LA Sucks For Cycling | America’s Hidden Bike Riding Paradise


– The thing I hear a lot
is LA sucks for riding, but the truth is, is that
after digging in quite a bit, I found out that LA
might not actually stink for riding that much, because Saxo Bank, currently Geraint Thomas,
we’ve even heard Peter Sagan, back in the day, Lance Armstrong, have all called this place home to pre-season training camps. So, I’ve put together, with
some help from a lot of friends, a perfect day out here in California to check out some of the cool amenities, people that put this place on the map, the community that speaks here. And, well, I definitely
didn’t cover everyone, but I think I did a pretty good job at showing off just how
cool LA actually is. (upbeat music) (whoosh) (suspenseful music) We arrived in the sunny
state of California in the United States to
challenge the bad wrap that cycling in Los Angeles has seemingly gotten over the years. To get out started, we made out way up to Silver Lake to learn
about one of the shops, whose laid-back culture have helped shaped this very unique community. As we kick off this tour
of LA cycling culture and all the cool stuff
that is going on here, I stopped in at the Golden Saddle Cyclery to meet up with Jimmy, Mick, and Mike. Guys, that you so much. – No problem, thanks for coming. – Hi. – [Jeremy] Tell me, tell
me about Golden Saddle and what you guys do
and what you represent here in the community. – Uh, well, I guess, if I have
to describe it in one way, it’s kind of a bike shop for everybody. The most important thing to us is providing a space for
people to build a community. You know, we have pro
cyclists come in here and pro skateboarders and hard chillers, but, you know, they’re
all, they all come here. So, I mean, we just like
to have fun and ride bike. – [Jeremy] And when you guys are looking to go out for like your
favorite day of riding or something like that, this is a good area to start from, which is what I’m going to be doing today. I’m going to be heading over
to this West Ridge Loop. (upbeat music) Yeah, it seems like you
let people be themselves, right, like there’s not
this like footprint, where you have to show up
and spend X with a helmet with like this very specific thing. You know, it’s kind of ingrained in European cycling culture forever. You guys sort of have, as
you look around this shop, you’ve got famous rappers
printed up on jerseys. You’ve got all types of cool
retro things that are here that kind of embody your style and vibe that you’re putting out, free spirited. Like, you come be yourself. – Yeah. – Come as you are. – [Mike] We also just so happen to have an anti-doping sign that we
got from Tour of California and one of my coworkers,
David, had the mind to go ask Floyd for his signature. And, so, we now have
his signature up here. – This was Bruce Gordon’s skin suit. Jimmy saw a photo of him wearing it with a bright, pink bike as
a young man in his office. So, obviously, they don’t really make them like this anymore. I’m sure the shammy is
just a chunk of terry cloth or something like that. And the best part is, what it’s hanging on is a titanium hanger that
he says King Cage made, in Colorado probably. So, titanium hanger on a
Bruce Gordon skin suit. One of my favorites in the shop. – For people that don’t
know who Bruce Gordon is, can you maybe tell us
who he was in a minute? – Um, a lot of the stuff
that people are riding today was pioneered by that crew and that man. And, you know, big tire road bikes, is something he’s always done. And I think, really kind of, really did something that wasn’t happening in cycling at the time. – Yeah, so very forward thinking and, probably, a lot of of the culture that we’re seeing today started from BG. Have to see a favorite while we’re here at Golden Saddle as well. Let’s just see what’s
up here in the corner. Oh, oh, the Jeremy Powers, Rapha-Focus National Champion 2012
Edition trading card. Gabby Day, my teammate at the time. Zach McDonald. (laughs) You can see them at Golden Saddle, if you come through as well. (upbeat music) We just left Golden Saddle, and we’re making our way
on Griffith Park Boulevard up to Griffith Park, which
is one of the iconic places that every LA cyclist rides at. It’s one of the places that’s
not closed off from cars, but very low traffic,
really beautiful roads, tons of nice pavement, and quite a few miles
of good riding in there. Pretty much uninterrupted, so, we’re going to get up
there and check it out, see some of the nice stuff that
Griffith Park has to offer. (upbeat music) So, we made it over to Griffith Park. It’s our first stop, and
it is so, so cool out here. Apparently, there’s over an hour and half of riding, just inside this
park, right outside of LA. It’s our first stop. We’re not going to go through the whole or up to the observatory, but apparently, the lookout
hits the Hollywood sign and, for locals in this
area, is a huge deal because, well think about
it, you’re in Los Angeles but you can literally go
park over here at the park, go do an hour and a half of riding. Shoot, you can do the thing twice and get three hours of riding in. It’s nuts. There’s so many things going
on down in Los Angeles. To be able to have this resource,
beautiful trials, hiking. Pretty cool. (upbeat music) After a zip through Griffith Park, we headed down to Hollywood Boulevard to ride with the stars. (slow upbeat music) So, we’re on Hollywood Boulevard, which is where all the stars are that you see, always in the movies. The Oscars are getting
stuff set up right now. There’s tons of tourists out here. And, we just left Golden Saddle, we went up to Griffith
