With group rides in Los Angeles, ya never know what you’re going to get. As I was packing the night before for this ride, my girlfriend asked me how many people I thought would show up. My response: either 20 or 4. In my experience, the latter is easier to manage, especially when rides like this include around 30 miles of inner-city road riding, yet I have wrangled enough cats to know how to deal with larger groups as well.
While half of this ride is indeed on sealed roads, the 30 that is on dirt is some of the finest Los Angeles has to offer. Dirt Mulholland takes you in the Santa Monica Mountains and intersects miles upon miles of singletrack and fire roads. You could literally spend days riding in the mountains, provided you’ve got access to water.
Four people showed up in the morning. Four new faces, two of which were tourists, who happened to find themselves in LA this weekend. We met up for coffee and left 15 minutes behind schedule to allow any Saturday morning stragglers to roll up. Confident with our group’s size, we headed out through Hollywood and up Nichols Canyon Road, a climb that is often hectic during the week, yet at 7:30am on a Saturday was quite peaceful. With our heads down and in a paceline, we snaked our way to the dirt and that’s where the fun began.
After casually spinning through the mountains, we dropped down to the Pacific Coast Highway via Topanga Canyon HWY 27 and met up with Found in the Mountains at the Reel Inn for fish tacos, margaritas, and stories.
The ride home is always interesting. If you’re visiting LA as a cyclist, it’s a great way to see the places you’ll probably never want to visit again. This includes: Beverly Hills, Melrose, Rodeo Drive and most of Hollywood. As we zig-zagged our way back to the east side, I found it funny how our caravan of cyclists were keeping pace with luxury cars, busses, motorcycles and other vehicles, once again proving that the bicycle is always the best form of transportation in a city.
Transportation and a vehicle for socializing along 60 miles of fun on a Saturday morning.