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
Picture Via silverstreakcycling.blogspot.com
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).
Images via Meetup
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.
Picture Via LATimesBlog
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.
Photos via SoCalTrailRiders
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.
Picture via ERobson at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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.
Photo via Youarehere.com
8. Glendale Narrows
Situated along the Los Angeles River, Glendale Arrows features a 7-mile stretch that is accessible once you cross the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. If you love green routes, you'll like the birds, fishing and several parks that are easily accessible from this path. When you get close to the LA River, the area is less manicured. This is the more natural area of the path that attracts many fishermen and nature enthusiasts. To explore the rest of the river, try accessing it north of the Atwater Park. You can find parking in this area as well.
Picture via Yelp
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.
Picture via Traillink
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.
WikiPic shared by MrBill3
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 travels 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.