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Thread: LA tour

  1. #1
    Member NBv4's Avatar
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    LA tour

    I have always liked the city of Los Angeles. I went there with my father when I was in middle school, and was mesmerized by it. Now that I live in California, I plan on visiting the city often. Here is what I have in mind:

    Drive from where I live (Merced) to somewhere in LA, bringing along my bike. Park my car somewhere (public park maybe?) and get on my bike and just ride from one end of the city to the other end, then ride back to my car, then go home.

    Here are some of the places I'd like to ride by:

    1. Belair and Beverly Hills - to see all the multi-million dollar mansions. I imagine it'd be very scenic as well.

    2. Compton and the other gansta rap places - I was a huge white suburb gansta rap fan back in high school, so I'd love to see some of the places I remember hearing on rap records. Of course I'd rather not get shot, so if thats a possibility, then I can scratch this one off my list.

    3. Dog Psychology Center - I am a huge fan of that guy's show, and even to just ride by, would be pretty awesome.

    4. The Beach - If there is a beachside bike path or something, I'd love to incorporate that into my ride as well.

    5. Anything else thats interesting or historic...


    Is something like this possible? I imagine it wouldn't be an issue, as long as I stay off the interstates, right? According to Google Earth, the distance between the north tip of LA and the southern tip is about 50 miles, that will give me 100 miles round trip at the most, which may take me awhile, but is doable. Has anyone ever done something like this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member savage24's Avatar
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    I'd skip #2. Of course, if you do it and survive, it will give you a whole new perspective when listening to gangsta rap back home....

    You might try contacting cycling clubs in LA to get info on club rides or routes - especially in questionable areas of the city.

    Does anybody make a reversable red/blue cycling jersey....
    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    "So, in this plan....when do we drink the kool-aid? I'm thirsty."
    "Marriage is a deathtrap these days. I would no more get married than I would own a chinese SUV."

    ....

  3. #3
    Senior Member savage24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NBv4
    Is something like this possible? I imagine it wouldn't be an issue, as long as I stay off the interstates, right? According to Google Earth, the distance between the north tip of LA and the southern tip is about 50 miles, that will give me 100 miles round trip at the most, which may take me awhile, but is doable. Has anyone ever done something like this?
    It takes a lot more time to travel 100 miles through a major urban area than a rural area. There are countless more oppurtunities to miss a turn and get lost, traffic lights to stop at, construction areas to detour around, etc. Consider leaving your car near a public transportation point such as a train or bus station, that way you can always use public transport to return if your ride takes longer than anticipated or you have mechanical problems late in the day.
    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    "So, in this plan....when do we drink the kool-aid? I'm thirsty."
    "Marriage is a deathtrap these days. I would no more get married than I would own a chinese SUV."

    ....

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    Member NBv4's Avatar
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    oh, good tip. Will they let me take my bike on the train/subway/bus?

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    Senior Member savage24's Avatar
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    Here you go. Isn't this world wide web thing handy?
    http://www.mta.net/riding_metro/bikes/bikes.htm
    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    "So, in this plan....when do we drink the kool-aid? I'm thirsty."
    "Marriage is a deathtrap these days. I would no more get married than I would own a chinese SUV."

    ....

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    Biking through LA is the best way to enjoy that city. You can stop and look around anywhere that catches your eye, without having to sit in traffic or stop and try to park and get all frusterated. I would suggest you visit heliotrope and melrose, just to go to scoops, la's best ice cream shop and talk to all the bikers hanging around there from the bike oven and orange 80.

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    Member NBv4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arntz
    Biking through LA is the best way to enjoy that city. You can stop and look around anywhere that catches your eye, without having to sit in traffic or stop and try to park and get all frustrated. I would suggest you visit heliotrope and melrose, just to go to scoops, la's best ice cream shop and talk to all the bikers hanging around there from the bike oven and orange 80.
    thanks, this is the kind of reply I am looking for.

