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Ask Curbed: Learning to Ride a Bike in LA

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A reader with a new job and a semi-fearless heart is looking for some bicycling tips from the alternative-transportation bike-aficionados found trolling this site. Get ready for some misdirected motorist anger and righteous indignation from our bicylists in the comments. "I live near Laurel Canyon and recently started a new job on Wilshire in mid-city and was thinking I might attempt to bike the commute. It's pretty much downhill all the way there - just give me a push and I barely have to pedal. But its been awhile since I rode a bike in a city, and never in Los Angeles, so I'd love some tips - what's legal and illegal? What are the best streets to bike down (north/south) with less motorist traffic but still have lights on major intersections? How do I avoid the ire of motorist who want to throw water and curse at me? Also, I read this article in the New York Times this weekend and it said it's legal to ride on sidewalks in LA "unless [I] exhibit 'willful' or 'wanton' behavior." What the hell does that mean? I can't ride to work topless?
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