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Old 04-26-16, 07:46 PM
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Howdy neighbors

After living here for several months, I finally purchased a bike and started cycling this week. It was an eleven month absence since I was overseas and then it took a while to get situated again. Before being overseas, I was living in Monterey.

My new residence is in Los Feliz and I have a few questions about cycling in the area. Sorry for all the questions! I thought I would get them all out of the way instead of pestering everyone in the next couple of months.

Ride questions

What are some good rides in the area? I am assuming Griffith Park is the obvious answer. Looking for some more variety. I love climbing.

If I were to go around Griffith Park, how safe is riding on Cahuenga? My hope is that I can do a quick loop around the park before work (8am). Judging by Google Street View, there is no shoulder and the road is narrow. Do not see any other road.

Can you cut across Griffith park? I have seen rides on Strava that cut across, but I have never seen paved roads outside of the one that goes to the Observatory on the south side. Strava does not differentiate between paved and gravel rides for segments, but then again, I thought cycling was not allowed.

What is the safest way to make it to the ocean from Los Feliz?

General questions

Got a new bike and I want to get fitted. I do not need anything fancy, just want to move things by centimeters, not millimeters. No expensive computerized setup needed. Must be at a bikable distance from me. Perhaps no more than 20 miles, but would prefer a lot closer.

Best bike shop in my area? I have not been impressed with any store I have been to.

Good cycling groups in the area? Saw a big group this morning, but there were too many for my tastes (at least 20). Prefer smaller groups. B groups.

Still getting used to riding again! Despite running all the time (even did a half marathon while trail running in Griffith), it was not a good preparation for cycling. Have not attempted any climb except for the very short one on Los Feliz Blvd going away from the river.
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Old 04-26-16, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe
After living here for several months, I finally purchased a bike and started cycling this week. It was an eleven month absence since I was overseas and then it took a while to get situated again. Before being overseas, I was living in Monterey.

My new residence is in Los Feliz and I have a few questions about cycling in the area. Sorry for all the questions! I thought I would get them all out of the way instead of pestering everyone in the next couple of months.

Ride questions

What are some good rides in the area? I am assuming Griffith Park is the obvious answer. Looking for some more variety. I love climbing.

If I were to go around Griffith Park, how safe is riding on Cahuenga? My hope is that I can do a quick loop around the park before work (8am). Judging by Google Street View, there is no shoulder and the road is narrow. Do not see any other road.

Can you cut across Griffith park? I have seen rides on Strava that cut across, but I have never seen paved roads outside of the one that goes to the Observatory on the south side. Strava does not differentiate between paved and gravel rides for segments, but then again, I thought cycling was not allowed.

What is the safest way to make it to the ocean from Los Feliz?

General questions

Got a new bike and I want to get fitted. I do not need anything fancy, just want to move things by centimeters, not millimeters. No expensive computerized setup needed. Must be at a bikable distance from me. Perhaps no more than 20 miles, but would prefer a lot closer.

Best bike shop in my area? I have not been impressed with any store I have been to.

Good cycling groups in the area? Saw a big group this morning, but there were too many for my tastes (at least 20). Prefer smaller groups. B groups.

Still getting used to riding again! Despite running all the time (even did a half marathon while trail running in Griffith), it was not a good preparation for cycling. Have not attempted any climb except for the very short one on Los Feliz Blvd going away from the river.
griffith park is compact but great. most roads are doable on 23's but you may be more comfy on 25's since some feature a lotta hard-packed dirt here and there.
ride the hell out of the park and get to know it intimately before going elsewhere. it will be a great quickie ride or starter/finisher to a longer ride.

chevy chase rd up to the hwy 2 and mt. wilson/big & little tujunga canyons is fun and challenging for climbing.

the rose bowl is nearby and good for laps/circuits.

plenty of climbs off mulholland as you head west from griffith park. enuff to sate even the most demanding climber. if you go far enuff along the mulholland corridor,
you end up in the santa monica mtns which is the playground for climbers in socal.

i love a glendale, atwater village, griffith park, los feliz, elysian park, silverlake, echo park, dtown, boyle heights, hollywood ride for the incomparable sights, sounds and smells but maybe that's just me.

i feel the safest/quickest/easiest path from dtown la to the ocean is venice blvd.

the best nearby flats were riverside drive squeezed between the north side of griffith park and the 5 freeway and the la river trail which runs parallel to riverside drive
for a good spell. varying reports on the accessibility/ridability of the la river trail as of the last few months. haven't done a stretch of it personally for 4 months and
there was construction on/around it at the time.

congrats on the los feliz digs. central and never boring. i think you will probably ditch the car in favor of the bike (and by foot) at every opportunity.

