Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Urban Cycling => Topic started by: bagoh20 on October 04, 2008, 09:42:49 pm

 
Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: bagoh20 on October 04, 2008, 09:42:49 pm
I want to start a topic on Cycling In the L.A. area.

1st:  It's tough to beat the beach path from Malibu through Venice Beach, past LAX, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach ending just past Redondo Beach.  Great scenery, lots of people watching and many are worth watching. Lots to stop and look at or explore.  Crowded so not a good workout at least not on weekends, but a one of a kind route for what it has to see as urban routes go.  This is a good bar hopping route if you're into that.  I quit drinking but we used to do that in groups on weekends and it was a blast and no hangover....usually.  Lots of hot bodies to check out all over.  I haven't quit that yet.

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: bagoh20 on October 04, 2008, 09:48:43 pm
I commute to work and back from Westchester around LAX through Hawthorne to Gardena.  14 miles one way - about 1 hour.  Nice ride if you go the right way.  Some bike path but mostly regular streets.

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: wanderingwheel on October 08, 2008, 05:02:56 pm
I don't know, I'm having a hard time coming up with smething nice to say about riding in LA.  Once you get to the fringes it's great, but downtown LA is just ugly city riding.  You're right, the bike paths can be useful if you're going slow, and the "scenery" is hard to beat, but it's also an awful lot of people crowded into the small area of the bike paths.

Sean

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: bagoh20 on October 08, 2008, 05:42:38 pm
Agreed.  One good thing is the weather is always good.

Tomorrow I'm planning on biking from LAX (My home) to Sylmar (32 miles), go hang gliding, camp out and return the next day.  I will travel some bike path, a lot of residential streets and some canyon roads.  Basically through Culver City, Beverly Hills, over the mountains and across the San Fernando Valley.

Right now bike paths are very limited in the city of LA.  There are plans for improvements in the near future.  That's kinda the reason I started this thread hoping others would inform about good routes since if we had more infrastructure it would be just a question of when not how to get around.  

If I accomplish my task this week I'll report.  This is much more ambitious than I'm used too, so we'll see if I make it.

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: wanderingwheel on October 09, 2008, 11:15:06 am
That ride sounds good right up to the San Fernando Valley.  Unfortunately, I can't think of any good alternatives.  I assume you've seen the site http://www.bicyclela.org/ (http://www.bicyclela.org/), great resource for all of Southern California, not just LA.  

I've never been a big fan of bike paths, they rarely go where I want to, and there are often slow, crowded, and have dangerous street crossings.

Sean

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: whittierider on October 09, 2008, 02:05:45 pm
The beach paths are just about worthless for practical transportation, but that's not the case at all with the trails that follow the rivers.  With those, you do have to be careful about the few pedestrians you'll find near parks, but otherwise they're "bike bahns" and there's no speed limit, either practical or legal.

On the 37-mile-long trail we live near, with the wind that comes off the ocean, I can sometimes average nearly 25mph in the 18 miles from the beach to home, going 27-29 much of the way and slowing a little for certain underpasses and the tunnels with blind entrances and exits.

The best we ever did was a day with a whale of a tail wind.  It was the last time our younger son rode the tandem with me before getting too tall to fit on it.  We did five miles in nine minutes, averaging 33mph, going 35 most of that time and slowing a bit for underpasses.  We saw only two pedestrians in that distance, men who were going the oposite direction and facing us.  Their jaws just dropped.  I don't think they had ever seen a bike go that fast, especially without going downhill.  I wish our sons still fit on the tandem.  Now that they're so much faster, it would be all the more fun.

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: bagoh20 on October 09, 2008, 02:58:09 pm
Couldn't even attempt my trip today, life got in the way.  Maybe next week.  Only 32 miles but the mountains make it a challenge for me.  I'm recovering from about 5 years of a battle with cancer.  Chemo and eventually a liver transplant 2 years ago.  I'm cured now, but still out of shape.  Lost a lot of muscle, but it's coming back, and I'm really enjoying the biking.  It's the only exercise that doesn't bore me to death.

Thanks for the link Sean , I didn't have that.

Anybody know how often wheel and crank bearings need repacked?

This message was edited by bagoh20 on 10-9-08 @ 12:12 PM
Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: whittierider on October 09, 2008, 04:21:58 pm
Quote
Anybody know how often wheel and crank bearings need repacked?

