July 2016

Could your daily cycle commute be saving your life?

From road.cc

New research suggests we need an hours’ exercise per day to counter eight hours at a desk

The latest research into the perils of modern working practises, published in the Lancet(link is external) on Wednesday, suggests the current WHO recommendation of 150 minutes of exercise per week may not counter the risk of premature death caused by long hours of desk work.

However, the team of international experts behind the paper found this risk was eliminated among those who did at least an hour’s physical activity per day, and only sat for four hours per day.

Middle-aged cycle commuters typically 4-5kg lighter than those who drive to work

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Researchers analysed data from 16 previous studies encompassing more than one million people, and predominantly focused on those aged over 45 living in the USA, Western Europe and Australia.

In a two- to 18-year follow-up the risk of dying was 9.9 per cent for those with desk jobs that did little activity, compared with 6.8 per cent for those who sat less than four hours per day and were active for at least one hour per day.

While not everyone lives within cycling distance of work, or feels safe cycling on UK roads, there are other smaller things people can do to improve their health. Five minute breaks every hour are believed to be beneficial, as are replacing some of each evening’s rest time with some form of physical activity.

Standing desks(link is external) have been mooted as a solution to computer-based work, with recommendations people spend two hours standing at work, building up to an ideal four. Meanwhile staff at the journal that published the study, the Lancet, have introduced cycle desks.

Training For Epic Climbs

Ultra climbing events not only take a specialized fitness, it requires some unique performance “habits”. Here are few tips to help you survive and thrive in an ultra climbing event.

Lets face it, climbing is hard! What is harder than climbing? Epic Climbing! This July 9, Toolbox Editor, Dr. Stephen Cheung, will be participating in the “Taiwan KOM Challenge”, a 100 kilometer ride from sea level to over 3275 meters (nearly 11,000 feet). In and of itself the climb is challenge enough for most, but it is the final 8 kilometers averaging nearly 11%, and topping out above 27% for a short period that can crush hopes.

 

Find your Gear
With over 11,000 feet of climbing and some significant grade on hand, the first bit of advice is to get some lower gears. The ability to sit and spin is key to reducing muscular fatigue and energy for climbing stronger, later in the event.

Spinning will but more strain on the aerobic system so expect your heart rate to be a tad higher but will put less stress on your muscular system helping to deal with your fatigue better. That being said, I would recommend not “over-spinning” (using a gear so easy to pedal you hit very high cadences) as a way of dealing with the elevation gain. In today’s world we have a wide array of gearing options to choose from that can result in some amazingly lower gear ratios but there is a point that you go too low. At the end of the day, this is a timed event and doing well means going faster, not just spinning faster.

My advice to clients doing timed ultra climb events is to test gears well in advance and find a gear that allows a high cadence target (range 70-80 rpm) at a tempo climbing pace; I call this our “tempo gear”. Once this gear is established, we set up the bike with 1 or 2 easier to pedal gears to allow for cadence of 75-90 rpm on similar climbs; I call this our “spinning gear”. We start all our early climbing in our spinning gear to help reduce the load on the muscles early but at some point, to enhance time, you do need to use the tempo gear and push more power.

 

Find your Rhythm 
Ultra climbing has a lot to do with your ability to find your “climbing rhythm”. We frequently hear this term but rarely ever see it defined. I define climbing rhythm as the ability to synchronize your power output, cadence and breathing into a coordinated pace or rhythm. Most people seem to only think about the cadence. Here is how you do it:

Power – if you have a power meter you can put a number to the effort but in this case I simply mean “how hard” you are climbing. The rhythm might be different during longer climbs to deal with changes in grade so the effort required drives the target.

Cadence – Cadence gets matched to power / effort. For ultra events I tell all my clients to put cadence on their device screen in big, bold numbers. Once you are going at the right power, match a cadence that you tested in your gearing tests and stay there as best you can.

Breathing – this is the often ignored part of the equation. As you climb and fall into your rhythm you need to make sure your breathing does the same. Deep breaths ensuring that you are taking in the maximal amount of oxygen possible and deep exhales, emptying the lungs. I recommend nose inhaling when possible and teach my clients this old trick: “smell the roses, blow out the candle.” This means a forceful nose inhale opening up the lungs / diaphragm and a more “explosive” exhale to produce a good emptying of the lungs. You will find that actually thinking about this in training rides will help you develop a habit of deep breathing BEFORE you have to deep breathe, keep more oxygen flowing in your system. This takes some mental focus but can really help.

