in now. “Now, I’ve got a few weeks-worth of office clothes hanging on the back of my office door, a few pairs of shoes, and a desk drawer-full of underwear that I change into after I get in.”
According to Ross, the toughest part about commuting by bike is getting into the routine. He says it takes a little planning to find a good route, an appropriate bike, a way to transport your clothing, and storage for your bike and gear. Once you have that set, it isn’t difficult at all.
While Ross has been a life-long cyclist, it was only a few years back that he discovered the world of bicycle advocacy. He wanted “safer roads and smoother roads, cars to pass him at a safe distance, and his kids to be able to bike safely to and from school and everywhere, as they grow up.” He regularly represents and advises cyclists on what to do after a crash or a bike-related citation. He testifies at LA City Council meetings when key bike issues/bike legislation are on the agenda, and volunteers for the LA County Bike Coalition, working on a number of its committees. Ross started FAB (Families and Bikes) with a few other “biking dads” to show families that they can ride together and have a great time.
It’s always refreshing to see someone so passionate about cycling and passionate about getting others on bikes. Ross is a prime example of that someone.