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Solo century ideas

Old 09-01-16, 11:10 AM
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Tycho Brahe 
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Solo century ideas

Note: I live in Los Feliz.

Since moving to SoCal, I have done mainly the climbing routes in my area. Typical routes such as Griffith Park, Hollywood Sign, Mulholland and now Mt. Wilson. Only rode to the beach once, heading to Santa Monica, onto Redondo Beach, and backtracked. Also rode to Malibu and the Santa Monica mountains, but I drove to the PCH first.

With the 3 day weekend coming up, decided to switch it up and do a long ride instead. Does not have to be a century. Thinking about heading to Santa Monica again, down around to Long Beach and then straight back. The ocean side path is fairly obvious, but I was wondering which paths I should and should not take past Palos Verdes, primarily the route back from Long Beach. I know there is a bike path, not sure exactly how long it is.

Never did find a good path to the PCH. Sunset is terrible, and so is Santa Monica Blvd east of Century City.
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Old 09-01-16, 11:41 AM
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PCh at Sunset is not that bad (I'm biased because I live nearby). You could always take the parallel Pacific Ave. PCH going south at OC is quite bike friendly from Bolsa Chica to before Laguna Beach (you might want to take Bayside Dr at Corona Del Mar). Going north is a different story. You'll need to be careful about the several deadly "Free Right Turns" at Newport Beach.

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Old 09-01-16, 03:19 PM
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Any interest in taking your bike on the train?
You can ride the train up to Santa Barbara, and simply ride home from there. It's one of the better ways to spend a day in California IMO.

Or you can ride down to San Diego, and take your bike on the train back up to Union Station or whichever train stop is closest to your home. Just be sure to register on Camp Pendleton's website before riding through and bring your helmet and drivers license.

Some pics from our recent ride south from Santa Barbara...






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Old 09-01-16, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
Any interest in taking your bike on the train?
You can ride the train up to Santa Barbara, and simply ride home from there. It's one of the better ways to spend a day in California IMO.
+1
I've done the opposite many times with other BF members here, taking the inland route though Simi Valley to Camarillo, up through Ojai and up the Casitas Pass, then dropping down to the coast just south of SB. Then take Amtrak from downtown SB back to LA Union Station. The ride was about 110 mi I think...

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Old 09-02-16, 05:17 AM
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the train up to santa barbara or down to san juan capistrano or oceanside is a good idea for a longer ride. both would be relatively flat.

from the los feliz area:
i'd think about zipping over to the coast again, heading south and incorporating the palos verdes peninsula into your ride,
then turning around and returning same way. the climbs on the pv peninsula are relatively short and punchy
(similar to the hollywood hills/griffith park) and scenic. i've had decent riding using venice blvd to/from the coast/dtown la as the
east/west biking thoroughfare vs other east/west options but maybe that's just my luck.


also consider heading west on pch and ducking into one of the many thru canyon roads (topanga, las flores, las virgines, latigo, encinal, decker, et al)
in the santa monica mtns. connect with mulholland and ride it back east turning left or right to head into the valley or back to the coast or...continuing
straight on mulholland at the junction w/topanga cyn (ca hwy 27) and riding approx 5 miles of unpaved and occasionally slow going dirt roads that make
up mulholland for that stretch until just before the crossing of the 405 freeway. continue on (paved) mulholland or drop down coldwater canyon or
benedict canyon to the valley or beverly hills and make your way back home.

also consider rolling up angeles crest highway past the mt. wilson turnoff all the way up to the hwy 39 junction. big gate closes upper 5 miles of the 39 to autos
(except emergency or maintenance vehicles) but cyclists can go around, over, thru or under the gate. fast descent for most of the 39. upper part will have some
rockfall in road so watch out. once at the bottom in azuza, fairly easy 15 mile cruise back to los feliz. epic ride with 7,500ft+ elevation gain and a little over 100 miles.
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Old 09-02-16, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
also consider rolling up angeles crest highway past the mt. wilson turnoff all the way up to the hwy 39 junction. big gate closes upper 5 miles of the 39 to autos
(except emergency or maintenance vehicles) but cyclists can go around, over, thru or under the gate. fast descent for most of the 39. upper part will have some
rockfall in road so watch out. once at the bottom in azuza, fairly easy 15 mile cruise back to los feliz. epic ride with 7,500ft+ elevation gain and a little over 100 miles.
A sousaphone?