    When you say "without having to sit in traffic", are you imply something like this is allowed? (but not as extreme) :

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=nR2ygFn-yR8

    Anyways, here is what I plan on taking with me:

    1. A backpack
    2. some money (30 dollars or so), my ID, and my debit card
    3. tennis shoes, in case I get a flat so I don't have to walk back in my cycling shoes.
    4. a map of LA. I'm trying to find a detailed one that has all the side streets, but thats not easy. All I'm finding are small crappy ones with just the neighborhoods and interstates.
    5. a compass
    6. a lock and chain, so if I have to abandon my bike somewhere, I can return to it without it being stolen.
    7. my cell phone

    I'm going to just mark the places I want to see on my map, then use my compass to just sort of wing it, instead of planning each route turn by turn.

    Also, I noticed that most of the streets are 4 lane roads. Should I stay clear of these, or will it be OK to ride on them?

    I'm kind of new to thew whole touring thing (even though this isn't really a "tour"), so if I have missed anything obvious, feel free to fill me in.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NBv4
    I have always liked the city of Los Angeles. I went there with my father when I was in middle school, and was mesmerized by it. Now that I live in California, I plan on visiting the city often. Here is what I have in mind:
    ...
    to my car, then go home.

    Here are some of the places I'd like to ride by:
    ...
    4. The Beach - If there is a beachside bike path or something, I'd love to incorporate that into my ride as well.

    ...
    Is something like this possible? I imagine it wouldn't be an issue, as long as I stay off the interstates, right? According to Google Earth, the distance between the north tip of LA and the southern tip is about 50 miles, that will give me 100 miles round trip at the most, which may take me awhile, but is doable. Has anyone ever done something like this?
    100 miles in the city is a big stretch. With traffic and lights speed can be far slower than you hope for.

    There is a beach bike path. It runs from about 6 miles North of the Santa Monica Pier to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. When it ends (going South) there is a steep pedestrian ramp on the left (Ocean on the right). If you take the ramp and turn right when you exit the parking lot, follow that street until it tees out and right again and right at the fork within a 1/4 mile of there you can ride a well traveled road route through the peninsula. Along this route there are several points of interest. From North to South. Santa Monica Pier is a tourist spot. Then Venice Boardwalk. This area had major gang problems until the redevelopment that tore out the old pavilion and put in a police substation. Perhaps that would satisfy your gangsta ugre and not get you shot. Next the bike path will run next to Balogna creek site of UCLA and other schools rowing racing. (Not always evident ut I've seen them out training from time to time). Ports of call is on hte right in this area. Tourist spot, but perhaps interesting. The last pier before The Palos Verdes Peninsula is home to Naja's A bar with 77 beers on tap and 777 in bottles. (But no Leopard Lager or Dominion Bitter, Life is hard for Rugby players with a taste for New Zealand Beers). You will know when you reach this pier because it is the one where the bike path goes through a multi level parking garage. From the North Naja's is right under the bike path about 100 feet after leaving the street. (A section where the bike path has fancy chain seperating it from the rest of the world if I recall correctly. On the Peninsula there is a Lighthouse with visitor center. A bit farther South is the site of the original Marineland. Hard ot pich out unless you know where it is. Near the South end of the heavily biked part of the Peninsula is a Buddist Monistary which is at leat partially open to the public and also an old WW II defense *** that is set up as a visitor center. Rather interesting. Last time I was there there were also some old Barracks standing. Riding it was like going through a military ghost town.

  9. #9
    Seņor Member Moto-Velo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arntz
    I would suggest you visit heliotrope and melrose, just to go to scoops, la's best ice cream shop and talk to all the bikers hanging around there from the bike oven and orange 80.
    Psst, it's Orange 20 and the Bicycle Kitchen.

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    Seņor Member Moto-Velo's Avatar
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    To the OP, L.A. is HUGE. There is way too much to see in one day. I suggest you break it up over a couple of days to get to really appreciate everything.

    If you want to see the beaches, riding down The Strand is a good idea. It's a 22 mile MUP that goes from just north of Santa Monica down to Torrance.

    I don't know Bel Air all that well as it's a hilly mess of big houses that you can probably get pretty easily lost in. However, I do advise against riding on Sunset Blvd. west of... say... Fairfax all the way to the coast. Way too many crazy drivers going through way too many blind turns.

