There’s this common belief that Los Angeles and cycling don’t mix. We thought we’d buck that trend and have partnered up with ‘HEDO’, a cool local cycling apparel brand to help run a series of fun, far from serious cycling events, we have rather aptly called… “Tour de LA"
Once a month we will be riding with friends, old and new, around different areas of Los Angeles, visiting places that one would never normally go to other than say…on the bike. We will be showing you some of the “locals only” secret roads as well as some of the locations where Pro riders from around secret themselves off to holding their winter training camps in readiness for their upcoming Grand Tours.
When it came to mapping out our inaugural ride, something special was required. Something that you don’t do too often. In fact, it turned out that quite a few participants of the inaugural pack, people who have been living and cycling around LA for years, had never done it before.
For our initial urban adventure, we were going to join the dots of all the iconic landmarks on the West Side. A grand slam of TV show destinations. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, before we did anything, we needed coffee and the Emporium in Venice has the best beans around, so we started from there.
Once we were sufficiently caffeinated, we saddled up and rolled through Venice then into Santa Monica, where we were beset by an ocular feast of funky fun street art punctuated by picturesque ocean views. Dot number three was Beverly Hills and her unique blend of Art Deco and modern architecture giving rise to much oohing and ahhing. We continued our climb our way out through the Hollywood Hills until we reached the uber iconic Mulholland Drive with its remarkable outlook over the San Fernando Valley and Downtown LA.
Next on our itinerary was Griffith Park, and after enjoying a pleasurable loop around it, we stopped at the Griffith Observatory. This is perhaps the premier perv spot if you want to gawk at LA, you can literally see the entire city from up here. A super nice bonus is that you get this wonderful unobstructed view of the Hollywood sign.
After we’d had our fill of the view and a short water break, we rode out of the park and headed towards our main goal, the Urban Jungle aka Downtown LA. Normally cyclists don’t ride there, whether you are solo or in small groups it’s just not safe to do so. Needless to say, the traffic is pretty hairy and drivers aren't not known for their patience. But when you are rolling fifty deep - you set the rules! Just to be on the safe side we did some regrouping, took up one whole lane wide, and rolled through with ease.
It was simply amazing!
Pictures can paint a thousand words, but still, they don’t do it justice. Talk about feeling puny, you literally are as you ride around the toes of these sixty-plus story high giants of buildings, whether you like it or not! One of the best parts had to be the fact that only a few of us had ever ridden there before, making it for most, a completely new and eye popping experience. A few people wanted to turn around and do another loop, that’s how special it was!
The entire group was pretty tired and more than a little peckish at that point. With over 3000ft vertical and almost 50 miles in our legs, and still a ways away from the Emporium - we’d need to commence the final leg of this ride, the straight shot to Venice from downtown.
Fate even threw her hand in to keep us from finishing. We encountered some serious headwinds that seemed to magically appear, then being thwarted by a bunch of extremely annoying, un-strategically positioned traffic lights directly in our path. But that unshakable thought of ice-cold beers and warm burritos that awaited the crew spurred us to persevere.
After countless hours and 6,000 burnt calories later, we finally arrived back at home. The perfect finish to an awesome day was had here at the Emporium. Sharing stories, drinking beers, and having a truckload of fun, this is what its all about! Oh, and taking some well-deserved rest after our first seriously unserious ride...
We'd like to thank to our wonderful friends from the Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Better Booch who’d stocked the iceboxes while we were on the road making triply sure plenty of beverages were available for the participants.
Stay tuned for the next ride in Malibu! See you then