?
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Old 09-02-16, 09:43 AM
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Old 09-02-16, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
Or you can ride down to San Diego, and take your bike on the train back up to Union Station or whichever train stop is closest to your home. Just be sure to register on Camp Pendleton's website before riding through and bring your helmet and drivers license.
That's one of my favorite routes but I take the metrolinnk from Oceanside back up north (easier to bring a bike on metrolink - you have to reserve a spot on Amtrak and metrolink originates in Oceanside)

Just head down the LA River to Long Beach, pick up PCH until you get to Oceanside. There are some "really good idea" detours (including Pendleton) so if you want that route, ask and I'll give you a ride with GPS example route.

Flat, mostly tailwinds and beautiful scenery, coupled with many craft beer options in Oceanside make for a great outing.
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Old 09-02-16, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by hsuehhwa View Post
PCh at Sunset is not that bad (I'm biased because I live nearby). You could always take the parallel Pacific Ave.
Either we are talking about a different Sunset Blvd or you are more masochistic than I am. Sunset Blvd, especially around UCLA is terrible.

I never bothered doing the whole train to/from because Amtrak always seemed so complicated. Different requirements and different fees. Confusing. I just looked it up and it appears to be easier living in SoCal. I used to live in Northern California, and it seems the fees only apply north of SLO. I just assumed all of Amtrak was difficult. However, you still need to reserve space, so I am not going to chance it on a holiday weekend. Some other time. I would assume it would be easier to take the train north and ride back, since you can schedule a train easier (do not have to worry when your ride is ending) and you take advantage of the southerly winds, or are winds not a factor in SoCal?

One day I will do the Azusa/Mt Baldy ride. Not this weekend. I want to hit the beach, at least on my bike. Got a new bluetooth speaker that should last 14 hours. Time for some tunes! Also got a GoPro knockoff, too bad the battery life is mediocre.

Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
i'd think about zipping over to the coast again, heading south and incorporating the palos verdes peninsula into your ride,
then turning around and returning same way. the climbs on the pv peninsula are relatively short and punchy
(similar to the hollywood hills/griffith park) and scenic. i've had decent riding using venice blvd to/from the coast/dtown la as the
east/west biking thoroughfare vs other east/west options but maybe that's just my luck.
I have this mental issue if trying not to do out and back rides. It's one of my many quirks! Plus, I really want to explore every bike path in the area, so I want to ride to Long Beach as well. Would it be better to do the loop clockwise (head first down to Long Beach, then the ocean, Santa Monica, and back home) or counter clockwise? I prefer to hit the ocean first, but can switch it up if there is some good reason.

Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
in the santa monica mtns. connect with mulholland and ride it back east turning left or right to head into the valley or back to the coast or...continuing straight on mulholland at the junction w/topanga cyn (ca hwy 27) and riding approx 5 miles of unpaved and occasionally slow going dirt roads that make up mulholland for that stretch until just before the crossing of the 405 freeway. continue on (paved) mulholland or drop down coldwater canyon or benedict canyon to the valley or beverly hills and make your way back home.
I ride the eastern stretch of Mulholland, from the 101 to the dirt just past the 405, all the time. The dirt seems to be too much for my road tires. Five miles seems to be way too much.

I do like the idea of riding to the OC and taking the train back. Once again, not this holiday weekend, but some other time.

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Old 09-02-16, 01:03 PM
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Trojan Horse...........+1 on the brewery choices in Oceanside..........I ride from Lake Forest. My son drives up from Sand Diego. We watch a ball game, enjoy food and a few beers. I hope on Metrolink back to Irvine.....perfect weekend day !!!
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Old 09-02-16, 07:26 PM
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Considering it is 100 miles to Oceanside, I doubt I will have any time to stop before having to go back. And that is mostly not riding along the coast. But perhaps to some other northern point in OC.
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Old 09-07-16, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pwcfan View Post
Trojan Horse...........+1 on the brewery choices in Oceanside..........I ride from Lake Forest. My son drives up from Sand Diego. We watch a ball game, enjoy food and a few beers. I hope on Metrolink back to Irvine.....perfect weekend day !!!


