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 Riding all year round in Los Angeles, SoCal

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SteveSilverWing
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Number of posts : 98
Age : 62
Location : Los Angeles, California
Points : 1099
Registration date : 2015-04-17

PostSubject: Riding all year round in Los Angeles, SoCal   Fri 18 Dec 2015, 11:30

When I think of driving condition as I knew them back in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, I shudder thinking how impossible riding a Swing (if I even had one then) would have been.  While many of you are living in states or areas where snow and ice make riding impossible, you might find yourself dreaming of living in a warmer climate where this wasn't an issue and riding was okay all or most of the year.

I now live in Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley area of North Hollywood.  Since having moved here in 1985, much has changed.  For one thing there are so many more cars on the road that it sometimes makes me question my own sanity to ride here.

Now, there are plenty of rides I do take that leave the city traffic jams behind, but there are still lots and lots of people driving cars everywhere.  Even a ride up the Angeles National Forest (Fwy. 2 north of fwy. 210) is often cluttered with other cafe racer riders doing crazy knee-drag turns...some of which go careening right over the edge of a cliff.  When these jokers are at a minimum (okay, I was young too once), the ride is simply spectacular!!!

At all cost, I avoid riding in Los Angeles proper.  People driving their cars (Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Tesla, and other sporty cars and convertibles) are often discourteous and simply don't care.  My old expression is imaging one of them, as they cut me off on the road, yelling out, "don't you know who I am in an air of self-importance."  Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood...I tell 'ya.  

My preference to avoid congested LA traffic is not because I cannot navigate 5-lane traffic (in either direction) but more because I just don't want the headache of it all.  Anyways, it has been shown that statistically, it is safer to be on the freeway than on surface streets in Los Angeles.

I miss the seasons and wish they existed here, at least a little more, in Southern California.  One of these days I will escape this concrete freeway jungle and make my way up the coast to a much smaller community such as Sacramento or other less-populated area.  Maybe even Oregon.  Los Angeles was a blast when I moved here at age 30, but now, I'm over it and ready to begin a new chapter.  The only thing is that I've got to wait until the time is right to do it, which will be when I roughly turn 70.  With a little luck, I'll still be riding my Swing!

Just ramblings from the mind shared with you all...

Steve
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Gustafa
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Location : Cordova, TN
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PostSubject: Re: Riding all year round in Los Angeles, SoCal   Fri 18 Dec 2015, 11:49

Hey SteveSilverwing,

I lived in Los Angeles from 95-2001, worked at USC. I went back a few years ago and traffic was exponentially worse. I do like in driving a 4 wheeled vehicle, everyone speeds together LOL, but most things are crazy in the city proper.

I do envy that you can get to Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks, the valleys on the backsides near the forests, all gorgeous rides, even PCH. I live in TN now and while theres some gorgeous country, I do miss the coastal regions.

Next time youre up on the coastals rides, get some photos on here so I can envy you even more! LOL

Gustafa
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GHM-PM
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PostSubject: Re: Riding all year round in Los Angeles, SoCal   Mon 21 Dec 2015, 09:02

I too used to live in LA area! And yes rode bikes there, but as stated above, a bit stressful for the faint-of-heart! Usually, when in CA I try and skirt around the LA sprawl especially on two wheels! This summer on a trip up Highway 1, I had to get through LA area to Oxnard then head North. Crossed Hollywood and LA about 5 AM! Still tons of traffic, go figure, and don't forget the road construction etc. One detour moved us to another freeway and the on ramp had been watered down heavily (why? who knows). But it was SLICK! Thanks road department!!! All I can say is it would make a great white knuckler ride for Disneyland!!!

