palm trees and a blue sky in los angeles

Ten Secrets You’ll Learn on an E-Bike Tour of Los Angeles

A house with a pool in west hollywood

C Stephan Illouz

C Virgin Atlantic


Did you ever think about booking an e bike tour of north New Jersey?

Hold on- record scratch- freeze frame- let’s get this straight. 

What are you talking about?

What comes to mind when you think about Hollywood?  Is it palm trees, sunshine, and movie stars? Is it gorgeous people, gorgeous scenery, and that gorgeous sign? Is it SoCal sunshine and superstardom? Could be…but did you know that a little over a hundred years ago, all of that was replaced by the glitz and glamour of North New Jersey? A LOT has evolved in Los Angeles and the film industry over the past hundred or so years. One consistent factor has been the setting and prime film location for movie magic is Hollywood. (Los Angeles, in general.) It’s tough to imagine the film industry and the picturesque setting of Hollywood as two separate entities. At Bike Shop LA and Bikes and Hikes LA,we cherish our proximity to the movie biz and Hollywood history, and celebrate that on all of our bike and hiking tours. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to spread Hollywood love on all of our outdoor, socially distanced tours of Los Angeles, and are so excited about the reopening of our beloved LA. This summer, we’re hyped to bring you outdoor electric bike tours of Los Angeles, highlighting Hollywood history and marrying insider tips with the sleek speed of our e bike fleet. We guarantee that our e bike tours are the best thing to do in Los Angeles, and will be an unforgettable highlight of your vacation in Summer 2021 – or even sooner, for an LA Spring Break! Check out 10 secrets and fun facts you didn’t know about Los Angeles -and as a bonus, learn even more secrets when you book one of our Los Angeles e bike tours!

palm trees and a blue sky in los angeles

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1. The top filming location in America used to be…New Jersey!

Believe it or not, we weren’t kidding earlier when we mentioned that a hundred years ago, if you wanted to book a bike tour of famous movie star homes and filming locations, you would have had to book said bike tour in the…er…picturesque north New Jersey. It’s just slightly different from the palm trees, beaches, and sunshine of Los Angeles. The film industry’s roots began in the Garden State because of one of its finest exports/ alumni, Thomas Edison. Edison, a prolific American inventor (ever heard of the light bulb? Yeah, THAT Edison,) pioneered the kinetescope, one of the first ever pieces of filmmaking technology. Edison also founded Black Maria, the first big film studio in America, in East Orange, New Jersey, and kickstarted the film industry on the east coast. For a while, Fort Lee, New Jersey was the motion picture capital of America. Due to Edison’s team’s patents and controls over the equipment, however, it was difficult for independent filmmakers to attempt to make films of their own. In order to avoid copious lawsuits and copyright infringement charges, a group of young filmmakers, led by the filmmaker DW Griffith blazed a trail out to Southern California, where the land was endless and the weather was, uh, not too hard to take year round. Griffith brought with him a troupe of popular young actors at the time, including Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore, and the group began filming experimental, short silent films in what is now Downtown Los Angeles. If you book a private e-bike tour of Downtown LA, you can bike past Georgia Street, and see the first stomping grounds of the film industry…and soak up a smile knowing that you’re not in New Jersey;)



2. Once a City of Stars, always a City of Stars – Los Angeles has always been a mecca of diversity

Los Angeles has always been a cultural melting pot since its early days, and was founded with the idea of being a diverse city in mind. The earliest people to live in the area now known as Los Angeles were the Tongva and Chumash tribes, whose lineage in the region date back to thousands of years prior to the first group of Spanish explorers in the 1500s. When the original pueblo of Los Angeles was founded by a group of 44 settlers in 1781, over half of those settlers were of either Mexican or African-American descent. Los Angeles remains incredibly diverse today. Over 224 languages are spoken in Los Angeles. In fact, 60% of the population of Los Angeles speak more than one language. California has the largest Mexican population outside of Mexico in the world, and LA has the largest Thai population outside of Thailand in the world. Los Angeles’ illustrious Koreatown neighborhood is home to over 120,000 residents, making it the most densely populated neighborhood in the city. West Hollywood has historically been home to a large LGBTQ population, and hosts the popular Pride events every summer. Diversity is in LA’s bones, and Angelinos celebrate that diversity daily.