Find your Stance
Do I stand or sit more? I get this question a lot. At the surface level a simple rule of thumb is the larger you are, the more you should sit and spin vs. stand. The more weight you need to support in standing, the higher the stress on the aerobic and cardiovascular system. That being said, standing does not necessarily create a decrease in efficiency, just some different demands.

I believe it is very important to stand at times regardless of size, engaging different muscles, changing some blood flow and allowing the sit bones a little break. For my clients I recommend a varied approach towards seating and standing but I like it to be part of the climbing rhythm. This means we typically develop a pattern of seating and standing. For example, we might sit for two minutes, stand and climb for twenty to thirty seconds, then sit again for two minutes. Developing a “practiced rhythm” of sit / stand helps you get the most from each.

A note, when standing, always shift into one harder gear (assuming the same grade), the standing effort will always increase aerobic stress / heart rate so pushing using the weight to push a slightly bigger gear to get a tad more speed can help justify the cost.

Find your “I won’t quit voice”
In the end of the day, the battle of ultra climbing in won in the mind. It is the ability to control (or at least not listen) to that little voice in our head that eventually starts whispering “this hurts, go slower, please stop, we are done, ouch…. As an endurance athlete, you tend to spend a lot of time hearing this voice but the difference is do you listen to it.

There is a great video rolling around the interest about a Navy study on this inner voice. The “study” demonstrated that when the typical person’s mind says “you are done” the body is truly only 40% done. I don’t typically quote internet video studies that often are made to be more motivational than actual science but this message resonates with me.

As a long time coach I have seen the mentally tougher athlete win out time and time again; I have seen athletes, once they believe in themselves, go way beyond what they thought they were capable of.

I recommend that you fight the negative whispers with a strong positive message. I teach clients to find a message that inspires them and keep it in their mind. This can be a short “mantra” message that features your goal for the event, something that inspires you to overcome or simply that which motivates you but you need to use it each time your body says “I am ready to quit now”. Counter the inner negative whispers with a positive message and desire to achieve; you are only 40% done!

Summary
At the end of the day, the ability to achieve ultra climbing challenges comes down to training and desire. A well prepared athlete equipped with the right equipment, tools and mindset can thrive and have a very rewarding experience.

 

Read more at Pezcyclingnews.com

Stay Cool on the Hottest Rides

From Bicycling.com

Your performance doesn’t have to dip as the temperatures rise. Here are 8 strategies for success.

As soon as you start pedaling, an internal battle begins between your skin and your cycling muscles. Your skin needs your blood to radiate heat, help you sweat and keep you cool. Your muscles need it to get the oxygen and nutrients they need to keep your cranks turning. When the outside temperatures rise, that battle becomes particularly fierce—but skin always wins when the threat of heat illness rises, taking juice away from your muscles. So basically, you’re going to slow down unless you can keep yourself cool.

The heat battle is all too familiar to James Herrera, CSCS, with Performance Driven Coaching and the Wounded Warrior Project who has trained and worked with athletes from the high dry heat of the Southwest to the muggy sweltering conditions in the Southeast. “The humidity thing is a new beast for me,” says Herrera, who is currently practicing in Jacksonville, Florida.

“I’ve had to employ all those strategies I’ve prescribed to people living in muggy climates for years. That being said, it’s not as bad as I thought once you acclimate and pay attention to the details,” he says. Here’s what he recommends.

Pre Cool your Jets

Drink something really cold before you head out—a slushy if possible. Research shows that athletes were able to run nearly 10 minutes longer in tests to exhaustion in the heat after drinking an iced slushy compared to when they drank just cold water. “I have a smoothie for breakfast, which works as a slushy since I make it in a blender with ice cubes and frozen fruit,” says Herrera. “I also have my Americano over ice, so I can get my caffeine fix without heating up my core.”

If you happen to have access to a cold pool or other body of water, taking a plunge before you roll out also will help you stay cool longer, but unless you’re doing a triathlon or live near a creek, that’s not always a practical option.

Read more at Bicycling.com

Just How Hard Are the Tour de France Climbs?