Went home via Hwy 395 (Eastern Sierras) and avoided the city altogether What a Face
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PeterC
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Location : Melbourne, Australia
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Registration date : 2015-11-16

PostSubject: Re: Riding all year round in Los Angeles, SoCal   Tue 22 Dec 2015, 05:57

Interesting to read your post Steve.  I've visited LA a couple of times and driven the tourist scenes.  Found it to be somewhat similar to Melbourne in some ways - heavily car dependant (although we do have a mass transit system of sorts), many miles of expressway (ours is a mix of freeway and tollway) and aggressive drivers who won't give an inch.  I only ride when I'm feeling on my form and find the expressway in peak hour a challenge at the best of times.  For a work commute I will often do my email and basics from home then ride in after the worst of the morning peak.  Couple of weeks ago I did just that and left about 9:30am for the 33Km ride into the office, only to find freeway very heavy, traffic at a crawl.  I worked my way down a few Kms to find the freeway closed off and police made us all exit.  Given I was on two wheels I was agile enough to still make reasonable time into work.  Found out that a biker had gone under the wheels of a semi (18 wheeler in your parlance) and killed.  Same thing had happened to another rider about 3 months prior.  Same road, same section and involving another semi.  Makes me think very carefully about how I ride, when I ride and where I ride.
Let's all be safe this festive season...and always!
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SteveSilverWing
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Number of posts : 98
Age : 62
Location : Los Angeles, California
Points : 1099
Registration date : 2015-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Riding all year round in Los Angeles, SoCal   Tue 22 Dec 2015, 12:25

Having not ever visited Melbourne, I am surprised to hear of such horrid traffic conditions.  And here I thought that the worst traffic was exclusively reserved for the lucky folks of Los Angeles.  

It is a good thing that you are able to juggle your workday such that telecommuting can ease some of the morning rush-hour, or is it really rush-all-day-hour.

I especially appreciate your sage words of caution, "Makes me think very carefully about how I ride, when I ride and where I ride."  Words well-spoken, and thanks for the reminder to us all.

Happiest of holiday times and wishes of health and prosperity in the 2016 New Year!!

Steve
Los Angeles, California

swing  (mine is black)

PeterC wrote:
Interesting to read your post Steve.  I've visited LA a couple of times and driven the tourist scenes.  Found it to be somewhat similar to Melbourne in some ways - heavily car dependant (although we do have a mass transit system of sorts), many miles of expressway (ours is a mix of freeway and tollway) and aggressive drivers who won't give an inch.  I only ride when I'm feeling on my form and find the expressway in peak hour a challenge at the best of times.  For a work commute I will often do my email and basics from home then ride in after the worst of the morning peak.  Couple of weeks ago I did just that and left about 9:30am for the 33Km ride into the office, only to find freeway very heavy, traffic at a crawl.  I worked my way down a few Kms to find the freeway closed off and police made us all exit.  Given I was on two wheels I was agile enough to still make reasonable time into work.  Found out that a biker had gone under the wheels of a semi (18 wheeler in your parlance) and killed.  Same thing had happened to another rider about 3 months prior.  Same road, same section and involving another semi.  Makes me think very carefully about how I ride, when I ride and where I ride.
Let's all be safe this festive season...and always!
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exavid
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Number of posts : 2097
Age : 74
Location : Medford, Oregon
Points : 5269
Registration date : 2009-07-17

PostSubject: Re: Riding all year round in Los Angeles, SoCal   Tue 22 Dec 2015, 23:03

I've ridden through LA quite a few times visiting my daughter who lives in San Diego. It's about 700 miles from here in Medford, OR which is a good bit shorter than the 1100 miles it was from my previous place in Tacoma, WA. I used to make it in one day from Tacoma on my Goldwing but it was a long day. Much easier from here. My wide Goldwing wasn't the best bike for lane splitting in CA but did okay. None of the West Coast cities, Vancouver, B.C., Seattle-Tacoma, Portland, OR, or any of the major cities of CA are much fun to ride in. At least in OR and WA my NRA stickers on my bikes tend to help with people who tailgate. In B.C. and CA they know you aren't carrying anything that makes loud noises.
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