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Here's How LeBron James Could Bike To Work In LA (But Will He?)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here in Los Angeles, sports fans are eagerly awaiting the regular season debut of LeBron James. He is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. And he made a courtside appearance with his new team over the weekend.

(CHEERING)

GREENE: All right. While there are some LeBron haters here in LA, a lot of fans love LeBron the basketball player, but it is not clear how friendly the city of Los Angeles is going to be to LeBron the bicyclist.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Yeah. Back in 2012, Yahoo published a picture of LeBron biking to a home game, and that was when he played for the Miami Heat.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LEBRON JAMES: It was good to get out in the open field this morning, get a good bike ride and then be prepared for today's game.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You should take the bike every day.

JAMES: Think so (laughter).

GREENE: But how would it go if he biked to work here in LA? Well, Javier Panzar of the LA Times biked one potential route himself, and he put together a video.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

JAVIER PANZAR: All right, up ahead a few blocks - Venice Boulevard. And let me tell you, it's not the best street in America for biking.

KING: Panzar started out in LeBron's neighborhood, which is west of downtown LA, and he biked to the Staples Center. So we called him up to see how it went.

PANZAR: If LeBron does do this ride, he'll experience everything from very new, nice, separated bike lanes and then unpaved, pothole-filled streets with no bike lanes at all.

GREENE: Now, we should say, Panzar did make it downtown unscathed, but does he think LeBron is safe to take this path?

PANZAR: I don't think if you're a Lakers fan you're going to necessarily want LeBron biking to work every day.

GREENE: Probably not since the team just invested in a four-year, $153 million contract with LeBron. So King James, perhaps you should just stick to the elliptical.

(SOUNDBITE OF EL TEN ELEVEN'S "THREE SIDES OF A COIN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.