Last edited by diphthong; 04-26-16 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 04-27-16, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe
Ride questions

What are some good rides in the area? I am assuming Griffith Park is the obvious answer. Looking for some more variety. I love climbing.

Can you cut across Griffith park? I have seen rides on Strava that cut across, but I have never seen paved roads outside of the one that goes to the Observatory on the south side. Strava does not differentiate between paved and gravel rides for segments, but then again, I thought cycling was not allowed.
Here's a couple of routes/segments through and around Griffith Park. This will give you an idea of some of the main routes and the segments can be linked up a bunch of different ways. There are primarily two closed roads that go over the hills between Los Feliz and the Burbank side of the park. Vista de Valle and Mt. Hollywood Drive. Both are open to bikes, closed to regular car traffic though you will see construction equipment, city trucks and studio trucks on them sometimes. Those roads are paved but reverting back to nature in places. Some broken up pavement, dirt here and there, etc. I ride the area all the time on a road bike with 23s or 25s and it's fine.

https://www.strava.com/activities/552439481 -- this also shows the way to bypass riding Los Feliz Blvd. Not shown is how to connect the Observatory/Vermont to the base of Vista de Valle -- there is a road from Vermont Canyon just north of Roosevelt Golf Course that will connect.

https://www.strava.com/activities/538403742
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Old 04-27-16, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga
i think you will probably ditch the car in favor of the bike (and by foot) at every opportunity.
Who said I had a car? That's the main reason why I am looking for a bike fitter that is "at a bikable distance from me".
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Old 04-28-16, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe
Who said I had a car? That's the main reason why I am looking for a bike fitter that is "at a bikable distance from me".
it's so cal. it's la. i'll take the odds on that assumption every time. glad to hear i'm pleasantly incorrect-again. happy riding and exploring!
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Old 04-28-16, 02:08 PM
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Hey neighbor....

Good rides in the area?

Tons. I'm in Silverlake, Griffith Park and the LA River trail are my staples. Elysian Park has some decent climbs. Mt Washington is also a good climb. I tend to head east because traffic is less worrisome than mid-city/west side. Pasadena is a great cycling city. I often take the Arroyo out to the Rose Bowl, then up and over through Montrose. The San Gabriels are awesome for climbing, if that is your thing. Hwy 2 is close enough to ride to, or you could take the Gold Line east to climb Hwy39/GMR/Baldy.

Cahuenga?

Not really that safe. If you do it, it is probably a little safer heading south than north. More lanes, and the downhill gets you close to traffic speeds. If you want to circle Griffith Park, do it counter clockwise. Another option would be climbing up and over the hill, either at Lake Hollywood or Studio City.

The safest way to make it to the ocean from Los Feliz?

Take the Expo line. Personally, I dislike cycling across the heart of the city. Seems like the drivers and traffic get increasingly worse as you head west. That is, until you cross the 405, where it gets a little better.
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Old 04-28-16, 04:37 PM
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My roommate used to ride to Venice beach every weekend (in the early morning) from the Vermont/Beverly area - not too far south and west of you - on Venice Blvd. After May 20, the safest way will be: go to Vermont/Sunset, catch the Red Line to 7th Street station, switch to the Expo line and ride it to the end.

I'm a newbie biker and that part of Cahuenga is a definite "no" for me. The lanes are super narrow and the traffic gets quite zippy. I don't like the northbound/east of the 101 section even in my tiny car.

