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I have a few days in LA for road cycling! Where would you ride?

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I have a few days in LA for road cycling! Where would you ride?

Old 02-22-19, 01:03 PM
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Bopogamel
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I have a few days in LA for road cycling! Where would you ride?

Hi everyone,


Hope it's cool for me to jump in here and ask for some advice.


I'm travelling to LA from Sweden on a work trip and have booked in a few days vacation, with an aim to do some fun road cycling. I have from Thursday - Sunday free. I'm hoping that some locals might be able to recommend some cool "must ride" routes. I've checked the Strava Cycling Guide and done some research online, but I'd love to get some tips from the source.


Here's a little more info!
  • I'm in decent condition, and an experienced cyclist. I'll probably bring my own bike in a bike bag.
  • I don't mind climbing, but I also enjoy flatter rides. The prettier the better, of course!
  • I haven't booked my hotel yet so any suggestions about the most convenient place to stay would be awesome. I visit in a few weeks.
  • I have read some horror stories about how dangerous LA can be for cycling so any tips on how to stay extra safe, or routes that don't feel too sketchy would be appreciated!
I appreciate that I'm asking a lot here, so big big thanks in advance to anyone kind enough to help me out.
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Old 02-22-19, 02:36 PM
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Where is it that you're staying for work?
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Old 02-22-19, 04:18 PM
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Hi. I'm staying in Burbank for work, but I was thinking of getting a hotel elsewhere for my vacation days. From what I've read, staying close to Malibu might be a good idea considering it's close to Latigo Canyon, Tuna Canyon etc.? I won't have a car with me during those days.
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Old 02-22-19, 04:38 PM
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I'll let the rest of the crew chime in on where to go. I'm located in the southern part of LA County and not familiar with the details up around Burbank or Northern LA County.
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Old 02-22-19, 04:50 PM
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Sorry for any confusion, but I am not staying in Burbank for the vacation part of my trip. I was actually thinking of getting a hotel near Malibu because the riding looks great down there. I could stay more south if it would facilitate better rides!

Thanks for any information!
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Old 02-22-19, 05:22 PM
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If you are staying in Malibu ride the PCH to whichever canyon you feel like; Topanga, Kanan-Dume, etc. Or ride northwest toward Oxnard, or Southeast toward Santa Monica. If you dont mind a MUP you can take the Strand beach bike path almost to Palos Verdes. Or head up Santa Monica Blvd/2 (lots of traffic) until you get to the fun part, Angeles Crest Highway, where you can climb the mountain road for hours on the bike.

I also used to enjoy Sepulveda between Sunset and Mulholland Drive, over the hill to Ventura Blvd and back. The PCH intersects Sunset, if that helps finding your bearings.
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Old 02-22-19, 07:18 PM
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If you venture to the south side of LA, Palos Verdes is road bike heaven. Great views of the ocean.
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Old 02-22-19, 07:32 PM
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Just something to research , the town of Laguna is a pretty cool place . In town and North of town are some awesome hills . South of town it flattens out . Laguna Canyon proper is really something else .
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Old 02-23-19, 04:30 AM
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in no particular order...

palos verdes peninsula. lots of shortish, punchy 1-2 mile climbs along with flattish/rolliing roads along the coast.

santa monica mountains. arguably the best place in all of socal to ride if you like hills.
Malibu: Heaven has mountains | RKP
you get bored of hills, you can always mix in pch from santa monica to point mugu for flats/flattish. boo-hoo.

griffith park next to dtown la is gorgeous, fun and scenic.

rose bowl area up to mt. wilson (weather permitting) and back via ca hwy 2

gmr/grr from azusa or glendora to mt. baldy village. the ridiculous ascent/descent to/from mt. baldy is justa bonus.
if only one ride to do in socal, it's gmr/grr.

if i've got 4 days, i'm hitting the santa monica mtns for 2 days, gmr/grrr for one day and palos verdes one day.
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Old 02-23-19, 04:44 AM
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my fave la ride incorporates a few neighborhoods: boyle heights. filipinotown, koreatown, chinatown, little armenia, little tokyo, and a few parks: elysian, griffith, hollenbeck and los angeles state historic park.
about 35 miles. there's gonna be some urban interface. the smells and the sights, however, are incomparable.
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Old 02-23-19, 02:52 PM
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I'm not sure I'd recommend the Santa Monica Mountains for "the prettier the better."

This is Mulholland above Leo Carillo and then up Little Sycamore - the burn stops shortly after. So Yerba Buena is a possibility but its a rough surfaced road at best. I imagine Latigo looks much the same. I'd head to the San Gabriels. Yesterday I was riding on ACH with mountains dusted in snow on a gorgeous sunny day. ACH was closed at the Mt. Wilson turn off. I went around the barrier and had it all to myself.