From Outsideonline.com

The mountains of the Tour de France determine the winner of the stage race. It isn’t until the peloton hits the craggy peaks of the Alps and Pyrenees that the GC starts to shake out and it becomes clear who the strongest riders are. If you’ve ever wondered how you’d stand up to those leg-burning beasts, you’re in luck. (And you don’t even have to travel to Europe.) We took four iconic climbs of the 2016 Tour and compared them to U.S. ascents. Hill climb, anyone?

 

Col du Tourmalet to Mount Baldy Road, Claremont, California

The Tourmalet is the most climbed pass in the history of the Tour, with 78 ascents including two different stages in both 1974 and 2010. The Mount Baldy climb in southern California is a hallmark of the Amgen Tour of California. It’s steep at the bottom and the top, with a heart-breaking kicker to the finish. An ascent under two hours is considered fast. Under an hour and you’re Tour-caliber.

Col du Tourmalet

Length: 11.8 mi
Base elevation: 2312
Summit elevation: 6938
Total gain: 4626
Average grade: 7.4%
Max grade: 11%

Mount Baldy

Length: 12.9 mi
Base elevation: 1644 ft
Summit elevation: 6419 ft
Total gain: 4775 ft  
Average grade: 
7.0% 
Max grade: 15%

 

 

 

Col d’Aspin to Rabbit Ears Pass, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

While the Col d’Aspin doesn’t have the huge elevation gains of the Tourmalet or Ventoux, it’s consistent 6.5 percent grade has exposed the weaknesses of Tour contenders since its first inclusion in 1910. Rabbit Ears Pass offers the same steady grade as it climbs out of Steamboat Springs to its western summit. A time under 45 minutes is excellent. Under one hour and you’re at the top of the amateur pack.

Col d’Aspin

Length: 7.3 mi
Base elevation: 2312 ft
Summit elevation: 4888 ft
Total gain: 257 6ft
Average grade: 6.5%
Max grade: 9.5%

Rabbit Ears Pass (West)

Length: 7.4 mi
Base Elevation: 6925 ft
Summit elevation: 9394 ft
Total gain: 2469 ft
Average grade: 6.3%
Max grade: 8%

 

 

Mont Ventoux to Onion Valley Road, Independence, California

Mont Ventoux is nicknamed the Giant of Provence for good reason. From Bedoin, on its south side, the landscape looks lunar, providing little respite from the long, unrelenting ascent. Onion Valley Road is considered one of the hardest climbs in the country. The altitude, summer heat, and steep, relentless grade make this a genuine sufferfest. Bring low gears. If you can tackle this beast in under two hours, consider racing in Europe.

Mont Ventoux

Length: 13.3 mi
Base elevation: 984 ft
Summit elevation: 6272 ft
Total gain: 5288 ft
Average grade: 7.5%
Max grade: 12%

Onion Valley Road

Length: 12.5 mi
Base elevation: 3994 ft
Summit elevation: 9163 ft
Total gain: 5169 ft
Average grade: 7.8%
Max grade: 12%

 

 

 

Col de la Ramaz to Little Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah

The Col de la Ramaz is gaining popularity, having appeared in three of the past 13 Tours. It has a particularly nasty section of 9 to 11 percent grade, much of which is inside a tunnel. The Little Cottonwood Canyon climb, a fixture of the Tour of Utah for many years, has like the Ramaz, a section in the middle called Tanner Flat that’s especially taxing. Completing the ascent in under an hour is exceptional. If you can do it under and hour and a half, you’re still looking good.

Col de la Ramaz

Length: 8.6 mi
Base elevation: 2076 ft
Summit elevation: 5311 ft
Total gain: 3235 ft
Average grade: 7.1%
Max grade: 11%

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Length: 8.6 mi
Base elevation: 5140 ft
Summit elevation: 8530 ft
Total gain: 3390 ft
Average grade: 7.5%
Max grade: 10%

Lazer Genesis LifeBEAM helmet review

Wireless heart rate built right in, no strap required

If you’re tired of chest straps but still want to know your heart rate while riding, there are a few good options out there. The Lazer Genesis LifeBEAM, however, slickly integrates an opto-electrical sensor right into a helmet that not only reads your heart rate just like a traditional setup but in some senses, actually works even better.

The Genesis LifeBEAM starts out as a standard Genesis helmet with additional hardwareadded in. A sensor is positioned right at your forehead to detect the pulsing of blood, while a small electronics box at the back of the helmet wirelessly transmits the signal via ANT+ to any number of compatible devices. In essence, it’s much like the little fingertip sensor used by hospitals but in a different location.