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3. A Sherman by Any Other Name – West Hollywood wasn’t always known as “West Hollywood”

West Hollywood is one of the most vibrant cities in LA County – its swanky restaurants, terrific nightlife, thriving LGBTQ population, beautiful homes, and sunny streets make it a popular destination for celebrities and locals to hang out. (We’re a little biased at Bike Shop LA, but West Hollywood is our favorite part of the city, because it’s where our LA bike shop is!) Between the Chateau Marmont, the mansions, and the fun night clubs and bungalows dotting the streets, West Hollywood is the epitome of cool. However, did you know that it used to have a slightly different name? The original name of the City of WeHo was…Sherman. Back in the beginning, West Hollywood was a quaint little town called Sherman! A land developer named Moses Hazeltine Sherman bought a portion of land to connect the “beach town of Santa Monica” (lol) with the rest of Los Angeles in 1886. He created a little town for local railway workers and the headquarters for his railway company in the middle, and named the town “Sherman.” Once the film industry took off in the mid 1920s, filmmakers and movie stars alike began to flock to “Sherman” for its convenient location and picturesque filming locations. In 1925, inhabitants voted to change the name from Sherman to West Hollywood, to emphasize its relationship with its glamorous neighborhood next door. This town loves a glow up, and we think the city of West Hollywood continues to impress! Did you know, by the way, that it’s its own separate city from the city of Los Angeles? You can spot the difference in the street signs. West Hollywood street signs are shaped like the literal city of West Hollywood. Tell your friends. They’ll be very impressed. And then take them on an e bike tour of West Hollywood!

4. Speaking of glow ups…Beverly Hills. Ever heard of it? Wait until you hear about its historic makeover.

Beverly Hills- the fanciest neighborhood in the country- had its humble beginnings as a lima bean field, over 100 years ago. These days, a mansion built for a celebrity in Beverly Hills ranges anywhere from $2 million to $160 million and the median household income of Beverly Hills citizens is around $103,000. For more Beverly Hills fun facts, check out our other Beverly Hills Tour Blog here, to see where you can spot the top Hollywood celebrities, movie star homes, and our other favorite things to see in LA. We’ll hook you up with a private Beverly Hills e bike tour made for a superstar, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the glitterati!

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5. If you MUST drive in LA…skip the sheep. (What?!)

People in LA County drive over a million miles per day, and spend 52 hours a year sitting in traffic. Imagine if you swapped sitting in your car with riding a bike (or taking an e-bike tour) for bonus points! There’s been a major boom in biking since the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are here for it. Skip the stuffy bus tour, ditch the crowded group tour, and join us on one of our exhilarating outdoor bike experiences! Pro tip from a local, however- if you are going to check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and all of the other illustrious attractions and famous landmarks on Hollywood Boulevard, leave your flock of sheep at home. It’s illegal to drive over 2,000 sheep across Hollywood Boulevard, according to LA law. Believe us. We tried. Once. Just thought you should know.

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6. It’s Oilways Sunny in LA – Los Angeles’ History as an Oil Town

Am I reading that correctly? I thought this town was called the City of Angels! Believe it or not, in addition to fame, film, and fortune, Los Angeles historically is also a huge oil town! Los Angeles is, to date, the largest urban oil field in the country. Dating back to 1892, one of the biggest oil fields in the city was discovered by Edward Doheny’s company by Dodger’s Stadium. Today, Los Angeles is the third largest oil producer in the USA. Learn cool facts like this one and more if you book a VIP e bike tour around Los Angeles for you and your family.

