Whether commuting, sight-seeing or enjoying a day in the sun, the city of Los Angeles is perfect for biking. Well, at least the weather is perfect. And the generally flat terrain makes any cycling adventure easy.
These paths range from breathtaking to functional and well-maintained to shabby. But, there’s something for everyone and, with the new LA Bike Path plan, there will be more bike paths from which to choose, very soon.
Arroyo Seco-This historical path is not very long-3 miles-but it follows the exact route of the Horrace Dobbins Cycleway circa 1900. Unfortunately, over the 110 years of this trail’s existence-it has fallen in disrepair.
Ballona Creek – This 7 mile path extends from National Boulevard to the Beach. It connects with the Bike path along the beach. The last stretch along the Marina Peninsula has a serious head wind. There is no lighting, though, so avoid after dark. Note: The path between National Blvd. and Duquesne Ave. is temporarily closed-end date is unknown-because of construction. The Parks Department suggests entering and exiting at Duquesne Ave. or further down the path. To report graffiti: 311, for non-emergency LAPD at 310-202-4502
Santa Monica Bike Path-An incredible find! Stretching 11 miles from Santa Monica and Venice with a break at Washington Blvd. leaves the beach to go down Washington Blvd. through Venice. Beware, there is construction on Washington, so cyclists must now ride on the sidewalk until Fall of 2010. Oh, the sacrifices we make for new sewers…I mean, progress. To report graffiti: 311, for non-emergency LAPD at 310-202-4502
South Bay Bike Path-Spanning from Playa del Rey to Torrance, this 11 mile breathtaking path meanders along Dockweiler Beach, past the Hyperion Plant-hold your noses next to this one-and then down past partying post-grads in Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo. By connecting this route north to Marina del Rey, jogging over onto Washington Blvd. and picking the Santa Monica Bike Path back up, you can make this an extra long and lovely, ocean breezy bike ride.
Los Angeles River Bikeway-This project may eventually extend further from Griffith Park to Elysian Park, however, for now, extends 3.2 miles from Victory Blvd (at the 134 fwy) to Fletcher Drive in Elysian Valley. Eventually, it will run 52 miles from Canoga Park to Long Beach. Portions are industrial and urban, some are less so…keep your eyes on the road, and around you, at all times. To report graffiti: 311, for non-emergency LAPD at 310-202-4502
Chandler Bikeway-This two-lane, 2 mile path opened in August 2004 and runs parallel to W. Chandler Blvd. Once a month, the Sidewalk Astronomers-a non-profit educational organization- sets up large telescopes for public viewing at the corner of Chandler Bikeway and Lima Street (1 block west of California). Chandler Bikeway contact information: Problems, Concerns & Suggestions: 818-238-5300, Graffiti Hotline: 818-238-3806, Police Desk – Non-Emergency: 818-238-3000
Santa Monica Pacific Coast Highway-There is a bike lane on Pacific Coast Highway, cyclists do ride on this well-worn, breathtakingly scenic route daily, BUT…it requires extreme caution. Sometimes the people driving get so caught up in the view-or whatever they are doing besides keeping their eye on the road-they swerve into the bike lane. The bike lane continues all the way up to the Los Angeles County Line, so you may go a far as you’d like. Just ride carefully!
Orange Line Busway Bike Path-This relatively new and well maintained, commuter-friendly bike path begins at Chandler Blvd. near Coldwater Canyon circles Balboa Park and ends at DeSoto and Victory. The 14 mile path is sometimes scenic, sometimes not-but it offers a continually well lit way to ride across the Valley.
Venice Blvd. Bike Lane-Although this is not a dedicated path for bikes, it is a straight shot from downtown to the Beach and is a cyclists or commuter’s best bet to get all the way across town. Make sure you have reflective gear and look out for parked cars with opening doors.
These routes are merely suggestions and not a guarantee to safety in any way. Also, Google maps has a feature which charts the safest routes–even avoiding hills–to your destination or try Gmaps Pedometer to calculate your route by running walking or biking.
Be careful out there and have fun!