I have super limited experience with bike shops. A friend likes Coco's Variety, on Riverside. I visited Safety Cycle on Western when I was bike shopping and they were quite nice, and my roommate, when he lived in that area, used Orange 20 for parts and such.
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Old 04-28-16, 04:40 PM
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Also, you might like the ride to Lake Hollywood. The loop around the reservoir is nice and paved and wide and swoopy and probably boring for you, but the climbs in the neighborhood (Barham to Lake Hollywood) to get there....shoooooooooot. They are kind of insane.
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Old 04-28-16, 05:55 PM
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Check out the Spoke Bicycle Cafe when you're on the LA River Trail on the north side. There's an entrance right off the bike path. No affiliation but I've been there a couple of times, nice little place trying to make a go of it. I think it's been open a little over a year.
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Old 04-28-16, 11:08 PM
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Welcome to the area. I live in Burbank and do lots of rides around here, there are plenty of good ones. Most of your questions have been well answered but let me add that cycling on Cahuenga absolutely sucks. I'm fairly bold about riding busy city streets but I really hate that one.

I do a couple of options, but both are longer. Both start at Lake Hollywood Drive and Barham, go up L.H.D. and then down to the lake. At the lake you can go right and then at the little dam turn right and make your way towards Holly Drive, which conveniently goes right under the 101 to Franklin. The lake road closes at sunset, though.

You can also go left at the lake, then left up the hill when you get to the gate, past the dog park to the Hollywood Sign view point, then keep going up the hill towards Ledgewood, which runs into Beachwood and takes you back into Hollywood. That's a lot of extra climbing but it's a nice ride. I've done it at night when I'm in the mood.

And I recommend this group ride if you're looking for a bit of adventure some Wednesday night, good people and great routes: https://www.thepassageride.com/

Last edited by 3949dxer; 04-28-16 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 04-29-16, 01:57 PM
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Thanks everyone!


Originally Posted by egress91506
Here's a couple of routes/segments through and around Griffith Park. This will give you an idea of some of the main routes and the segments can be linked up a bunch of different ways. There are primarily two closed roads that go over the hills between Los Feliz and the Burbank side of the park. Vista de Valle and Mt. Hollywood Drive. Both are open to bikes, closed to regular car traffic though you will see construction equipment, city trucks and studio trucks on them sometimes. Those roads are paved but reverting back to nature in places. Some broken up pavement, dirt here and there, etc. I ride the area all the time on a road bike with 23s or 25s and it's fine.

https://www.strava.com/activities/552439481 -- this also shows the way to bypass riding Los Feliz Blvd. Not shown is how to connect the Observatory/Vermont to the base of Vista de Valle -- there is a road from Vermont Canyon just north of Roosevelt Golf Course that will connect.

https://www.strava.com/activities/538403742
Thanks for the routes. I have been trail running mostly on the south side since that is where I live, so I now can picture some of them. Vista de Valle is the section that ends up at a helipad and then onto the golf course and tennis courts? I never knew if cyclists were allowed or not, but I have seen groups of cyclists on the helipad before. I ride according to the rules (stopping at red lights, etc...), so I definitely do not want to trespass.

Tried to do one of the roads yesterday, but I missed it. I though I was traveling southwardly and the entrance looked like it was pointing west, when in fact I was traveling east and the road was correctly going south. Did that mini-loop around the golf course, which was very nice. That was the biggest climb so far and I hit my lowest gear early on. And it was not even a rated Strava climb. Ouch. The real deal will be "fun".

Originally Posted by ooga-booga
it's so cal. it's la. i'll take the odds on that assumption every time. glad to hear i'm pleasantly incorrect-again. happy riding and exploring!
The funny part is that now that I finally got a new bike, I need to buy a car so that I can take it to faraway places. Most expensive biycle accessory ever.

Originally Posted by tinrobot
Hey neighbor....

Good rides in the area?

Tons. I'm in Silverlake, Griffith Park and the LA River trail are my staples. Elysian Park has some decent climbs. Mt Washington is also a good climb. I tend to head east because traffic is less worrisome than mid-city/west side. Pasadena is a great cycling city. I often take the Arroyo out to the Rose Bowl, then up and over through Montrose. The San Gabriels are awesome for climbing, if that is your thing. Hwy 2 is close enough to ride to, or you could take the Gold Line east to climb Hwy39/GMR/Baldy.
Forgot about Elysian Park. Will definitely explore that next. Is this the path?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arroyo_Seco_bicycle_path Need to figure out how to reach there sanely. Hate Los Feliz Blvd, especially during the morning commute when there is no parking lane.

Originally Posted by tinrobot

Cahuenga?

