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  1. #1
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    Evening rides in the San Fernando Valley (Avoid goat heads)

    I went for my usual night route ride tonight; home (Van Nuys) to the Sepulveda Basin park's bike path, around that a few times, and home. 26.6 miles, including a little jaunt down Sepulveda to Magnolia and back to visit a friend.

    Anyway, the point to all this is that I got three flats, two in front and one in the rear within about five miles of each other. My friend got one ten miles earlier in the ride. Though his tires are unprotected, I use Continental Ultra Gatorskins, which are supposed to be puncture resistant. Apparently it is goad-head season, and apparently they are not resistant to goat heads.

    So tomorrow we're back at it again, hopefully to go another 20 miles or so, again after dark. Can anyone recommend a valley ride that (A) won't get us killed, and (B) won't get us four flats in the course of fifteen miles, and (C) is do-able after dark (we have lights).
    Cannondale Synapse Sport 5

  2. #2
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    I used to ride the path around the park quite a bit, and used to get many flat tires. I don't know if it was my imagination but it seemed I almost always picked up the thorns on Balboa between the river and Victory. I always ride the street there now and haven't had problems.
    As far as night riding I'd recommend Chandler or Riverside for east-west. I've never found a very satisfactory north-south street, Whitsett's not bad and neither is Colfax. My general rule of thumb is to use major streets that don't have freeway on/off ramps.
    Of course get some good lights. I've used the big Cateye taillight during daylight and have been told it's visible a couple of blocks away and I've complimented on it's nighttime visibility by motorists a few times. The Planetbike Superflash also gets great reviews. Of course you'll also need a front light to be legal at night.

  3. #3
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    Have you tried riding the bike path west to valley circle blvd? The bike path ends around canoga blvd. so you'll be sharing the lane with cars for about a half a mile. The bike lane begins again after topanga blvd. Make a right on valley circle for a couple of short climbs. Then make a right on roscoe blvd. The bike lane ends at the intersection of roscoe and topanga so you'll be sharing the right lane with cars here and there depending on the cars parked on the side of the street. You can tolerate that until you hit winnetka. Then you can make a right on winnetka blvd. There isn't a bike lane there but the right lane is wide enough. Keep going on winnetka until you hit the bike path again and head east to your house.

    I'm doing this route this evening starting from reseda. In the past, I've just went straight on roscoe to home even if the bike lane ended (at topanga blvd). Tonight I'm gonna scope out what it's like to go north on winnetka and east on devonshire. or north on topanga (bike lane) to east on devonshire.

    ps. I've lucked out and not had a flat tire yet

  4. #4
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    I've gone the other way on Valley Circle; Bike path from Van Nuys to Valley Circle (with the minor detours you mentioned), and then left on Valley Circle to Ventura Blvd. Left again, and follow Ventura back to Sepulveda. Sepulveda north back to the bike path. It was about a 30 mile loop. Great ride. Did it at night with the Ridazz.
    Cannondale Synapse Sport 5

  5. #5
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    Ridazz!

    Quote Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
    I've gone the other way on Valley Circle; Bike path from Van Nuys to Valley Circle (with the minor detours you mentioned), and then left on Valley Circle to Ventura Blvd. Left again, and follow Ventura back to Sepulveda. Sepulveda north back to the bike path. It was about a 30 mile loop. Great ride. Did it at night with the Ridazz.
    Which Ridazz ride was this? Is it on a regular monthly schedule? I just did my first ride with them on Saturday night starting from Magnolia and Tujunga. We went thru North Hollywood area, Burbank, and Griffith Park. About a 20 mile loop. It was a blast!

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