7. Call Me, Beep Me, if You Wanna Reach Me – The Internet has its Roots in LA

We couldn’t have done this year of living online without Los Angeles. The first internet signal and message were transmitted from UCLA in 1969, over 50 years ago. After the Russians launched Sputnik, the United States scrambled to respond with a similarly groundbreaking technological innovation. Here’s how it worked: according to Leonard Kleinrock, a researcher on the project (and occasionally referred to as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” the earliest version of the internet was called ARPANET. It was a series of high-speed lines, connected to computer “nodes” at different universities across the country. UCLA got its first “Interface Message Processor” – aka what we refer to as a “router” today, and Stanford had another. The two were connected by a high-speed line, and Kleinrock and his associate decided to try to send a message from UCLA to Stanford. In order to log in to the computer at Stanford, the UCLA researchers had to type the phrase “LOGIN.” On October 29th, 1969, the first message to be transferred across the Internet was “LO-” as the signal crashed after typing in the first two letters of “LOGIN.” The world has never been the same ever since. Over the many highs and “lo”s of this year, we’re very grateful for that happy accident online at UCLA nearly 50 years ago. You can bike past UCLA’s gorgeous west side campus on our LA in a Day Bike Tour– and of course, it’ll be a much smoother, sleeker, and cooler ride if you upgrade to an e-bike tour.


8. Catch You on the Sunset Strip – Historically, the Birth Place of Coolness

Speaking of nightlife, West Hollywood historically has been a wonderful place to spend a night out on the town…and perhaps even witness a “star is born” moment. The famous Sunset Strip, one of the top sights to see in LA – Sunset Boulevard – runs through West Hollywood and has always been a hotspot for music, dancing, and comedy. The famed Roxy Night Club, the Comedy Store, and the Viper Room dot the Sunset Strip, famous for launching the careers of numerous comedians, celebrities, and rock stars. If you’re a fan of Van Halen, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, or Elton John, you’re in good company- all of those performers got their start on the Sunset Strip at such venues as the Troubadour and Whisky A Go Go. We’ll help you curate the perfect day in LA – start off your morning with an ebike tour of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, or our popular “LA in a Day” ebike tour, and spend the evening strutting on the Strip- check out some of our favorite COVID- safe outdoor dining options in WeHo here!

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9. Life’s a Beach in LA – and it’s very popular to make movies on them!

One of our favorite things about living in LA is that the entire state of California is a beach– let that sink in. Have we tempted you to come visit LA and/or move here? Beaches. All. Year. Round. Not so hard to take, huh? The beach is one of our favorite places to hang out, relax, take a bike tour (#sorrynotsorry), and we’re sure it’s no surprise that it’s also one of the most popular places to film in Los Angeles! According to Giggster, our favorite VENICE BEACH is one of the top filming locations in the city, with close to 2800 filming permits filed annually. The next time you take a trip to Venice Beach, look to your left and right- you may see a classic cinema moment in the making happening right next to you– or perhaps it’s just another Instagram Influencer, #doinitforthegram. We love that it’s beach weather all year round in LA- for us, every day feels like vacation! To plan your next vacation (how about a socially distanced, safe spring break in LA? We’ve got e bike tours! I check out our VIP tours of LA. We’ll have you vacationing in style- safely, of course!

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palm trees and a blue sky in los angeles

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10. You Be The Star of Your Own Movie – Bike Through WeHo’s Famous Film Locations!

Did you know, that according to IMDb, over 2,300 films and television shows have been shot in and around West Hollywood? If you’re a fan of any of the following- Westworld, Entourage, Scarface, Rocketman, The Green Mile, The Big Lebowski, Beverly Hills 90210, Mulholland Drive, La La Land, The Hangover, Gone With the Wind…etc…etc…they were all shot in locations in West Hollywood.  There’s truly a little something for everyone, and space for everyone to have an iconic film moment in this town, and we’re here to make your cinematic dreams come to life! Book your e-bike tour of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills, and vacation like a local with Bikes and Hikes LA. We’re so excited to share all these fun facts about LA and more with you, and want to be the first to safely welcome you back to Los Angeles!

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