And Tycho Brahe - amtrak sucks but metrolink is quite easy to use, requires no reservations and is pretty inexpensive - $10 on weekends for an all day pass. Bike car is usually at the back end of the train.
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Old 09-07-16, 01:52 PM
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@Tycho Brahe I'd recommend this one, it's about 108 miles and covers much of the area you're talking about. I did it in April of 2015 on a beach cruiser so it's doable for anyone on a road bike. I'm thinking about doing it again.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/7073961

And yes hsuehhwa is talking about Sunset Beach, not Sunset Blvd.

I 2nd the train to Ventura (or since you're starting out in LA maybe Santa Barbara) then ride back, it's on my bucket list. The only issue is it gets up there I think around 11am so it's a long ride home to OC to get started that late.

The ride to San Diego is a classic SoCal ride everyone should do. Amtrak can be a PITA, but if you ride to Oceanside the Metrolink, as others have mentioned, coming back is a better option ($10 weekend pass - plus a full bike car) however it doesn't run as often as Amtrak.

I get the whole out and back (I'm the same way sometimes) but the view back is very different especially if it's your first time in the area.

Generally when riding along the coast it's always best to ride south, the view is usually the best.

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Old 09-09-16, 05:28 PM
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Thanks again everyone. I did the route that HBCruiser1 posted last weekend with slight variations. Honestly, while I enjoyed the ocean side, I hated the rest. Going from Palos Verdes to Long Beach was boring and I even had a car harass me. The worst part was the section after the LA River path ends coming from Long Beach. No shoulder, train tracks, no stores to purchase water or food. That said, I doubt I will take the train to/from Oceanside if I have to ride that section again.

However, I did like the section in East LA. Need to explore that area more. I often do a big ride on Saturday and follow it up with a recovery ride on Sunday. I use these recovery rides to slowly check out new areas.

I will do Santa Barbara at some point, but not this weekend. Now I want to do the Santa Monica mountains again, but without using a car to get to a closer start point. I can either go up once I pass the 405 (Brentwood?) and come down into the valley and perhaps return via Ventura or go back over once I pass that 405 (Beverly Glen? Laurel Canyon?). I have gone down into the valley from Mulholland in the past and I know those roads are steep. So maybe the inverse? Muholland, down into the valley, and climb in the mountains, or are the roads steep there as well?
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Old 09-09-16, 11:59 PM
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Tych, agreed the section from San Pedro to Long Beach is bad along Anaheim St. but it's only a few miles. I don't know of a better way to cross Wilmington, maybe some day the powers to be will do something nice through there.

You really need to ride to San Diego, it's a SoCal classic.

E.LA is sweet and definitely deserves some rides. If you haven't yet, check out this cool little bike cafe near you right off the bike path. https://www.facebook.com/Spokebicyclecafe/
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Old 04-19-18, 11:46 AM
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I am looking into some of these train options that were discussed a year and a half ago. I have next week off and looking to do a long ride.

Southbound is still the way to go, correct? My options are train to Santa Barbara and bike down, or bike down somewhere south and train up. I do not know anything past Long Beach. Which is preferable?

For the ride from Santa Barbara, it would be bike/metro to Union Station and train from there. I still hate ride to/from the ocean in Los Angeles, so perhaps bike down to Santa Monica and metro back from there. I don't mind doing a 100 miles or some insane climb, but I simply will not ride on those LA roads. Best I found was going through the valley down Ventura, but I would miss biking past Malibu.

I would be going solo, have you to meet another cyclist in the area. How are the services along these routes? Does going on a weekday make any difference?
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Old 04-19-18, 02:21 PM
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Take Union Station to Irvine Station and do this route:
https://www.strava.com/activities/715786218

You will need to register yourself to access Camp Pendleton and an Amtrak ticket (with reserved bike spot) back to Union Station
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Old 04-19-18, 04:21 PM
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The lobster century (100 mi + >12k elevation)


https://www.facebook.com/events/192987348102532
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Old 04-20-18, 01:51 AM
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had i the week off, i'd look to take the train nw to san luis obispo. it's about a 5 hr train ride from la.
look to ride with a smallish backpack w/basic, minimal toiletries, an extra full cycling outfit,
pair of flip-flops/t-shirt/shorts and a few detergent packets to wash the ride outfits. ride from slo
back to la over the course of a few days whether via the inland route or coastal route (weather determining),
hitting cheap motel rooms on the way back to la. 2-4 days depending on how hard you wanna crush it or not.