The sensor is positioned right against your forehead

Setup is brutally simple. Just turn on the helmet, put it on, and then tell your compatible device to search for a heart rate signal. Afterward, you just need to fire up the system and your heart rate is instantly detected as soon as you put the helmet on – and we mean instantly.

Setup is brutally simple. Just turn on the helmet, put it on, and then tell your compatible device to search for a heart rate signal. Afterward, you just need to fire up the system and your heart rate is instantly detected as soon as you put the helmet on – and we mean instantly.

Whereas traditional heart rate straps typically need some degree of moisture in order to read the minute electrical pulses from your heart (which can occasionally take a while, especially in cold conditions), the LifeBEAM has no such delay. Long-time heart rate strap wearers might also find it surprisingly refreshing after so many years of regular use to not have that constricting elastic band around your chest.

 

The electronics box at the back of the helmet houses a small rechargeable battery, the wireless transmitter, and a blue LED indicator

We also found LifeBEAM’s 15-hour claimed battery life is be just about spot-on and, at 315g, it’s – somewhat remarkably – 4g lighter than a standard Genesis we used for comparison here in the BikeRadaroffice.

All of the features we usually like about the Genesis carry over, too, including a trim outer profile, Lazer’s comfy RollSys retention system, and compatibility with the snap-on Aeroshell cover.

 

Read more here.

 

CicLAvia pLAy day in LA

SUPPORT, CELEBRATE, & HAVE FUN.

Six years ago, CicLAvia introduced Los Angeles to its first CicLAvia open streets event. Now, we can’t imagine the LA region without CicLAvia. On any CicLAvia day, the ambient noise of cars is replaced with the ambient noise of footsteps pounding, skateboards rolling, bicycle wheels spinning, gears shifting, children laughing, and conversations continuing. Friends and families rediscover their city and region – exploring old and new neighborhoods in entirely new ways, and we leave as newly-engaged participants.

CicLAvias inaugural fundraiser is an opportunity to be part of the new narrative for LA – one that reimagines what is possible for our city, and one that makes a significant impact on the livability and quality of life in LA. The story of CicLAvia is the story of you: it’s the story of our dynamic neighborhoods, and the people and local businesses that make LA special.

 

BE PART OF THE MAGIC OF CICLAVIA.

CicLAvia pLAy day in LA includes:
Picnic Style Lunch by Local LA Chef
Beer and Wine
CicLAvia Spirit Award
Raffle (new bike, bike accessories & CicLAvia swag to name a few)
Launch of CicLAvia Branded Bike & Helmet
CicLAvia Helmet Decorating
Games
Music
and much more!

 

Leran more here.

16 Ways Tour de France Mechanics Keep the Peloton Rolling

From Bicycling.com

The mechanics of the Tour work hard and work fast to make sure the riders bikes are perfect. Here are 16 secrets that help them achieve trouble-free racing.

 

Eagle eyes

Leaving nothing to chance, a Cannondale-Drapac mechanic checks the tires on Tom Jelte Slagter’s bike for stones embedded in the tread before the start of Stage 4. The path to the sign-in prior to the stage was covered in small stones, and the mechanic wanted to ensure Slagte’s bike was ready to race from kilometer zero.

 

Fast Air

One of the Lampre-Merida mechanics uses a hand-held air compressor to top off tires prior to the start of a stage. Several teams had the hand-held Bosch units shown, which has been discontinued. A similar product from Craftsman will cost you about $120, with battery and charger.

 

Pressure Check

The one thing I saw mechanics fussing over more than anything before the start of a stage was tire pressure. Movistar mechanic Tomás Amezaga uses a Topeak SmartGauge D2 to check tire pressure one last time before the riders roll to the start of the next stage.

 

 

Last-Minute Fix
Over at the Astana truck, a rider and mechanic make a quick adjustment before the start of a stage. I saw this same scene play out several times, at several team trucks: In the Tour’s high-pressure environment, many riders are hyper-sensitive to any sound or feeling—real or imagined—that might indicate something is wrong with the bike.

