NYT does L.A. on a bike and a budget

A week in the area Los Angeles, with no car and about $100 a day — staying in a youth hostel. Seth Kugel, the New York Times' Frugal Traveler:

Seven days and six nights without a car turned out to be not only possible but in many ways afforded me a more unfiltered view of Los Angeles than I would have gotten behind the wheel, taking highways rather than local roads and further buffered from my surroundings by a windshield and a loud radio. I could pedal down the Pacific coast, pause at food trucks and pop into parks uninterrupted by the need to find a parking spot — or worse, a valet. Los Angeles felt within reach.

And as the days passed, I realized that, for a city known for its car culture, Los Angeles can be managed on a bike. The small number of dedicated bike lanes and marked bike routes are scattered around somewhat unhelpfully, but Google Maps’ bike mapping beta for mobile and Web does a fairly decent job of making sense of them. Widespread, though not ubiquitous, signs around the city urge drivers to “share the road” and give cyclists three feet leeway. Though I occasionally hopped up on sidewalks when I felt uncomfortable in traffic, I found drivers to be reasonably accommodating.

To be fair, my view may have been skewed by the fact that I chose Santa Monica as my base of operations, in part for its coastal bike path and relatively calm streets but mostly because I landed a $28-a-night bunk at an outpost of Hostelling International, the brand for youth hostel associations around the world.

Ah, there's the rub. He did get as far as inland as the Rose Bowl and the Huntington, though. There's a slide show online at the NYT.

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