Bicycle Kitchen

Things to do, Schools and universities East Hollywood

Despite aggressive drivers, wormhole storm-drains and a lack of proper bike lanes, traversing the city by bike can be quite simple and fairly enjoyable. "Simple and enjoyable" also seems to be the credo at the Bicycle Kitchen, a volunteer-run organization that offers neophytes courses on bike repair, as well as tools and stands for those who already have the know-how. It's at the heart of LA bike culture and is a great place to meet like-minded riders. Tip: If you're a lady who's a little intimdated by the whole scene, check out "Bicycle Bitchin" night, on which only female riders and "cooks" (as the mechanics are called here) are allowed in the shop.


Venue name: Bicycle Kitchen
Address: 4429 Fountain Ave
Los Angeles

Opening hours: Mon 12pm - 5pm and "Bicycle Bitchen" (ladies & transgendered only) 6:30pm - 9:30pm; Tues - Thurs 6:30pm - 9:30pm; Sat 12pm - 4pm; Sun 2pm to 6pm
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3 / 5

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A great place if you're looking to learn about bicycle mechanics and you've either got a beat-up fixer upper already or you're looking to build one.  A chill, casual space (desperately in need of more fans for air ventilation), there are knowledgeable "cooks" on hand to help you learn how to repair your various bicycle issues.  Come with a good attitude and willingness to learn and ask questions, and they'll be happy to help.

That said,if you have a newer bike that's in relatively good condition--this place just may give you more problems.  Hours are erratic--you may be told on a Monday that they're open that Wednesday, but you may show up to find the place closed (they advise to always call the night you're thinking of going).  If you show up and they're closed, you may find an apprentice (someone training to be a cook) happy to help--but they may not actually make your bike any better (it might be worse).  When you return to get it fixed by a cook, you may learn A LOT about how to tweak things on your bike, but at the end of 2.5 hours of tweaking and instruction, your bicycle may now have a new issue (brake cable no longer adjusted properly so when you brake you have to jam the handlebrake all the way down versus being able to gradually put pressure on it) that the experienced cook doesn't actually know how to fix.

All in all, an excellent space to play around and learn, but at the end of the time you've spent there (and however much you choose to donate as they're a non-profit--they suggest $7 an hour--for using the space and expertise), you might have to be prepared to take it to your trusted bike mechanic anyways for repairs.