ROAD BIKING: Griffith Park - Beginner and Intermediate

Join me for a great morning ride in scenic Griffith Park starting from the Old Zoo parking lot. This will actually be two rides in one, starting with a beginner road biking ride and then, an intermediate level ride afterwards with more climbing. We'll have a little lunch picnic between the rides. Griffith park is a great and scenic place to ride and roads have little traffic. Much of the park, as well as, the LA river path portion is also off limits to cars which makes the ride even more enjoyable. Come out and explore Griffith Park from the bike seat. Coming across wildlife like coyotes and deer is very common.

Difficulty: Beginner and Intermediate Road Biking
Please note, "road biking" is different from bicycling in general. "Speed cycling" might have been a more accurate term. 

The beginner ride will be relatively flat with just a couple of rolling hills. About ½ of it will be along the LA river bike path. If anyone is having a hard time keeping up with the group there is also a shortcut which I will point out after about 3 miles. Taking the shortcut will make the loop about 10 miles. I will explain where to go. It's really easy so you won't get lost.

The intermediate level ride will involve a good deal of climbing including a short segment towards the top of the park which is quite steep. Therefore you need to be able to climb steep hills on your bike. If you have to get off your bike and walk, this ride is not for you.

One good thing is that if you find the intermediate ride too difficult there is a bail-out option at the top of the first hill, which is an easy ride right back to the cars. We will stop here and assess how everyone is doing.

The pace will vary depending on wind and hills etc, but as a gauge of sorts I'd say you should have the ability to keep a pace of about 14+ mph for the beginner ride riding a flat stretch with no wind. For the intermediate ride the number should be about 17+ mph.

Type of bike needed:
This intended as a "road biking" ride so a road (racing) bike is advisable but a fast hybrid or XC mountain bike is OK too if you are a strong rider.

The Plan:
We'll meet in the parking lot across from the playground and bathrooms north of Griffith Park Dr. (please study photo on the right) at about 9:45 AM, do some stretching, introductions, and ride briefing etc. We'll then start riding at 10:00 AM sharp. Please get there early. It usually takes 10-15 minutes just to get ready.

We'll start with the beginner ride loop which includes the LA river bike path, then have lunch at the picnic tables near the playground/old zoo. at around 11:30 or so. Keep the lunch light and which gives your body quick energy. Bananas and other fruits, as well as, energy drinks are the best food for a meal in the middle of a ride.

After lunch, at about noon or so, we'll start the intermediate ride for those up for something more challenging. We'll be riding up to the top of Griffith park and do a great loop around the top of the park. This ride has some amazing views of the city and most of the ride has no car traffic. There are some sandy spots to watch out for especially for those on a road bike. It is well worth all the climbing as this will be the most scenic ride and where you are most likely to see wildlife. I'll usually see a "friendly" coyote or two and sometimes deer, skunks, rabbits, and raccoons, although those animals are more commonly seen in the evening.

Since we are all at a different ability levels it is unlikely that we'll be able to stay in a single group, especially on the climbs. I will designate a number of locations along the route where we will stop, catch our breath, and re-group. Most of these will be at top of hills and junctions/turn offs to avoid that anyone gets lost.

Distance & Elevation Gain:
Beginner ride: 14.5 miles, 330 ft elevation gain.
Intermediate Ride: 17 miles, ~2000 ft elevation gain or so.

Time Required:
Beginner ride: 1 ½ hours or so.
Lunch break: ½ hour or so.
Intermediate ride: 2 hours or so.
Total: 4 hours or so.

Click here for Google directions to the meeting spot.

Note: Google does not provide exact location of the parking lot using the address so please study the photo above. You need to head up Griffith Park Dr. a couple of hundred yards and the parking lot will be on your right across from the playground/picnic tables/bathrooms.

There should be enough spaces there but if not, there are plenty of parking on the other side of the playground as well.

No Shows:
It is inconsiderate to the leader and anyone on the waiting list to RSVP and not show up, therefore I am registering no-shows. For this event you need to change your RSVP to "No" minimum 45 minutes before the start of the event. If you have multiple no-shows on your record you may not be admitted to events where there are people on the waiting list. If something happens on your way, so you can't make it, please call me.

Please ensure that you are in good health before participating and understand that there is risk involved in road biking and group rides. You can get hurt. As an event organizer I assume absolutely no responsibility for you. I am simply a "ride buddy", nothing more. If you choose to participate, you assume all responsibility for yourself and your equipment and agree not to hold me or our MeetUp group liable in any way. Also, please adhere to the following:

Always wear a helmet when biking. This is mandatory, no exceptions.

Make sure your bike is in good working condition, with the tires properly inflated [masked] psi for road bikes) and the chain lubricated prior to the ride.

Bring at least one spare tube, energy bars/food, enough water, and sunscreen.

If you have toolkit, pump/co2, or first aid kit, bring them.

Learn and use standard hand signals for group rides.

Be courteous and considerate to pedestrians/hikers, equestrians, other riders, and drivers.

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  • Kathy S.


    February 7, 2014

  • Alen

    Cant make this saturday however please do this again, I used to take the fireroad to the observatory all the time!

    February 5, 2014

  • Mary H.

    This looks like a group I'd enjoy, but have plans for this Saturday. Keep me on the list.

    1 · February 3, 2014

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