    East-west roads I would suggest would be Santa Monica Blvd. from the coast to... I dunno, I guess Highland. The streets are pretty crappy east of that. I would highly suggest riding Wilshire from the coast to downtown. That gives a very good overview of the city's diversity, plus downtown is one of my favorite places to just ride around and appreciate the atmosphere and history, especially at night. Though if you're there at night, be careful east of 4th street. That's skid row.

    As for riding in "the hood", I don't know any good routes, but do know that it isn't as bad as some people seem to think. That being said, its reputation isn't entirely undeserved so I would definitely advise you to stay smart. Definitely worth checking out is Watts Tower.

    Another thing to try would be riding around Griffith Park up to the observatory. Or, if you want a really long day of climbing and twisty roads, try Mulholland all the way to the coast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moto-Velo
    Psst, it's Orange 20 and the Bicycle Kitchen.
    i was thinking of the highland park one, but i dont know where 80 came from. what a dumby!


    also, i got a book from the library called bicycle touring in los angeles, that might be useful if you could find it. it is from the seventies, and some of the commentary is really weird, but it gives you lots of routes and maps through different neighborhoods.

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    LA = Lower Alabama?? Or are you guys talking about some where else?
    Safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moto-Velo
    To the OP, L.A. is HUGE. There is way too much to see in one day. I suggest you break it up over a couple of days to get to really appreciate everything.

    If you want to see the beaches, riding down The Strand is a good idea. It's a 22 mile MUP that goes from just north of Santa Monica down to Torrance.

    I don't know Bel Air all that well as it's a hilly mess of big houses that you can probably get pretty easily lost in. However, I do advise against riding on Sunset Blvd. west of... say... Fairfax all the way to the coast. Way too many crazy drivers going through way too many blind turns.

    East-west roads I would suggest would be Santa Monica Blvd. from the coast to... I dunno, I guess Highland. The streets are pretty crappy east of that. I would highly suggest riding Wilshire from the coast to downtown. That gives a very good overview of the city's diversity, plus downtown is one of my favorite places to just ride around and appreciate the atmosphere and history, especially at night. Though if you're there at night, be careful east of 4th street. That's skid row.

    As for riding in "the hood", I don't know any good routes, but do know that it isn't as bad as some people seem to think. That being said, its reputation isn't entirely undeserved so I would definitely advise you to stay smart. Definitely worth checking out is Watts Tower.

    Another thing to try would be riding around Griffith Park up to the observatory. Or, if you want a really long day of climbing and twisty roads, try Mulholland all the way to the coast.
    The bikepath and continuing on South through Palos Verdes (and back) is a full day, at least if you stop to see stuff. I previously posted a bit on it. A few streets to add. You start on Palos Verdes West, which becomes Palos Verdes South and then West 25th . Then right on Western and left on Paseo del Mar. That will take you to Point Fermin park on the right and Angel Gate on the left. The WW II *** is somewhere in Point Fermin. The Buddist Monistary in Angels Gate. I think you need to take Gaffey uphill to enter the Buddist Monistary.

    In Griffith Park if you start from Travel Town and head West and then uphill when you hit the saddle there is a closed road on the right. You can take that to the top. At that point you can continue straight and come out at the observitory or turn left and come out near the greek theater. In that area you could link up to Elisian Park and Dodger stadium. Some nice roads to ride, as long as ther is not a Dodger game that day. From there it is only a couple of miles to ethnicland. Olvera St., China Town and Little Tokyo (little Italy too, but that is real little) are all close by bike. But you need to plan to find the right roads. Ethnicland is very close to Central station, making getting there by train a possibility.

    If getting to L.A. by car I would suggest looking for a few day tours rather than one connected tour. I did not see many reasonable ways from the Beach to Downtown or Hollywood. Oh there are some doable routes, but why spend time on dirty high traffic streets, those exist in any fair sized city.

    Oh and you might want to add Fargo Street, just because of its place in cycling due to the annual Fargo Street Hill Climb every year. You don;t have to climg it to look at it.

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