Good luck





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Old 02-23-19, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
my fave la ride incorporates a few neighborhoods: boyle heights. filipinotown, koreatown, chinatown, little armenia, little tokyo, and a few parks: elysian, griffith, hollenbeck and los angeles state historic park.

about 35 miles. there's gonna be some urban interface. the smells and the sights, however, are incomparable.

edit-oh...just saw the part where you won't have a car during this time. in that case, your best bang for the buck will be hitting the santa monica mountains. there is enough

ground to cover for four days. four 50 mile rides or so. if you like riding centuries, you can also mix in a ride either up the coast to santa barbara/ventura/ojai area, down the coast

to palos verdes or northeast to angeles national forest. in terms of lodging near the santa monica mtns, there isn't a lot on the malibu side. there is closer to santa monica but both

malibu and santa monica tend to be a little pricier than the north/inland side (westlake village, thousand oaks, agoura hills, calabasas...). there are a ton of hotels/motels along the

101 freeway corridor which essentially forms the northern boundary of the mountains. there are also plenty of access roads into the mountains which are all doable (i'd stay away

from kanan dune road tho with its' traffic/high speeds) and with varying degrees of steepness. if you stay in santa monica, there's a mile or two stretch of pacific coast highway

(aka pch or highway 1) northbound before you get to topanga canyon road/ca hwy 27 which is high speed traffic with litttle to no shoulder. not the safest stretch but i've ridden it a few times.

all that said, the non-cycling aspects (food/drink/shopping/sightseeing) of santa monica far outweigh anything along the 101 freeway corridor.

and yes, approximately 50% of the santa monica mountains (western half) recently burned during a huge wildfire. the pasadena area makes for a nice home base for exploring the angeles
national forest as a backup/alternative. you can ride highway 2/angeles crest highway (aka ach), do gmr/grr to mt. baldy or head towards dtown la and hit griffith park. if you're feeling flats,
you can ride either or both the la river trail (dtown la to long beach) and the san gabriel river trail (sgrt) from azuza to seal beach.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 02-23-19 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 02-23-19, 09:32 PM
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I know Iím biased, but I donít like riding in LA County. The Santa Monica mountains have some of the crappiest roads known to man (as somebody already mentioned) and Iím sure with all the rain, the road conditions havenít gotten any better. If you can book yourself in a hotel in Orange County (Irvine, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest) you can get a safe, decent 100 km ride going south to Camp Pendleton and back. I would recommend this route: get somehow to Irvine, take Shady Canyon (mostly paved bike trail) to Newport Coast (fairly easy climb), then PCH South to San Clemente and from there you can get all the way to Camp Pendleton on lightly traveled roads (some are campground roads with no traffic). Then go back. The only crappy section is on PCH in Laguna Beach between Laguna Canyon (CA-133) and Crown Valley. You can easily avoid it by going inland on Laguna Canyon and then get back on PCH at Crown Valley. I reckon at least 50% of this route is coastal, with great views of the ocean. That's the route that I do when I want to be a tourist.
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Old 02-24-19, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JimmyNH View Post
I know I’m biased, but I don’t like riding in LA County. The Santa Monica mountains have some of the crappiest roads known to man (as somebody already mentioned) and I’m sure with all the rain, the road conditions haven’t gotten any better. If you can book yourself in a hotel in Orange County (Irvine, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest) you can get a safe, decent 100 km ride going south to Camp Pendleton and back. I would recommend this route: get somehow to Irvine, take Shady Canyon (mostly paved bike trail) to Newport Coast (fairly easy climb), then PCH South to San Clemente and from there you can get all the way to Camp Pendleton on lightly traveled roads (some are campground roads with no traffic). Then go back. The only crappy section is on PCH in Laguna Beach between Laguna Canyon (CA-133) and Crown Valley. You can easily avoid it by going inland on Laguna Canyon and then get back on PCH at Crown Valley. I reckon at least 50% of this route is coastal, with great views of the ocean. That's the route that I do when I want to be a tourist.
i recall yerba buena rd as the only substandard major road in the santa monicas but maybe i'm misremembering. things were pretty good in november when i last visited.

otoh...in your neighborhood...santiago canyon road, in either direction, is the best i've ever seen it. the entire length of antonio parkway from rsm to san clemente was solid as well. hit both two weeks ago.
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Old 02-25-19, 03:11 AM
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Wow. Thanks so much for all these amazing responses. I'm going to work out an itineary then post it back in here when organised. Big thanks!

I guess, generally, I should try to ride early in the morning and on the weekdays, if possible?
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Old 02-25-19, 09:48 AM
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Try this: get a place in Agoura Hills. You have your choice of SM climbs, beautiful cruises through Hidden Valley and Westlake or a mix. If a weekend, check out Serious Cycling for a shop ride on Saturday or CVC bike club on Sat or Sunday. Best to go with locals who can show you around.
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Old 03-01-19, 09:59 AM
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I doubt you will spend all your waking hours on a bike. The bigger question is what else would you want to do?

Without a car, you will be miserable in some/most of the locations suggested. No clue how old you are, but I would stay in Studio City or Hollywood (both are very close to Burbank) and just enjoy Griffith Park or Mulholland Drive (both in the Santa Monica mountains). You can then walk to get food/coffee/whatever.

I only do climbs, so that is all I can suggest. Ascents up and down to Mulholland are fun! Parts of Griffith Park and the nearby river path are flattish.
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Old 03-04-19, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
I doubt you will spend all your waking hours on a bike. The bigger question is what else would you want to do?

Without a car, you will be miserable in some/most of the locations suggested. No clue how old you are, but I would stay in Studio City or Hollywood (both are very close to Burbank) and just enjoy Griffith Park or Mulholland Drive (both in the Santa Monica mountains). You can then walk to get food/coffee/whatever.

I only do climbs, so that is all I can suggest. Ascents up and down to Mulholland are fun! Parts of Griffith Park and the nearby river path are flattish.
haha truth.
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Old 04-18-19, 09:06 AM
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Did he ever say when he was coming? He probably came and left already. Any updates from the OP?
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Old 04-19-19, 01:37 AM
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do they ever? i feel so...used. *sob*
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