Must do rides in/around LA

I trust the TR community and will prioritize recommendations from here. Stava segments really just shows me Phil Giamon’s greatest hits, Google gives me mostly scenic cruiser rides…

I’m a roadie from NYC and my wife and I will be in LA for 10 days over the holidays and I’m looking for some must do rides in the area. I’m staying downtown, but will have a car. I’ll be riding mornings, starting around 6am and will have 2-3 hours, maybe more if my wife has plans that morning. 20-30mile rides, or shorter focused on climbing, are ideal.

This time has been a planned 10 day “vacation” from the trainer, coming right in between SSB1 & SSB2. Additionally my wife and I have been considering moving to LA for sometime now, we have made many trips to LA in the past few years but I’ve never brought a bike. This trip is meant to be our final “go/no-go” call so I’d like to experience what I will have access to as a cyclist resident in LA.

As of now I know I want to ride in the following areas;

  • Griffith Park, but have no clue what entrance/route/loop to do (Would love one I could ride too from DTLA as well)
  • Topanga Area (I have driven Tuna Canyon Rd many times, but are there other must do climbs in that area?)

Thank you guys for any input.

I’ll put together some routes for you and post them here.

LA has amazing road, gravel, and mountain bike riding.

I’ve been told Glendora Mountain Road is a must do.

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I’ll have only a bike with 25c road tires on it… minor gravel is ok, not much more.

I appreciate the help.

p.s. check this out:

I moved from the west side earlier this year (Santa Monica then Brentwood). Perhaps not destination rides, but if you lived around there and just want to hop on the bike without braving the traffic to Malibu etc, there are some decent climbs on the north side of Sunset. Kenter, Tigertail, and Mandeville Canyon come to mind.

Oh and lmk if you’d want any yoga recommendations too :pray:

Oh! How can I find those all by those names? Or are those segment names?

I do want to experience some of the climbs out in Topanga/Malibu but not everyday. So things that are doable from DT by bike…or short-is drive are totally great.

I got yoga down.

They’re roads. On Apple maps looks like N Kenter Ave, N Tigertail Rd, and Mandeville Canyon Rd. Surprisingly long and steep to be right there in town.

Mandeville Canyon is a pretty iconic climb in that area – at something like 5 miles it is the longest dead-end road in the country (I think I read that somewhere). Also, because it is a dead-end climb, there are relatively few cars so it’s pretty quiet and safe.

Fair warning – it kicks up pretty good right at the end :wink:

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I visited LA this January and really enjoyed riding there.

Strava has some nice routes: https://www.strava.com/local/paths?parent_region=us&region=la&activity_type=cycling
They are a bit longer than you asked for, but with a car you might be able to shorten them.

I’d recommend ride #6 Fernwood-Piuma- it runs on beautiful smaller roads and has some steeper sections. I also enjoyed riding on the Mulholland HWY- which has rolling hill with nice views.
If you have time, plan a coffee stop/ lunch break at the bike cafe Pedalers fork in Calabasas.

People at www.helenscycles.com (they have a few shops in LA) were very helpful in finding nice roads and pointed out (early morning) group rides. They may be able to tell you which areas have been affected by the recent bush fires.

I knew a page like that existed on Strava, but I could not find it (today may have been the 5th time in as many years I’ve logged into Strava on a desktop, I often forget it even exists).

Good to know about that shop. Thank you.

What is the best option for Griffith Park? Loop and/or entrance coming form the southeast?

Here is a Griffith loop from DTLA, taking the LA river bike path. You can stop at La Columbe for a coffee on the way which is accessible right off the path (literally its on the path):

https://www.strava.com/routes/16414250

Mandeville out and back from Blue Bottle in Santa Monica. There is plenty of parking on San Vicente (towards Santa Monica).

https://www.strava.com/routes/16414539

“TOTS” which is Topanga, Old Topanga, Stunt. (probably more like a 3.5 hour loop)

https://www.strava.com/routes/16414545

There are countless other once as well, but those three are mainstays.

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Phil Gaimon’s Strava might have some ideas…

@stevemz Thank you. I stared all three in my Strava. Mandeville and the Griffith Loop are spot on what I was looking for. For the further out stuff I’ll need to plan a bit more, I probably only have 1 or two of those days.

2 Highway midweek could be a lot of fun. Sees some commuter traffic but after the Angeles Forest Highway intersection it lets up.

I second Glendora Mountain Road too @bbarrera

Per recs above, Glendora Mountain Road is a great climb, a bit of a hike, but definitely worth it.

Here is a route, park at Encanto Park and fill up two bottles: https://www.strava.com/routes/16416346

The Gold Line goes out to Azusa now. Only costs $1.58 (if memory serves me correctly) one way.

Oh snap! Good point!

This will save me so many junk miles! (I often hit GMR after Montrose long and then work my way back to Echo Park)

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Basically any of these roads in and around Mt. Baldy:

https://www.strava.com/segments/4627073

https://www.strava.com/segments/811986

https://www.strava.com/segments/6520695

https://www.strava.com/segments/825939