Not really that safe. If you do it, it is probably a little safer heading south than north. More lanes, and the downhill gets you close to traffic speeds. If you want to circle Griffith Park, do it counter clockwise. Another option would be climbing up and over the hill, either at Lake Hollywood or Studio City.
OK, no Cahuenga. Need to HTFU and just cut across the park. Besides, I assumed Barham was a smaller road, but now it appears to be quite a major road. Assumed incorrectly that it would be like Forest Lawn Dr.

Originally Posted by tinrobot
The safest way to make it to the ocean from Los Feliz?

Take the Expo line. Personally, I dislike cycling across the heart of the city. Seems like the drivers and traffic get increasingly worse as you head west. That is, until you cross the 405, where it gets a little better.
I cannot imagine taking public transportation in spandex. Might just wait until I buy a car.

Originally Posted by americanrecluse
My roommate used to ride to Venice beach every weekend (in the early morning) from the Vermont/Beverly area - not too far south and west of you - on Venice Blvd. After May 20, the safest way will be: go to Vermont/Sunset, catch the Red Line to 7th Street station, switch to the Expo line and ride it to the end.
Might just bike to the blue line and then take that west. Or just drive.

Originally Posted by 3949dxer
Welcome to the area. I live in Burbank and do lots of rides around here, there are plenty of good ones. Most of your questions have been well answered but let me add that cycling on Cahuenga absolutely sucks. I'm fairly bold about riding busy city streets but I really hate that one.

I do a couple of options, but both are longer. Both start at Lake Hollywood Drive and Barham, go up L.H.D. and then down to the lake. At the lake you can go right and then at the little dam turn right and make your way towards Holly Drive, which conveniently goes right under the 101 to Franklin. The lake road closes at sunset, though.

You can also go left at the lake, then left up the hill when you get to the gate, past the dog park to the Hollywood Sign view point, then keep going up the hill towards Ledgewood, which runs into Beachwood and takes you back into Hollywood. That's a lot of extra climbing but it's a nice ride. I've done it at night when I'm in the mood.

And I recommend this group ride if you're looking for a bit of adventure some Wednesday night, good people and great routes: The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time - A Los Angeles Bike Ride / Main / The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time
I assumed there would be a path going by the lake, but the streets look very confusing judging by Google Maps. And steep. When jogging up to the Observatory, I sometimes go through the neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills, and I walk many sections. Might be a bit much for a quick morning spin.

That Wednesday night ride looks fun. I might do critical mass tonight. I have not done one in a looooong time, way before my roadie days when I had beater commuter bikes.
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Old 04-29-16, 03:30 PM
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Oh, you don't need to worry about spandex on the subway, unless you're worried about a little sexual harassment KIDDING! But I do see spandex and clipless quite frequently on the weekends.

I've not done any group rides, but Pasadena Cyclery does a Taco Tuesday ride, starting from their shop and heading out for tacos. I haven't done it though - I'm still working up the courage for their "Sunday Stroll" beginners group ride.
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Old 04-29-16, 03:38 PM
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Barham isn't too bad between Forest Lawn and Lake Hollywood. You can use the sidewalk and the dirt paths on the east side, which pretty well insulate you from cars. The Ledgewood route is some work, but the way around the right side of the lake and Holly Drive is not difficult, and a pleasant ride. The roads might seem confusing at first glance, but on the road it's fairly intuitive and if you carry a mobile, Google Maps will keep you oriented.

My favorite way to the beach from Burbank is Broadlawn (near Universal City) up to Mulholland, then Nichols Canyon into Hollywood. From there you can work your way south on the residential streets to approx. Fairfax and Jefferson, where you can pick up the Ballona Creek bike path, which takes you to the beach at Playa Del Rey. From there you can take the beach bike path all the way down to Redondo, a really nice ride.

There's a neat little shortcut that gets you between Los Feliz and Griffith Park without actually riding on Los Feliz Blvd. Going north, take Griffith Park Blvd. to Los Feliz and cross Los Feliz. G.P. Blvd curves around to the east and when you get close to Crystal Springs Drive (the way through the park) you'll see a short dirt path that connects the two.

Also if you're feeling a bit adventurous there's a way to bike down the east side of the L.A. River to DTLA, from Casitas Ave. You kind of have to dodge the RR tracks near DTLA but it's do-able, and different.

I wouldn't worry about spandex on the subway. Those cars and stations are loaded with freaks of every description and appearance. No one will even notice you.

