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Old 03-13-14, 10:32 PM   #1
jmX
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LA River bike path Long Beach through Compton, how safe? Alternatives for riding?

I'm moving into a new office tomorrow to start a cycling related company (woot!) and it's in downtown Long Beach. I'm about 100ft from the LA River Path right near Catalina Landing. It looks very nice at the Ocean, but I imagine things get sketchy very quickly as I get up through Compton and Downey. Any opinions on the safety this path, specifically during weekdays 10am-4pm?

If that path is a bit sketchy, where else should I look to ride? Getting to Palos Verdes seems like it'd be pretty painful, and riding along the beach seems like it'd be too congested with joggers and tourists.

Any help?
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Old 03-13-14, 10:45 PM   #2
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Where are you starting from, somewhere near SART? Or are you just looking for a mid day ride, not necessarily riding to or fro work?

I personally have never had issues nor been nervous on SGRT and the handful of times I've been on the LART it's been perfectly fine for me too, all the way up to where it crosses over to SGRT near San Gabriel.

Riding along Ocean between LART and SGRT is pretty "meh"... lots of traffic and not a lot of shoulder room, never mind all the traffic lights. SGRT to SART is pretty pleaseant along PCH if you can ignore that niggling suspicion in the back of your head that most of the drivers on Sunset Beach are probably hammered by 11 am.

I agree that getting to PV would be a pain but once you're there, it's got some terrific cycling. The first half of the Tour de Cure stays in PV and it's pretty splendid. It would be worth throwing your bike in the car to drive over every now and then.
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Old 03-13-14, 10:53 PM   #3
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I'd be starting where Ocean Blvd hits the LA River, half a block from the start of the LA River Path. Just looking for a good ride a couple times a week around lunch time. Palos verdes would be great, but even that drive to get to the riding there is slow so it's probably not a viable 90 minute lunchtime getaway.

Has all your riding there on the LART/SGRT been on the weekend? When I was out there checking out office real estate I did see a pack of cyclists headed up the trail at lunch, I just didn't know how far up they were going or what conditions were like.

I may try to ride from Orange to Long Beach on rare occasion once it starts getting dark later but SART->PCH covers that pretty well.
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Old 03-14-14, 08:08 AM   #4
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I had a room mate in college who was mugged for his bike on SGRT back in the 90's. There have been incidents recently on the SART. I am not too concerned myself. These are rare, and usually occur during times of low traffic on the trails. Mid day on weekends are no problem. During the week when there are fewer bikes on the trail, I would still ride, but keep my head up.
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Old 03-14-14, 08:11 AM   #5
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The LART bike path heading towards Downey/Compton is not too bad at all. As long as you use common sense, and avoid the area late at night, you should be fine. If your looking for a longer ride, you can connect the LART to the SGRT into a big loop. PV is also worth it, some really nice rides up there.
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Old 03-14-14, 11:06 AM   #6
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I have ridden the LART from Long Beach to Whittier Narrows several times. I haven't felt any real danger, but last weekend there were a couple of (what appeared to be) gang members sprawled out on the hood of a police car right on the bike path. I'll keep riding there, but you can bet I'll be vigilant. Would never even think of riding it without daylight.

The beach path won't be very crowded during the week. Heck, it's not even so bad on most weekends. The bad part is that it doesn't go very far. It ends by Los Alamitos.
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Old 03-14-14, 04:27 PM   #7
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I'm moving into a new office tomorrow to start a cycling related company (woot!) and it's in downtown Long Beach. I'm about 100ft from the LA River Path right near Catalina Landing. It looks very nice at the Ocean, but I imagine things get sketchy very quickly as I get up through Compton and Downey. Any opinions on the safety this path, specifically during weekdays 10am-4pm?

If that path is a bit sketchy, where else should I look to ride? Getting to Palos Verdes seems like it'd be pretty painful, and riding along the beach seems like it'd be too congested with joggers and tourists.

Any help?
Just to be clear, L.A. river trail splits into two just north of Imperial Hwy. To the west is the LART to the east is the Rio Hondo river trail. I live a stone's throw of the RHRT and ride that 3 or 4 time a week from Downey down to LB (light house). Knock on wood, never had a problem (during daylight hours). I have never ridden the LART north of Imperial Hwy which appears to head into Los Angeles. Not sure how far you plan to ride but from where I jump on (Treasure Island) to L.B is about 15.5 mile o.w.
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Old 03-14-14, 05:40 PM   #8
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Yeah, what Bobsled said about the trail split - I meant Rio Hondo. It's pretty barren looking, even worse than SGRT and SART but it's a river trail.

As to your other question, I've ridden SGRT random days but RHRT only on weekends, and usually early.

I think Garfield Cat got mugged for his bike within the last year, and i want to say it was on SGRT up by Downey but I don't recall the details. He posted about it on this forum. Of course, I can't find it.

I don't think either trail is any more dangerous than SART through Santa Ana, that's for sure. Keep your eyes peeled if you're riding solo, as always.
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Old 03-15-14, 03:58 PM   #9
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I was imagining the route I'd take is the LA River trail to where the Rio Hondo trail starts, and then turn back. ~20mi for lunch hour. I'd hopefully find a lunch spot a minute off the trail somewhere.