it'll be more exciting than anything you do south of la unless you hit the san diego backcountry containing
laguna mountains, cuyamaca rancho state park, palomar mtn, julian, mesa grande, montezuma grade,
fallbrook/de luz, couser canyon rd for a few days. riding from the dtown san diego train station to the edge of the area
would take you about 3 hours. find cheap lodging in escondido, alpine, ramona, temecula. julian is central but
unlikely to find anything there semi-affordable for just a crash pad.

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Old 04-21-18, 07:16 PM
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@calamarichris has a few threads, like this one, and this other one, with lots of photos showing his credit card tours from Santa Barbara south. If I was looking to do this, I'd trust his experience. But search, there are many such threads, often with good (perhaps somewhat dated) information from BF members who may not always be active on the forum. Google is your friend, not the forum's built-in search function.

I have friends who like long rides (Vancouver BC to the Mexican border, et al.) and from what they tell me, and my own limited experience, the prevailing winds favor a southbound direction of travel.

Some time before, another BF poster suggested a route through the industrial areas of San Pedro, possibly in one of CalamariChris's threads, but looked without success and am too lazy to dig deeper.
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Old 04-22-18, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post

Southbound is still the way to go, correct? My options are train to Santa Barbara and bike down, or bike down somewhere south and train up. I do not know anything past Long Beach. Which is preferable?
Definitely south... wind at your back, ocean on your right.

Santa Barbara is going to be better. Much more scenic. There's a wonderful bike lane/path almost all the way to Ventura that's right on the ocean. You get some urban traffic through Oxnard, then it is reasonably clear until the heart of Malibu. From there... traffic gets a little crazy until you can hop on the beach path.

Going towards OC isn't as scenic (for me, at least). LA River to Long Beach is, well... urban. Much of the riding from there is either on the beach paths (where you mix it up with pedestrians) or PCH (where you share with cars). When you're on PCH, much of it is through neighborhoods next to the beach, but not on the beach. Then there's Pendelton...
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Old 04-22-18, 12:37 PM
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Thanks once again for the feedback. Don't feel like taking the train twice, so I will pass on the "amtrak century" for now.

Beginning to think Santa Barbara is the way to go. Thinking about going on Wednesday or Thursday. Which train station is the best to start from? I have actually taken the train to/from SB, but never with bike. Perhaps a different station would work better as a trail head. Thinking about going down to Santa Monica and taking the Expo line back.

I have ridden on the PCH near Malibu and I agree that it's a little crazy, but not that bad. Never done it during the week, but I am assuming that by the time I reach Malibu, the commute would be the other way.
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Old 04-23-18, 10:16 AM
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Decided to come down from Santa Barbara. Was on Amtrak's site to buy a ticket and the only morning trains are either 4:09am (too early) or 9:11am (too late). Five hours with no trains. I guess I am not going to Santa Barbara in the end.
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Old 04-23-18, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
Decided to come down from Santa Barbara. Was on Amtrak's site to buy a ticket and the only morning trains are either 4:09am (too early) or 9:11am (too late). Five hours with no trains. I guess I am not going to Santa Barbara in the end.
That's too bad. I would have gone with the early train, because it does get you up there at a good starting time. But it could be a hassle getting to LA Union Station early enough to catch it.

You could train it up the day before, and get a hotel in SB. I went on a brief (bikeless) holiday last year around this time to SB with Mrs. Zippy, and it was pretty nice. Lovely restaurants up there, and we walked everywhere (we left the car at the train station). Relaxing, but the hotel we chose (Indigo on State Street) was a poor value.
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Old 04-23-18, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
Decided to come down from Santa Barbara. Was on Amtrak's site to buy a ticket and the only morning trains are either 4:09am (too early) or 9:11am (too late). Five hours with no trains. I guess I am not going to Santa Barbara in the end.
well if you're around tomorrow (tuesday), contemplating doing that ride. you know the one. about 108 miles.
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