If you want to check out 1 or 2 of these obscure routes with me sometime, happy to take you around. Just PM me.

Last edited by 3949dxer; 04-29-16 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 04-30-16, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe
Forgot about Elysian Park. Will definitely explore that next. Is this the path?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arroyo_Seco_bicycle_path Need to figure out how to reach there sanely. Hate Los Feliz Blvd, especially during the morning commute when there is no parking lane.
Yes. To get there, take the LA River trail south to the end, then stay left on the Riverside bridge to get the protected lane. It'll drop you off on Figueroa near the Home Depot. Go North on Figueroa to Ave 43, then right and over the 110 bridge. An immediate left will put you into a park where the path starts.

If Figueroa is too much, you can take a right into the neighborhoods after Marmion and follow the 110 up to Ave 43
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Old 05-02-16, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe
Thanks everyone!




Thanks for the routes. I have been trail running mostly on the south side since that is where I live, so I now can picture some of them. Vista de Valle is the section that ends up at a helipad and then onto the golf course and tennis courts? I never knew if cyclists were allowed or not, but I have seen groups of cyclists on the helipad before. I ride according to the rules (stopping at red lights, etc...), so I definitely do not want to trespass.

Correct, Vista del Valle goes to the helipad. But it does not end there and cyclists are allowed to ride on it. The general rule in the park is that if the road is paved (or looks like it once was paved), bikes are allowed. The no bikes signs are pretty prominent on the dirt trails that are off limits. Assuming you climbed up to the Helipad on the sort of paved road that begins by the golf course/tennis court road, you can continue to ride north on Vista del Valle. Eventually you will hit Mt. Hollywood Drive (closed to cars for the most part). It is a "T" intersection, left turn on Mt. Hollywood will take you back to the observatory, right turn will take you to the northern end of the park (Burbank side).

Here's a Strava segment that shows the route from Los Feliz Blvd to the "T" intersection. https://www.strava.com/segments/654103
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Old 05-02-16, 08:31 PM
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There's a neat little shortcut that gets you between Los Feliz and Griffith Park without actually riding on Los Feliz Blvd. Going north, take Griffith Park Blvd. to Los Feliz and cross Los Feliz. G.P. Blvd curves around to the east and when you get close to Crystal Springs Drive (the way through the park) you'll see a short dirt path that connects the two.
I spotted that shortcut on Strava, which uses OpenStreetMap and is not on Google Maps. Verified that it exists on street view. Great use of technology. I opted to continue on that road to get a few more short climbs.

Since I said I loved climbing, I put my money where my mouth is a finally did the climb on Saturday. Not the steep. Love the fact that there are no cars, but the condition of the road is a bit sad. Very slow on the downhill.

https://www.strava.com/activities/561200986
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Old 05-05-16, 09:51 PM
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I live in glendale and havent seen too many trails in my 28 years living here. Grifith park is one. The la river trail can go to the beach but that will open back up on may 29th I believe. If you find any nice trails let me know!! Check out h & s bicycle shop in burbank!!!

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Old 05-12-16, 01:46 PM
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Thanks again everyone. Been mainly riding Griffith Park for now (although I did return to Elysian today) because it is right in my backyard and the climbs are good.

Still looking for a bike fitter. I keep getting strong and raising my seat post ever higher. A proper fitting would be helpful, although I still have many poor cycling habits to break.

Did someone here follow me on Strava? Wonder who this person is. I don't mind, just strange seeing someone I do not know follow me.
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Old 05-12-16, 01:54 PM
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^guilty.
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Old 06-19-16, 01:41 AM
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I live in Glendale and have only biked at griffith and rhe la river. Can anyone suggest good routes around glendale burbank or within 20 miles of glendale becasue im getting bored of the two routes I run?
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Old 06-19-16, 07:50 AM
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Hi [MENTION=436884]Narb[/MENTION],

Two rides I've done recently - the Rio Hondo trail (drive out to Arcadia, park and ride a nice long trail - I only did 17 miles of it), and the Orange Line bike path (take the Orange Line bus to the end of the line in Chatsworth, ride back - about 26 miles for me but I'm in NoHo). I'm super new and out of shape and etc but both of these rides are/can be nice and long, if that's what you're looking for!
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