 

Be the Bike Stand
Prior to the start of stage three, the mechanics of Bora-Argon 18 give Andreas Schillinger’s drivetrain a quick check. There are no work stands set up at a stage start: Most of the work on the bikes happens after the end of the previous stage, or in the morning before the teams drive to the next stage’s start area. Without a stand available, the mechanics themselves must become a stand for quick fixes.

 

Wrap, and Wrap Again
Romain Bardet has some unique handlebar preferences. Not only is his bar position odd, he also has very specific taste in tape. Team sponsor Fizik makes three handlebar tape thicknesses: Superlight (2mm), Endurance (2.5mm), and Performance (3mm). Bardet, however, prefers a double wrap of Superlight tape, which means double the work for his mechanics.

 

Looking Good
The Tour de France was invented to sell stuff, specifically newspapers. It’s no different today: The Tour is a giant parade of advertising. Team sponsors want their money’s worth, and the teams work hard to ensure sponsor logos are clean and visible. Here is an Ag2r mechanic applying fresh new decals to a Zipp 404.

 

Covering Up
The spare bikes on top of the team cars are often the previous year’s primary race bikes (if they’re in good shape). Last year, the team riding Trek bikes was simply known as Trek Factory Racing, but with the addition of co-sponsor Segafredo, the team became Trek-Segafredo. That meant updating the logos on all the trucks, jerseys, and bikes. Here’s a mechanic using a sticker to cover up last year’s Trek Factory Racing branding with the updated team logos.

 

Chain Tamed
Morgan Blue is not a well-known brand in the USA, but the company supplies cleaning, lubricating, and maintenance products to 10 of the 22 teams—Movistar, Katusha, Tinkoff, Dimension Data, Cannondale, FDJ, Lotto NL Jumbo, Etixx, Ag2r, Giant-Alpecin—in the Tour. This chain keeper is simple—a bolt, wing nut, and plastic roller—and effective; it sells for about seven bucks.

 

Weight for It
According to UCI rules, all bikes in the Tour must weigh 6.8 kilograms or more. With a modern carbon race frame and high-end components, it’s not difficult to dip under that number. Prior to the start of the first stage, it was common to see team mechanics checking the weight of the bikes, especially that of a high profile rider like Astana’s Fabio Aru.

 

Essential Footwear

The mechanics of the Tour spend a lot of time washing things. The race bikes are washed after every stage; the spare bikes are washed regularly, and the team vehicles are washed often also. With all that time spent splashing around in water, a good set of wellies are an essential part a mechanic’s wardrobe.

 

Works for Everything

Three of the most common and essential tools of any Tour mechanic’s collection: electrical tape, duct tape, and a toe strap.

 

Don’t Tell the Sponsors
Based on what I saw in the tool boxes, and regardless of the official team tool sponsor, Beta is very popular among team mechanics. One mechanic—who is officially supposed to use another brand of tools—referred to the brand as “the Snap-On of Italy,” and had a treasured set of Beta hex wrenches he purchased many years ago, at the urging of his mentor, that he still relies on almost daily.

 

Within Reach
Why a Garmin mount on a bike stand? So the mechanic can easily reach the head unit when pairing and calibrating a power meter.

 

Plug it In
Bora-Argon 18’s mechanics added this plug to a folding ruler for quick and precise saddle height checks. The plug fits into the crank arm’s mounting bolt, and keeps the bottom of the rule securely centered while the mechanic eyeballs the measurement.

 

Which Wheel
The Lotto NL-Jumbo mechanics have a very simple system for designating which wheels are the primary race wheels, and which belong to the spare bikes. If there’s a zip tie on the hub, the wheel belongs to a spare bike.

 

3 Basic Skills Every Cyclist Should Work On – How To Be A More Skilful Cyclist

 

Being skilful on your bike isn’t just about being able to bunnyhop, rail corners or wheelie. And, while they all help, staying aware of the basics that underpin all of these skills will help you to stay safe, ride fast and build your existing skill level.

Watch more videos here.

Want to ride your bike from Canoga Park to Griffith Park? You’re a step closer

For cyclists and Los Angeles River strollers, it’s been the missing link to the Los Angeles River path across the San Fernando Valley.

But Los Angeles took a major step this week in completing the last 12 miles of a Los Angeles River Greenway that would allow Angelenos to walk and bike from Canoga Park to Griffith Park.

Gruen Associates, a 70-year-old Los Angeles-based urban design company, was picked Tuesday to lead the greenway design from Vanalden Avenue in Reseda to Zoo Drive in Griffith Park.

