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Moving to L.A. Need advice.

Old 11-28-18, 04:42 PM
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chicagogal
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Moving to L.A. Need advice.

I'll be in LA for ~6 month and will be bringing my bike. Any advice on where to live to have easy access to good cycling? Also, any group ride suggestions. I'd be looking for a B-type ride with solid strong cyclists, but not a group that would drop me on unfamiliar routes.
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Old 11-28-18, 05:29 PM
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Just live close to where you work. The best way to have a terrible LA experience is to live "only twenty miles from work" and discover that is 90 minutes each way during rush hour. That can put a damper on your cycling real fast... or real slowly.

I lived in LA ten years, and it was a lot of fun while I was there. Just about anywhere you live you will find places to ride. But it is geographically huge. Even bigger if you consider Los Angeles to actually be LA County with its 76 suburbs, or "LA, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside" counties. Traversing just LA county can take 75 minutes by car at 3am. Traversing the greater metro area can be 2-4 hours by car on a busy time of day (which is pretty much 6am through 8pm).
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Old 11-28-18, 06:47 PM
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@daoswald, I have lived in Ventura County for over 30 years. I previously lived in LA County and hated every minute of it.

Ventura County is NOT part of the “greater” LA area; it will never be.

@chicagogal, if you can, and if it is doable with your work situation, I would look into the Pasadena-Glendale-Burbank area. Nice old neighborhoods with lots of character, generally lower crime rates and safer streets for riding. Drawbacks are smoggy, and generally hotter, summers.

Good luck.
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Old 11-28-18, 08:15 PM
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As suggested above... live close to work unless you like spending a lot of time in your car. With that said, do you have any ideas of where you'll be? It's kind of hard to give you a definitive answer without knowing if you'll be on the East, West, North or South side.
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Old 11-28-18, 08:52 PM
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Thanks for all of the responses I have gotten. I will be working at USC.
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Old 11-29-18, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by chicagogal View Post
Thanks for all of the responses I have gotten. I will be working at USC.
If you will be at the USC Campus, then Glendale may be a good option.

You will have easy freeway and surface street access to USC.

I lived in Glendale while going to school at ‘SC.
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Old 11-29-18, 02:05 AM
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glendale is a good choice but i'd also consider adjacent eagle rock, the toluca lake area and culver city as well.
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Old 11-29-18, 02:44 AM
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Central city, so no good cycling thoroughfares (surrounded by traffic, congestion, lights, etc.) close by. At least not any that I'd consider acceptable. There is however, a commuter path that opened next to the school recently that I featured in a thread earlier this year.

The good news is that there are cyclist group at USC (though I'm not sure how large or competitive they are), so group riding shouldn't be too much of an issue. The best news is the rail system next to the school which can connect you to Long Beach trails or Santa Monica (scenic) bike trails. Here's a list of featured paths.

Number 2 on the list is isolated away from traffic if you want to stretch out. But there are still some wayward dog walkers and hypnotized pedestrians (they're everywhere) you'll still have to contend with and watch out for.
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Old 11-29-18, 03:29 AM
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I used to live in San Diego and dreaded having to go north. You have my sympathies.
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Old 11-29-18, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
glendale is a good choice but i'd also consider adjacent eagle rock, the toluca lake area and culver city as well.
Toluca Lake is very nice but can be pricey. Eagle Rock is evolving (has been for sometime actually) into a hipster (though lower pricec) version of Silver Lake.

Echo Park is an option as well.
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Old 11-29-18, 07:49 AM
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Can you get a job at Univ of Calif Santa Barbara instead?
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Old 11-29-18, 08:16 AM
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USC is pretty much mid-city. Things don't really open up for cyclists until you get some distance from the campus. Be careful of areas immediately surrounding the campus. Once you get a few ideas of where you think you'd like to be maybe I can make more suggestions.
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Old 12-01-18, 07:44 AM
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I would imagine Chicago is different in Los Angeles in one big area, the ethnic makeup of the riders. Bike culture is similar but the riders make it distinct. Don't miss out on that.
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Old 12-02-18, 08:53 PM
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My only advice is Don't move to L.A. unless it's a life-or-death situation, and the latter could become a reality. WHY, would any one in their right mind WANT to move to L.A., or Commiefornia in the first place? I've got 2 years until I retire and I can't wait 'til Commiefornia is a vision in my rear-view mirror and I WON'T be coming back.
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Old 12-02-18, 09:00 PM
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Hi, not a Southern Californian but my wife was a visiting prof at SC Law for a semester. She lived in Hollywood, which seems like it would be great access to climbing Mulholland. I wasn’t into cycling at the time, I was a runner and when I would visit her on weekends I could run up the trail to the sign and then over to the Griffiths Observatory.

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Old 12-02-18, 09:41 PM
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I'd suggest something north of Downtown, close to Griffith Park and/or the LA River trail. It would be close enough to USC for a reasonable commute. Neighborhoods would be Echo Park, Atwater, Frog town, Silver Lake, Los Feliz. Another option might be South Pasadena/Pasadena - lots of good rides around there.