I just had to replace the freehub body on my Ultegra rear hub because it was skipping under load.  You have to remove the axle to change the freehub body, and when I opened up the hub after a couple of 5,000-mile years, the grease in it was still soft and clean and transparent yellow.  The bearings themselves could have gone many times as long without maintenance.  That depends heavily on having it adjusted correctly and having good dust seals though.  Cup-and-cone bearings usually get adjusted much too tight.  There should be some play in them that just barely goes away when the skewer is squeezed down.  With good dust seals and the right adjustment and repacking every 20,000 miles, they will last your lifetime.

The old, repackable-style bottom brackets (crank bearings, as you call it) usually seemed to last 10,000 or 15,000 miles, maybe a little more or less, depending on how hard you ride and how much play you're willing to put up with.  You should probably re-pack them every few thousand miles.

The sealed-bearing BBs with square-taper or billet spindles generally don't last that long.  Our 135-pound son with 15,000 miles on one of his bikes with the Isis-type BB is already on his fourth one.

The external-bearing-type however lasts much longer than any of its predecessors, because putting the bearings outside the BB shell gives room for more and bigger ball bearings, and reduces the load from the side-to-side torque.  The cranksets that have the spindle as an integral part of the right crank arm uses this kind of bearings.  I have a Truvativ crank with the GXP BB with over 15,000 miles on it, and the bearings feel perfectly new.  I should mention that contrary to popular belief, this type does not widen the pedal stance at all.  On my triple crankset, the bearings are farther out than the tiny chainring, almost in the plane of the middle ring.  The chainrings still nearly touch the chainstay.

This message was edited by whittierider on 10-9-08 @ 1:33 PM
Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 11, 2008, 03:06:32 pm
I know the places near LA you are writing about. Of course, I went through there while doing the PCBR, and stayed at a hostel in Venice Beach for a while. I thought it was great, especially after just having done the route all that way. There are some hot bodies in that part of the world, women that is. After cycling out of Venice I met a woman from Australia. We cycled a while together. It turned out her father was the Australian ambassabor to the United States. There was a guy juggling chain saws at Venice Beach. I cycled through there more than once, and on the second trip I also ran acrss some people who were looking for trouble. You can meet all kinds on a cycling tour.

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: bagoh20 on October 12, 2008, 04:22:40 am
Got my LA tour in today.  LAX to Beverly Hills to Mulholland Drive (top of the mountain ridge) through UCLA then Santa Monica through Venice Beach, Marina Del Rey and back home.  40 miles, under 4 hours.  Not hard, but my longest ride so far.  It's a start.

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: bobbirob22 on December 05, 2008, 05:07:01 pm
this is a reply to wanderingwheel and his link. i looked at the webpage and there is one part in particular about getting a license for your bike,, is that mandatory or is it just an option for the state of california?

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: whittierider on December 05, 2008, 05:23:19 pm
License not required in CA.  I got a license fo a bike years ago because I thought it would improve the chances of getting it back if it were stolen, but now I don't think that's true.

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: bobbirob22 on December 05, 2008, 06:01:52 pm
thanks for answering that question for me whittierider. i plan on biking to california in the future ,after i get used to biking again, so right now im trying to find out as much imformation about california as i can.

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: centrider on December 25, 2008, 11:23:54 pm
Well, bobbirob22 I live in Long Beach, south of LA and have two riding clubs, both in Orange County just so of LB with which I ride regularly.  So at that most of my riding is in Orange County a much more bike friendly area.

Concerning riding the river trails:  I ride both the San Gabriel River which is just W of LB, and the Santa Ana RT, which is about 20 miles down Pacific Coast Hwy.  While one writer pointed out how much fun it is going up river with the breeze at your back, it can get rough if a Santa Ana wind is blowing down river.  River trail riding is fun but there's the odd walker and worse, new riders on bikes which suddenly have a flat, or the rider who neglects to prepare for the 20 mile ride, prepared to do only the 20 down (or up) and lacks the training to make the round trip ride.

But the real riding goes on on the streets of Tustin, Irvine, Lake Forest, Santiago Cyn, Weir Cyn. Yorba Linda and more.

So, bobb, come join the fun.  Temp. now is in the 50's, chilly for many but manageable.



Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: whittierider on December 31, 2008, 03:30:56 pm
Uh, just to avoid possible confusion (or add to it?) for people who come and visit So. Cal., the San Gabriel River trail is on the east edge of Long Beach, and the Santa Ana River trail comes out to Pacific Coast Hwy about 12 miles down (southeast) from the San Gabriel River trail.  The L.A. River trail runs down the west edge of Long Beach, coming out to the ocean about six miles west of where the San Gabriel River trail comes out.  Long Beach's coast although definitely not straight (especially with the shipping terminals), goes basically east and west, so you'll get pretty wet if you go south from Long Beach.

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: bobbirob22 on December 31, 2008, 03:44:55 pm
thanks for the info centrider, im highly interested in the santa anna river trail and the san gabriel trail. I watched a video of the trails online. california seems to be a really good bike friendly place. I hope to take all the trails from northern ca to southern cali in the future. I plan on biking to cali from kentucky then spend a couple months along the coast (from north to south) and hopefully when im done i will have ridden all the trails. but my trip is a long time away. im planning to do it in a year or more(cause i gotta get myself in shape again) but when i do come to cali hope to see you on the trails. untill then, happy trails, and may the wind always be at your back..

 HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL ;)

ROBERT
Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: whittierider on December 31, 2008, 07:02:16 pm
Quote
I hope to take all the trails from northern ca to southern cali in the future.

There are probably a lot more down here than you want to try.  They're good for commuting if they go where you need to go, but some of them are not ones you would take just for the fun of it, mostly because they're definitely not scenic (unless you like passing the heavily grafitti'ed backs of buildings in industrial areas as you go down a concreted river).  As long as we keep our speed up, we're safe from gangs and other bad company, but some trails are not ones that I keep going back to for enjoyment.  The ones you mentioned however are mostly nice, and they're quite long.  The San Gabriel River trail goes about 38 miles, from the ocean to where Hwy 39 starts into the mountains.  You can go as fast as you want for most of it, not being slowed down by skaters and strollers and dogs.

Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: bobbirob22 on December 31, 2008, 10:57:41 pm
"" They're good for commuting if they go where you need to go, but some of them are not ones you would take just for the fun of it, mostly because they're definitely not scenic (unless you like passing the heavily grafitti'ed backs of buildings in industrial areas as you go down a concreted river).  As long as we keep our speed up, we're safe from gangs and other bad company""

now whittierider, youre getting me worried,lol, I never thought of a bicycle trail becoming a hangout for gangs and such, makes me have second thoughts about the trip...
I wanna stay as far away from gangs and other "bad company" as I can. maybe I should stick with the scenic routes?
are gangs and such a common thing in california? what are the worst places in cali for gang activity so I can stay away from those areas?

ROBERT
Title: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: whittierider on January 03, 2009, 03:23:47 pm
Quote
now whittierider, youre getting me worried,lol, I never thought of a bicycle trail becoming a hangout for gangs and such, makes me have second thoughts about the trip...

There's no reason to be scared if you know what to do.  Even my wife and the neighbor woman each ride alone on the San Gabriel River trail.

As for the bad areas, I was thinking particularly of parts of the Rio Hondo trail and Coyote Creek trail, and even those aren't really too bad.  Other trails seem to go through some not-so-good areas as well, but in the many tens of thousands of miles we've put on the trails, we have never had any problem.  That's not to say I'd want my wife riding in some of those areas alone, unless she were faster.  Seeing cyclists' speed has various psychological effects on non-cyclists, and they won't want to tangle with you.  We've ridden the San Gabriel River trail most, since we live close to it.  It's pretty good, especially the 8 or so miles at each end.  I don't feel as safe as a pedestrian out there in some of the places we ride, but it's an entirely different story on our bikes.  As for the Santa Ana River trail, I think I'm only acquainted with the 20 or so miles of it closest to the ocean, and I don't remember any bad parts of that at all.
Quote
I wanna stay as far away from gangs and other "bad company" as I can. maybe I should stick with the scenic routes?
are gangs and such a common thing in california? what are the worst places in cali for gang activity so I can stay away from those areas?

I'm sure almost every state has their bad areas, and I'm not sure CA is any worse.  If you get into our area and want to be shown some great rides, PM me and I'll be glad to show you loads of them.  I'm sure others who live in L.A. and nearby coastal counties would say the same thing.  Last week we had a visitor from Colorado who brought his bike so we took him for a 30-mile loop in the local hills and he kept saying things like, "Wow this is beautiful!" and "What a beautiful ride!"

Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: mucknort on February 20, 2009, 09:48:24 am
I highly recommend "Franko's" Bicycle Maps of Southern California. They clearly map out cool routes on both city streets and the numerous dedicated paved bicycle paths. My parents live in Orange County, so I've only done rides there. 3 of my favorite bike paths are the "Santa Ana River Trail", the "Fullerton Loop", and the "Alisso Creek/Irvine Trail". The maps are well made and reasonably priced ($6).

http://www.frankosmaps.com/Orange_County_Trail_Maps.htm
http://www.frankosmaps.com/Los_Angeles_County_Trails.htm
Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: Aloha_Cyclist on February 22, 2009, 01:56:23 pm
I rode from Santa Barbara to San Diego this past December using the ACA maps. (Pacific Coast Route - Map #5 Santa Barbara, CA. to Imperial Beach, CA.)
Would not have imagined it would be so enjoyable. I suspected riding through an urban sprawl like LA would be sketchy but that was hardly the case.

I'm sure riding in Summer would be an entirely different experience with more visitors/tourists crowding the bike paths along the beach areas.  The maps were spot on and guides one safely through the more dense areas, a positive first experience navigating with the maps.

Yes I would do this ride again anytime given the same conditions.   
Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: centrider on February 23, 2009, 08:00:18 pm
Uh, just to avoid possible confusion (or add to it?) for people who come and visit So. Cal., the San Gabriel River trail is on the east edge of Long Beach, and the Santa Ana River trail comes out to Pacific Coast Hwy about 12 miles down (southeast) from the San Gabriel River trail.  The L.A. River trail runs down the west edge of Long Beach, coming out to the ocean about six miles west of where the San Gabriel River trail comes out.  Long Beach's coast although definitely not straight (especially with the shipping terminals), goes basically east and west, so you'll get pretty wet if you go south from Long Beach.



Your right about the distance from the San Gabriel to the Santa Ana.  I was calculating the distance from my home to the Santa Ana River.

 Thanks for catching that.
Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: thomj513 on May 07, 2009, 06:52:55 pm
I commute to work and back from Westchester around LAX through Hawthorne to Gardena.  14 miles one way - about 1 hour.  Nice ride if you go the right way.  Some bike path but mostly regular streets.


I also work in Gardena; Main St and Gardena Blvd.  What route do you use from the West Side?
Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: Leon DeGamme on July 06, 2009, 09:25:42 pm
I live near El Dorado park in Long Beach and am interested in using the San Gabriel River bike trail. I would like to know how to get on the trail. I work until the very early evening and my friend and I like to ride at that time. I know that the park closes at dusk so entrance through the park is not available. Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: whittierider on July 06, 2009, 11:18:01 pm
Leon, we have gotten on and off many times at Willow in order to go between the trail and Palos Verdes.  There's good access to the trail on both sides of Willow.  You'll see it on the east side of the river.  Spring doesn't have access unless maybe you go up to the nature center parking lot driveway, and that's only on the south (east-bound) side of Spring.  Trying to visualize Wardlow, I can't think of an entry there either.  There are ramps at Carson, and a foot bridge across the river immediately south of Carson too.  (I've never tried to see what's on the other side of the river at that point.  It might just go to one of the residential streets to Los Coyotes, Studebaker, or Carson.)
Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: Leon DeGamme on July 06, 2009, 11:40:03 pm
I will have to check out Willow for the entrance. do you know if its open in the evening?
Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: whittierider on July 07, 2009, 12:39:15 am
Since you don't have to go into the park to use that entrance, I have no doubt that you'll be able to get on.
Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: Leon DeGamme on July 07, 2009, 03:19:59 am
Thanks again for your help. I will let you know how it goes.
Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: Leon DeGamme on July 15, 2009, 02:24:24 pm
I actually found an entrance on Wardlow that was much easier to park at. Thanks for the help.
Title: Re: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Post by: whittierider on May 18, 2010, 03:00:23 pm
A friend suggested we ride downtown to see the Tour of California time trial Saturday.  We live maybe 20 miles east of there, and have always lamented that there's no good way to ride west to downtown L.A. and beyond to LAX.  He suggested Slauson as possibly the least of the evils, and take that to the L.A. River trail north and get off near Dodger Stadium.  I know there are discontinuities in that trail, but I don't know where, or what the best way is to get around them.  Does anyone have info or suggestions?  I kind of suspect the surface quality of Slauson is terrible and it probably has tons of traffic lights too.