“The Los Angeles River is a common thread that links us to our history, and connects us to the natural world,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who grew up in Encino, in a statement. “This bikeway will give all Angelenos a new way to experience our city, build accessibility to our revitalized river, and expand green space for families to enjoy.

“I am proud to work with all of the partners who helped us reach this milestone.”

Portions of the bikeway, funded by both the city and Los Angeles County, have already been built.

But completing the last stretch has long been a dream of those who wanted to cross the Valley along both concrete and natural sections of the Los Angeles River, sometimes within view of snowy egrets and other birds.

A challenge to the greenway design team completing the greenway will be how to get around both the historic Sepulveda Dam and the 405 Freeway.

The greenway design will include a bike path, shade elements, stormwater capture features, pedestrian walkways, landscaped areas to support habitat, as well as fencing, gates, lighting, signage and additional educational and interpretive elements.

Besides Gruen Associates, the design team will include Mia Lehrer + Associates, landscape architects with a history of Los Angeles River work; and Oyler Wu, architects. Engineering firm Psomas will produce the team’s civil and structural work.

The cost of the design work is still being negotiated, said a Garcetti spokeswoman. Funding will come from the Mayor’s office, Valley Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield, Paul Krekorian, Nury Martinez, the Department of Recreation and Parks and Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

A detailed feasibility study is expected within the next nine months, with community input and review, city officials say. Construction will be done in phases.

“We are thrilled to bring together this exceptional team to work with us in the design of the Valley’s river bike path,” said City Engineer Gary Lee Moore “We have selected a group of designers known for their experience in successfully addressing architectural challenges, as well as bringing innovative and experimental thinking to their work.”

 

Read more at dailynews.com

19 Best Los Angeles Bike Rides

From peacebicycles.com

 

You can explore Los Angeles and its surroundings in a different way with your Dutch Bike than with your car. More in the moment. LA is a fast paced city full of panoramic ocean views, glamorous shops, celebrities, amazing weather and let’s not forget about the breathtaking outdoors.  Our list of the 19 Best Los Angeles Bike Rides combines everything from beautiful desert spaces to city views to relaxing beach side trails.  This city really has a bit of everything for all types of cyclists. Some of these trails/paths/roads are best for cycling on road bikes because of how steep they are or how long, but there are always sections which are great for the leisure or Dutch style bikes as well.

 

1. Marvin Braude Bike Trail

The very stereotype of riding your beach cruiser or Dutch style bike along the California coast, the Marvin Braude paved bike trail embraces the Pacific Ocean with a stretch of about 35 km situated in the Playa del Rey area.  Your trip will commence on the Will Rogers State Beach and span the Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles.  The path is 22 miles (35 km) long, with a midpoint between the two ends of the path near the southern end of the Playa del Rey residential area, and the northern end of the trail at the paved Class 1 bicycle path at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. Our personal favorite highlights include views of Hermosa Beach, Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica Beach, and more  as you cycle through.

 

 

2. Griffith Park Bike Loop

Taking a ride here will be filled with scenic, tree-lined, well-maintained trails.  You can choose to explore further and it all depends on how much energy you’ve got in you:)  At Riverside Drive you can take Zoo Drive (5333 Zoo Drive Los Angeles, CA in your GPS) and then go up Crystal Springs Drive towards the south end.  This path is going to also allow you the access to the Los Angeles River Bike Path, which is higher ground that overlooks the river.

For those of you who don’t own bikes, there are rentals available on site at the park. If you drive to this park you can easily park on Mulholland Fountain and cycle from there.  For a more challenging cycle, try climbing a few hills on some nearby routes. The heights of the park will offer a lot of opportunity for an easy cruise or a cardio workout (depending how far out you want to bike).

 

 

3CicLavia

CicLAvia in its own words “catalyzes vibrant public spaces, active transportation and good health through car-free street events. CicLAvia engages with people to transform our relationship with our communities and with each other”.

It’s basically a continuously changing location in LA where the streets are closed to cars and bike enthusiasts strut their stuff. Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago in an effort to combat the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now these bike “happenings” take place throughout Latin America and the United States frequently.

