Tweet this Share with Facebook

Where to Bike Los Angeles

Posted April 4th, 2014

When it comes to cycling, Los Angeles has great riches: from breezy paths on flat, palm-studded beaches to spectacular canyons, glamorous movie-star enclaves and car free bikeways along inland rivers and arroyos. And the city’s bicycle infrastructure is growing rapidly, with new bike lanes and designated paths coming on line every year. LA offers something for every cyclist in the incredible diversity of its landscapes, terrain, microclimates, neighborhoods, cultures, landmarks, and cuisines. But perhaps best of all is its perpetual sunshine. Here, in LA, we can ride just about every day of the year.

So, what are you waiting for? Hop on your bike, or rent one, (don’t forget to buckle a helmet onto that precious head of yours) and, as we say in Spanish, vaya, vaya (go, go)! We’ll take you on great adventures—let Where to Bike Los Angeles be your guide.

The book is aimed at recreational cyclists (including families with children) looking for outings and for mature cyclists in search of fitness and enjoyment. Where to Bike Los Angeles features a total of 81 rides, 51 recreational rides for adults and 30 safe, fun ones for young kids.

Each ride, graded from one to five stars in difficulty, is presented with a detailed, full-color map and an altitude profile showing all the hills. Every ride summary also includes a precise log (making sure you don’t miss a turn), with essential facts and insider info about the area, as well as tips about snack stops, restaurants, restrooms, side trips and even reaching the starting point.

Authors Sarah Amelar and Jon Riddle have personally surveyed every ride on their bicycles, using a Garmin GPS unit to collect data for the mapping and altitude profiles. They have also been on the lookout for all the fun and surprising diversions you’ll want to experience on these rides. In Where to Bike Los Angeles, they  let you know about historic and scenic points of interest, hidden curiosities, the best swimming spots, plus one-of-a-kind cafés, ice cream parlors, and other enticing watering holes en route.

The Authors

About Sarah Amelar

Sarah Amelar’s passion for urban cycling dates back to her girlhood in New York City, where she logged hundreds of miles on a beloved, hand-me-down bike: a classic Raleigh three-speed with a chirpy bell and a wicker basket.

Her daily cycling gained momentum—and her fascination with cities grew—as she completed a Masters of Architecture degree at Yale, went on to practice architecture, and later became a senior editor at Architectural Record magazine. During her nine years at Record, she was a leading member of the editorial team that won a 2003 National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Metropolis, Dwell, New York Newsday, The New York Times, The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture, and others.

Sarah first met Jon in 2005 on a bicycling adventure in Southeast Asia. Since then, the pair has explored Los Angeles by bike—virtually nonstop—riding everything from famous to barely discovered routes. Together, in 2008, they pedaled the AIDS/LifeCycle, a seven-day, 545-mile, fundraising ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

In addition to her love of cycling and architecture, Sarah shares with Jon a passion for the diverse neighborhoods of Los Angeles, the vast landscapes of Southern California, and the city’s ethnic spectrum of culinary treats. They are always delighted to introduce their out-of-town visitors, local friends—and now you, too—to the joys of cycling in LA.

About Jon Riddle

Jon is a native Californian, born in Needles, along the state’s far eastern edge, and raised among lizards, cacti, and blowing sand. When he was six years old, he and his family moved to the fringes of Los Angeles, where he learned to bike on red Schwinn Stingray, with a big, white banana seat. Following college, Jon settled in San Francisco, before migrating back south, first to Santa Barbara for graduate school (for a PhD in economics), then to Los Angeles. Living, breathing, seeing and experiencing the City of Angels over the past 14 years, he’s had the pleasure of becoming a naturalized “Angeleño.”

Exploring Los Angeles on two wheels since his arrival here, Jon has ridden just about everywhere imaginable in this great city. He’s also trained and coached scores of cyclists for the AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC). As a volunteer ALC Training Leader, he’s designed bicycling routes across LA for riders of all levels, with a special focus on beginner and intermediate needs. Jon has also pedaled the LifeCycle himself—all 545 miles of it—four times. In foreign lands, he has biked Spain's Camino de Santiago (the famed medieval pilgrimage route), Peru's Sacred Valley, and in Burma, Thailand, Vietnam (from north to south), Mexico, and France (retracing some Tour de France climbs). Every year, he proudly puts far more miles on his bike than on his car.

Jon leads an economics consulting practice and has taught economics and finance courses at the University of California in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.