The region of the trail between the ocean and the 105 is what I'd mostly be concerned with. I doubt I'd do the longer 35mi LART/RioHondo/SGRT loop very often.

Sounds like it's safe enough to go try it solo during a weekday and get a feel for it myself. I can see the LA River trail from my office window so it'd be a shame if I didn't feel comfortable riding there.

Thanks for the input guys.
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Old 03-16-14, 06:49 AM   #10
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Yeah, what Bobsled said about the trail split - I meant Rio Hondo. It's pretty barren looking, even worse than SGRT and SART but it's a river trail.

As to your other question, I've ridden SGRT random days but RHRT only on weekends, and usually early.

I think Garfield Cat got mugged for his bike within the last year, and i want to say it was on SGRT up by Downey but I don't recall the details. He posted about it on this forum. Of course, I can't find it.

I don't think either trail is any more dangerous than SART through Santa Ana, that's for sure. Keep your eyes peeled if you're riding solo, as always.
That was the mugging on the Rio Hondo at the John Anson Ford park in Bell Gardens.
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Old 03-16-14, 10:24 AM   #11
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As a lifetime rider of SART, let me just add that these trails are all a little dangerous if you are alone. I have never had a problem on SART while riding with others. Sometimes you just have to slow down/ speed up a little bit and hang with a group. Don't get out there and pose as a victim. And don't stop for nobody. Its a trick !
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Old 03-16-14, 10:26 AM   #12
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I live in Long Beach, in the Belmont Shore area, and I work in the harbor, so I'm very familiar with the territory. A good option would be to ride from where your office is downtown to Shoreline Village and pick up the beach trail heading east. That ends in Belmont Shore, and you can continue on 2nd Street to PCH, right on PCH to pick up the start of the SGRT. During the week the beach path is lightly used and scenic, and the ride through Belmont Shore and Naples is a lot more scenic than the LART.
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Old 03-16-14, 10:51 AM   #13
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I ride this route weekday mornings/afternoons and i've always felt safe. I wouldn't worry about it to much. Just a 'heads up' on a few high schools in-between ocean and 105 which are let out at 3'ish resulting in kids congregating on the trail, not paying attention and stuff like that.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:24 PM   #14
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That was the mugging on the Rio Hondo at the John Anson Ford park in Bell Gardens.
Yeah. That's the only spot that's sketchy. I recommend staying on the right side of the RHRT until you get to the Suva over pass. In other words don't cross over at the foot bridge. That places you along that Ford park.
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Old 03-16-14, 09:33 PM   #15
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I guess I've gone by that park every time and never noticed a thing (all saturday mornings though, except for the most recent time, which was about 2:30 pm on a Friday)

I'll have to keep an eye peeled for Suva next time.
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Old 03-17-14, 08:03 AM   #16
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I have ridden LART, SGRT, RHRT, SART as solo rides many times. From the beach to the very ends or near ends, far enough to make it like 70 miles round trip. Just once I got mugged.

Solo riding is dangerous in certain areas. I don't see how the danger level will be getting any less. I imagine myself riding with a fast group and getting dropped and still getting mugged.
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Old 03-18-14, 03:04 PM   #17
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I live in Long Beach, in the Belmont Shore area, and I work in the harbor, so I'm very familiar with the territory. A good option would be to ride from where your office is downtown to Shoreline Village and pick up the beach trail heading east. That ends in Belmont Shore, and you can continue on 2nd Street to PCH, right on PCH to pick up the start of the SGRT. During the week the beach path is lightly used and scenic, and the ride through Belmont Shore and Naples is a lot more scenic than the LART.
I Just rode the beach path to Naples and back for lunch and it was pretty nice. Very scenic, path traffic was low. Don't know if I could get a workout along there, but it's certainly good enough for a lunch ride.

Now I've just gotta find some lunch places with outdoor patios where I can park my bike and keep an eye on it.
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Old 03-18-14, 03:20 PM   #18
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Now I've just gotta find some lunch places with outdoor patios where I can park my bike and keep an eye on it.

Pretty much every restaurant and coffeehouse on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore has an outdoor patio.
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Old 03-18-14, 04:21 PM   #19
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Now I've just gotta find some lunch places with outdoor patios where I can park my bike and keep an eye on it.
There are two places right at the Belmont pier. A brewery-type place at the top of the pier (I haven't eaten there, but it looks decent), and La Palapa just East of the pier by the swim center (good burgers). Super Mex on 2nd street is good fast Mex food, and you can take your bike into the enclosed patio. There's also Babbette's Feast across the street from there that has great baked goods, sandwiches, etc.
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Old 03-18-14, 11:24 PM   #20
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Go to Naples near Christmas... and in the evening. Just do it. Thank me later.
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Old 03-22-14, 11:18 PM   #21
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I Just rode the beach path to Naples and back for lunch and it was pretty nice. Very scenic, path traffic was low. Don't know if I could get a workout along there, but it's certainly good enough for a lunch ride.

Now I've just gotta find some lunch places with outdoor patios where I can park my bike and keep an eye on it.
You will find a park at the end of the peninsula. Nice place to eat lunch.
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