 

 

4. The Donut in Palos Verdes

This is an intermediate rider’s playground. It’s an exciting park that follows the Palos Verdes Peninsula and some San Pedro charms.  Here you will see the old battleships, container ships and merchant vessels. Riders will have wonderful things to look at like lighthouses and ocean views. Expect a mix of city and rural views when taking this route.  The Paolos Verdes Pennisula offers a long ride of up to 50 miles.  You can make your stop at Coffee Cartel before continuing your cycling trip.  You can also study some maps of the area and take some detours that can extend your trip or shorten it.

 

 

5. Santa Clarita Cloverleaf 

Hugged by the Santa Clara River, the best thing about this path is the ability for bicyclists to access the path from a few locations.  The whole biking trail is fully paved and that’s something to smile about on a road bike. There are many picturesque trail rides in the area and the city offers a great selection of recreational space for cyclers.  You can also look for bike lockers here in the case that you want to get off your bike and take a walk to some nearby parks.  There are different trail classifications from I, II and III.  Look out for these signs as some are one-way bike travel or pedestrian only or a combination that includes motorists.

 

 

6. Fairfax to Downtown

If you want to experience the hustle and bustle of LA along with the quiet calm of the suburbs, you need to get on this path.  Ride until you hit midtown and then just prior to getting to MacArthur Park, take a southern turn and head into the downtown core. The only thing is that you will need to watch out for traffic as some routes filter into busy intersections while passing through the bike paths.  Your cycling efforts will highly benefit with a properly mapped route so you can avoid LA traffic as you emerge from the various bike paths.

 

 

7. Ballona Creek Bike Path

This coastal path, although not mountainous, offers stunning views of the Santa Monica Mountains. The bike path will follow the Ballona Creek stretch for most of its length.  Your biking journey can start at Jefferson Boulevard and head South towards Playa del Rey.  Beware, as there is no barrier in place to guard the path from the canal.  This stretch accommodates Class 1 biking and is flat for the entire section.  Those who want more of a terrain may benefit planning another route elsewhere.  You will also see a lot of wild birds while on this path.  For those who are cycling into the evening, the city has installed night lighting on this path.

 

 

7. Ballona Creek Bike Path

This coastal path, although not mountainous, offers stunning views of the Santa Monica Mountains. The bike path will follow the Ballona Creek stretch for most of its length.  Your biking journey can start at Jefferson Boulevard and head South towards Playa del Rey.  Beware, as there is no barrier in place to guard the path from the canal.  This stretch accommodates Class 1 biking and is flat for the entire section.  Those who want more of a terrain may benefit planning another route elsewhere.  You will also see a lot of wild birds while on this path.  For those who are cycling into the evening, the city has installed night lighting on this path.

 

 

9. Metro Orange Line Bike Path 

Taking your bike, you will start at the North Hollywood Metro station at Chandler Boulevard.  Following the east valley, you head up Orange Line Stations.  Different classes of drivers will enjoy the class II and I levels available here. This path is adjacent from the MTA bus-way.  You will find many numerous parking areas (in the case that you’re hauling your bike in your car).  Great thing about this location is that bike lockers and racks are offered by the Metro Stations.  Every major street offers an entry point into this path.

 

 

10. Sepulveda River Basin Loops

 This trail loops around the 2000-acre Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area in one of the soft-bottom stretches of the river. It’s quite a scenic ride with many verdant trees and plants here as well as bird life. This is once of the few places where you can see the Los Angeles River in a much more natural form. We recommend taking the nine-mile loop, but the ride can easily be broken up into shorter trails. A highlight is the 2.5-mile section of the path that passes through the serene core of Lake Balboa Park and adjoining Woodley Avenue Park. This ride offers all the basic amenities: water, restrooms, playgrounds and and picnic tables, plus extras like boat and equipment rentals, fishing, golf courses and baseball fields. Also, in Woodley Avenue Park there are beautiful Japanese gardens, a wildlife preserve, a field for radio-controlled aircraft, and cricket fields. Might be a good idea to partake in some of these fun activities as well.

 

 

11. Long Beach Bike Path 

Perhaps this bike path can paint the most prominent image of LA. It features miles of diverse terrain and a place for all types of cyclists looking for hidden gems to explore. There is a separation between the bike lanes and pedestrian paths.  You also get an amazing view of the Queen Mary.

Long beach also has a great program called the Bike Saturdays Program.  They offer a discount program for cyclists and encourage community exploration.  How it works: when you bike to the local shops here on Saturday, you receive special discounts.  The participating shops will have a special decal on their window that acknowledges Bike Saturdays.

