Biking: An Urban Excursion Through the Valley

Mountain biking gets so much attention these days, it's easy to forget that not so long ago, almost all bicycling was done on the streets. And that's where some of the most pleasant cycling--whether for physical training or just a Sunday ride through an urban landscape--is still done. The route outlined below is adapted from one used for training by one of the most dedicated groups of local street bicyclists: those who participate in the annual California AIDS Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This local route, at about 24 miles, is not for beginning riders, but it's certainly within the grasp of most active cyclists. Best of all, it takes you through a variety of San Fernando Valley cityscapes, from "Leave It to Beaver" suburban neighborhoods to industrial areas, parks and commercial streets (where you can take a well-earned break at local coffee shops or eateries). The terrain is mostly flat, but there are occasional grades to make you all the more thankful for the downhills. You will be sharing the entire route with gas guzzlers of various types, although the traffic will probably be light in most places. Ride carefully out there.

The Routeslip

START: Griffith Park, near Los Feliz Boulevard and Crystal Springs Drive. Park on Crystal Springs and ride north. Crystal Springs becomes Zoo Dr.

R on Riverside Dr.

R on Sonora Ave.

R on Kenneth Rd.

L on Valley View Rd.

L on Cumberland Rd.

R on Ard Eevin Ave.

L on Mountain St., becomes Sunset Canyon Dr.

L on Delaware Rd.

R on Cornell Dr.

R on Kenneth Rd.

L on Buena Vista St.

R on Chandler Blvd.

L on Pass Ave.

L on Olive Ave.

R on Riverside Dr., at Victory go right and stay on Riverside

L on Zoo Dr.

Return to parking lot to FINISH

Trip Highlights

Warm up as you cycle through Griffith Park, taking note of the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum on the northern end. You then head into pleasant neighborhoods of well-kept houses, ranging from modest homes to stately mansions. On Mountain Street, at Grandview Avenue, look right to see the spectacular Brand Library, once the home of a Glendale City father. Making your way through industrial, commercial and more residential neighborhoods, you come to some famed movie lots of Burbank. A bit farther is the city's major equestrian center and nearby shops to serve the horsey set. Finally, you head back into Griffith Park for a mostly shaded finish to your ride.

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