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Where to Ride in Los Angeles(8 posts)

Where to Ride in Los AngelesEvan
Aug 14, 2001 8:20 AM
I'm going to be attending school at USC this comming
fall and I would like to bring my road bike out there to
do some riding. However, downtown LA will obviously be
different than the backroads of Wisconsin. Any ideas or
experience would be much appreciated.
re: Where to Ride in Los Angelesmike mcmahon
Aug 14, 2001 8:36 AM
The bad news is that the area around USC is about as bike unfriendly as it gets: a lot of traffic, poorly maintained roads, and little room on the shoulders of roads. I hate to say this, but I hope you have a car to drive to some better spots. Outside of the downtown area, there are many great places to ride with relatively little traffic and lots of climbing: Angeles Forest, Santa Monica Mountains, Palos Verdes Peninsula. If you want to drop me an e-mail I can give you more specific information about some good rides in L.A. County. Just don't let anyone know I helped a Trojan. ;-)
re: Where to Ride in Los Angelesmr_spin
Aug 14, 2001 8:39 AM
Hopefully this won't come as a surprise to you: USC might be a great school, but it is NOT in a great neighborhood. Certainly not for riding. You'll definitely want a car so you can drive somewhere to ride. And think twice about bringing your $5,000 Colnago. Everyone I ever knew who went to USC had something stolen.

I'd suggest at a minimum, head for the "west side," which is basically West L.A., Santa Monica, Venice, and parts of Culver City. You can also work your way down the coast into Torrance (my hometown!) and Redondo Beach, and further into Palos Verdes. Palos Verdes is a fantastic place to ride. Out on the cliffs it's amazing.

Head north along the coast into Malibu to do some climbs in the Santa Monica Mountains. I'm a climber, so I love riding in there. There are some nice climbs and descents all the way up to Camarillo. I don't think there is anything more than about 1500 feet, but there are some steep ones.

You can ride out in the Valley, too. "The Valley" being the San Fernando Valley. I lived most of my life in West Hills, which is at the far west end. There are some good roads out there, but not good enough to make the trip from USC. The Mercury cycling team is based out of West Hills, so in winter, you might run into them at their training camp.

One famous ride, the "Simi Ride," used to start in the valley, but I think it has since relocated to the next valley over, which is Simi Valley. If you are a serious rider, you should definitely hook up with that ride at least once.

I hate to say it, but UCLA would have been a much better choice as a base for riding!
re: Where to Ride in Los AngelesMCCL
Aug 14, 2001 9:16 AM
I would suggest that you hook up with the LA Wheelmen. One you can get real aquainted with the area and second find someone that rides at your level. Not that I am a club member but I like yourself come from the mid-west and coming out here with just yourself will take some time to get aquainted with everything. I have rode with the LA Wheelmen they are a great bunch of bicycle fanatics of all ages. But LA is no place to ride. This is not your SPARTA ELLROY trail. MCCL
Ventura Highway!Rusty McNasty
Aug 14, 2001 10:07 AM
In the suuuuunshine!!
where thedays are longer,
the nights are stronger
than mooooooonshine!!!
No such roadAgent86
Aug 14, 2001 11:03 AM
So don't try to find it.

Who sang that? America? Maybe back then they were thinking of Ventura Blvd, which is the last place you would want to ride your bike. Traffic sucks, and besides, as Tom Petty says:

All the vampires, living in Reseda
Move west down Ventura Blvd.
Griffith Park is good when you don't have lots of time...SimpleGreen
Aug 14, 2001 3:52 PM
The rides already mentioned are the best in the LA area. USC is right in the middle of Metropolis. Forget riding there. It's dangerous and not worth it at all. Go for a run instead or drive to the good stuff.

When you don't have lots of time, you can drive to Griffith Park and ride there. It isn't too far from USC. You can do an 8 mile loop from Los Feliz to travel town and back on the main road. There is a road that go up the hill from travel town that are nice small/medium climb that gets you near the Hollywood sign. Pretty safe and lots of other runners and cyclists out there. The LA river bike path is also available, but runs near the freeway. It's supposed to eventually go from Griffith Park to Long Beach.

Just be patient with the cars and traffic--the biggest mistake I see is when a cyclist goes too fast near congested areas and gets into trouble. Take the extra 15 seconds and save yourself some suffering. Although there are more people than WIS, you can ride all year. That's worth the trade if you want to get into great shape.

Good luck!!

...and by the way...GO BRUINS!! :)

re: Where to Ride in Los AngelesgailL
Aug 14, 2001 6:52 PM