 

 

12. Legg Lake Park

This is about 5 miles in total and it’s an easy flat ride.  The lake makes it relaxing in the way the path curves around nature.  If you’re more of a city rider, you will probably enjoy the serenity of this park. Although smaller than other parks, this park offers easy access and a plethora of amenities.  You can get everything from picnic tables, golf courses, restrooms and softball fields.  There is also a connector path that connects the Rio Hondo bike path with the San Gabriel River bike path.  For the most convenient entry, try entering this area from Rosemead Blvd.

 

 

13. Arroyo Seco Bike Path

With a stream running alonside the path, you’ll be sure to enjoy the quiet calm of this Arroyo path.  Close to the Pasedena Freeway is about a two mile stretch.  Your access is made easier via Hermon Park using a pedestrian bridge.  Cyclists can continue onward Arroyo Blvd if looking to explore more residential paths. You will also notice horses on this path. The equestrian path starts north of the Arroyo Seco Bike Path.  Beyond the Arroyo Stables, bikes are not permitted.  Only horses and pedestrians can enter beyond that point.

 

 

14. Beverly Hills Star Homes Loop

Want to take a scenic bike trip to celebrity homes that can only be seen in dreams? This easy ride offers an opportunity to see some impressive real estate with each mile. The road surface is smooth and the traffic is light.

There also a Self-Guided Movie Star Homes Bike Tour available 365 days a year that attracts people from all over the world.  It’s approximately 3 hours on bike and offers ease and moderation.  Expect some hills because, after all, it is called Beverly Hills for a reason.  This tour doesn’t require you to use your own bike and includes a high-end hybrid road bike.  You’re also equipped with a helmet to start your tour.

 

 

15. Bouquet Canyon Loop

This trail is more advanced and loops for 45 miles.  Accessible all year around, the mountainous Santa Clarita Valley makes it easy to access in the overall distance to LA.  Those who love the lush forest will enjoy the terrain and mountains. You can also access this area all year around on your road bike.  Getting on this trail allows you to see the forest-lush parts of Los Angeles.  There are various extensions that can be added while on this loop to make your cycling trip longer.  This is a great path for rural and urban riding.  The traffic is light and roads are paved.

 

 

16. Brentwood Star Homes Tour

This neighborhood is synonymous with the O.J Simpson murder case, but there are other great charms to see here.  Tour this affluent neighborhood on your bike and discover old Hollywood glamour, fun mansions, great hills and canyons. There are many routes here leading to other Los Angeles bike paths. Plus, since it’s set amid the canyons, the ride takes in some great hills and cool descents. Overall, the place makes for great riding. Road surface: Good. Road traffic: Moderate.

 

 

17. Venice Boulevard 

This bike lane is painted clearly with tons of room to prevent car doors from opening and sending you flying over the handlebars. You can go all the way to the beach using this bike lane. This path can also take you all the way from Crenshaw Boulevard To Downtown LA. For those who want guided tours, you can hop on many tours at Venice beach.  This area is lively and there are numerous bike rentals available on site.  You can choose everything from cruisers to mountain bikes once you get to Venice beach.

 

 

18. San Gabriel River Bike Trail

Situated along the San Gabriel River, this trail is near Los Angeles County.  You can bike to Seal Beach and from here you have a choice to take your cycling towards the El Monte or Long Beach. You can venture into El Dorado Regional Park from this bike trail.  You will find that you can access other great paths once you’re at San Gabriel River.  Rio Hondo bicycle path can be accessed from here as well as a continuation into the Los Angeles River trail.  You can really have a variation of routes once you sit down and map your cycling trip.

 

 

19. Los Angeles River

The Los Angeles River bike path starts on Long Beach and travelsl all the way to the downtown core of the Marina. The entire stretch is about 29.1 miles.  It’s well lit and the lanes are clearly marked for cyclists. If you’re looking to break up with your stationary bike, this path is a good one to check out. Beware that this path will have two separate sections that are not connected to each other. The longer section can be accessed on Long Beach all the way up Atlantic Boulevard.  On the other hand, if you want to access Long Beach, enter via the place where the river intersects the Pacific Coast Highway.

 

 

Read more at http://peacebicycles.com/advice/19-best-los-angeles-bike-rides/