Avoid Glendale, though. For some reason, it attracts all the crazy drivers.
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Old 12-02-18, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tinrobot View Post
I'd suggest something north of Downtown, close to Griffith Park and/or the LA River trail. It would be close enough to USC for a reasonable commute. Neighborhoods would be Echo Park, Atwater, Frog town, Silver Lake, Los Feliz. Another option might be South Pasadena/Pasadena - lots of good rides around there.

Avoid Glendale, though. For some reason, it attracts all the crazy drivers.
Frogtown is not safe. Atwater is adjacent to Glendale, so any crazy Glendale drivers would spill over to Atwater.

La Canada is nice, with nice hills for climbing, easy cycling access to the Rose Bowl and Pasadena. (In pasadena you can ride with the Retro Velo folks, in spite of their name they welcome all riders). La Canada is close to the Glendale Freeway (Highway 2). The Glendale Freeway will take you right to Echo Park (via Glendale Blvd.) From there it is just a short drive to USC.

I rode and drove in the area for many years.

@chicagogal, PM if you’d like further info.

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Old 12-03-18, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
My only advice is Don't move to L.A. unless it's a life-or-death situation, and the latter could become a reality. WHY, would any one in their right mind WANT to move to L.A., or Commiefornia in the first place? I've got 2 years until I retire and I can't wait 'til Commiefornia is a vision in my rear-view mirror and I WON'T be coming back.
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Old 12-03-18, 02:57 PM
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I haven't heard "Commiefornia" since Jerry was dating Linda Ronstadt and driving a Plymouth Satellite.
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Old 12-03-18, 07:17 PM
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Old 12-04-18, 03:39 PM
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Maybe coming from Chicago you're used to fierce traffic. But prepare yourself.
My parents live in west LA (below UCLA), only about 5 miles from my sister, who lives in Santa Monica.
During rush hour it's about a 45 minute ride to get from one house to the other.
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Old 12-04-18, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tinrobot View Post
Avoid Glendale, though. For some reason, it attracts all the crazy drivers.
You're right about Glendale. Too many kids driving and showing off their parents' Beemers and Mercedes. Most are very impatient...
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Old 12-04-18, 05:38 PM
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Those are the kid's Beemers and Mercedes. They drive like **** in Glendale and will run you off the road, while drooping a cig with one arm out the window so you can see the gold watch.
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Old 12-04-18, 06:11 PM
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Ack, how'd I miss this thread?!

So, are you looking to commute to USC, or just looking for a neighborhood that offers convenient access to good riding?

I just commute or ride solo for most part, so I'll let others chime in on the group rides thing. As far as neighborhoods go, it depends on what kind of city experience you're comfortable with. Do you want something that's:
a) Gentrified,
b) Gentrifying, or
c) Cheap? (sorry, having trouble coming up with a third term).

"Gentrified" could be the West Side (gentrified from the git-go!), or some place like Silverlake or Los Feliz, which have seen huge transformations in the past two decades. Eagle Rock has always been a fairly genteel place, and has a fairly long neighborhood history. Highland Park, meanwhile, is somewhere between b and c. It's in the process of gentrifying, but you can still find reasonable accommodation if you try. Depends how comfortable you are in different urban environments. Where in Chicago are you coming from? I just spent a couple of weeks there last year, and it struck me, for example, that the University of Chicago is kind of similar to USC - a private university surrounded by a generally run-down neighborhood. So, if you're coming from U of Chicago, it may be a somewhat similar environment for you. If you're coming from Northwestern, however, that's a much different story.

Feel free to PM me, too, if you'd like. I have lived here for over 25 years, and spent my first 23 years in the Midwest (Wisconsin). So I have a bit of perspective on both places. Happy to help.

Downtown has more and more (not cheap) housing, but would be very convenient to USC. There are a few folks (guys, generally) that I encounter on my commute who are headed past downtown (my destination) to USC. Has anyone mentioned Koreatown or Mid-City yet? Those could also be good options, especially if you're going to be driving to USC. You'd be largely cutting across the morning traffic that's headed downtown or to the Westside (heade south instead of east or west).
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Old 12-04-18, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post

{snip**
La Canada is close to the Glendale Freeway (Highway 2). The Glendale Freeway will take you right to Echo Park (via Glendale Blvd.) From there it is just a short drive to USC.
{snip**
I just wanted to say that this is not necessarily a "short drive" at rush hour. When I drive to Downtown from Eagle Rock in the mornings, I will sometimes take the Glendale Freeway (and Chicagogal will soon learn that we always refer to our freeways by number. That's the "2" freeway), and it tends to be pretty trafficky when you hit Echo Park. A lot of drivers, it seems are using the 2 to get to the Hollywood Freeway, the 101 (one-oh-one) by cutting across on Alvarado.

None of this will make sense until you get here, of course.

Also, you might want to check out the Los Angeles forum at city-data.com. There's a subsection for people relocating to Los Angeles who have questions. There are a lot of LA Haters there, but you can get some value out of it.
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