Park, and now we’re making our way over to some dirt
called the West Ridge, which I’m going to meet
up with some of my friends who are in town training, tell us a little bit more about all that. (upbeat music) (cars passing) (upbeat music continues) So, we just got down Sunset Boulevard and made a right onto Mandeville Canyon. Mandeville Canyon is one of
the iconic climbs in LA proper. It is over five miles long,
over 8,000 people have ridden it Strava and put
their time up on the board. Currently, Phil Gaimon sits
there at just around 14 minutes, which is insane, I’m nowhere near that. But, it’s a huge climb. If you’re in the area, you
got to hit Mandeville Canyon. That’s not what we’re doing. We’re actually going up West Ridge, where we’re going to
link up with some dirt and two riders who have
a lot of experience, Payson McElveen and Colin Strickland. This is going to take us
across all along this ridge, which is going to bring
us over to Pedalers Fork. We can have a delicious coffee,
catch up with those guys. (slow upbeat music) I just rode up Mandeville Canyon. It’s one of the iconic road climbs in LA that everybody does, tons of intervals, and lots of sweat going down there. Then, I met up with these two guys. Payson McElveen, Colin Strickland. Two very accomplished gravel racers. We’re going to talk about all the things that you guys have done. But, tell me what we’re doing here. – [Payson] We’re riding
up West Ridge Road, a beautiful dirt, kind of fire road. Gains a lot of elevation over
the course of 15 or 20 minutes and gives you some beautiful
views along the way. – [Jeremy] Awesome, well
thanks for meeting up with me, I can’t wait to check it out. Let’s do this. (upbeat music) Colin, so tell me now,
what is it about California that brings you out this
way to do some training? – [Colin] Yeah, I’m out here primarily for the predictably nice
weather, as you can see today, and the just beautiful, 30-minute climbs that seem virtually endless
when you first arrive, then you realize, yeah,
well there’s about 15. But, you can cut them into
a bunch of different pieces and make really solid days out of it. And it’s the piece that’s missing
from my training in Texas. – [Jeremy] There’s this misconception that riding in LA area is really bad, but when, around here, it’s– – It’s not so bad, when
you’re really out here. I used to be convinced it was really busy, Too much to really enjoy the climbs, but a lot of these back canyons of Malibu are virtually empty because not many people
have business up there, and if it’s not a direct route,
no one drives those roads. – You won DK last year. You won Iceland last year, right? – I did, yes. – Yeah, so you’ve got, you’ve got quite a few big ones under your belt. What do you want to do this year? What’s the goal? – Man, have fun, meet
more really cool people. (laughs) But, it would be really fun to see how Dirty Kanza goes
down again, because that one is, seems like currently the biggest show, so. – [Jeremy] Yeah, the
Paris-Roubaix of gravel. – [Colin] So, yeah, have
a good run at that one and see if we can, see if I can’t repeat, – [Jeremy] Cool. (upbeat music) Payson, so you’re out here. You’ve kind of made this
your base for a couple. How long have you been here now? – Oh boy, three weeks maybe. Yeah, I usually spend three months out of my year in California. Probably, most of that, is
in the Los Angeles area. – [Jeremy] Yeah, are you one of those guys that we kind of see parking their van, we would say down by the river, but down by the beach, just chilling, making coffee in the morning and hanging. – You know, I brought the van this time, because I’m going to be
bouncing back and forth between San Francisco some. – [Jeremy] Okay. – [Payson] But, now and then, you want to get out of the city, and spend a few nights
in a quieter setting. So, having the van to kind
of escape for a couple days is nice flexibility. – [Jeremy] Yeah, what
do you love about this that’s different than where
you typically call home or where you go out? What makes you love the LA riding? I guess, and also, what have
you been a part of in the area? Like what rides have you done? – Yeah, well for one, it’s 30 degrees on average in Durango this time of year. So that makes it hard. But also, Durango is such
a small town, tightly knit, and I love it for that reason, but, I’m also someone
that really appreciates the speed of life of a bigger city. I’m really inspired by a lot of the ideas, creative things going on out here. So, I’m definitely one of those racers that spends a lot of time thinking about things other than bikes. The training for this
early season style riding can’t be beat either. – Right. – Tons of incredible, perfect road climbs. Surprisingly little traffic
once you get off of PCH. – Legend has it that you
have the KOM on this. – Ha, you know I did it one time. Haven’t checked in a while. – You know I’m in town for two weeks. – Take it away man. I need a carrot to chase. I don’t race until March, so. – I’m retired, but. Speaking of racing, what
races do you have coming up? Last year you won what was
formally known as Land Run 100. So, what do you got coming up? What are you planning for this year? You’re getting more heavily into gravel. – Yeah, the gravel scene
is really hard to ignore. I think I’ll always stay
a mountain biker at heart. My schedule in 2020 is about 60% mountain bike and 40% gravel. But, the surge, the gravel
surge is impossible to ignore, And that Land Run 100,
now called the Mid South, will be my first race
of the year, mid-March. Taking on this hitter. – Uh-huh. – Then a few mountain bike
races, Belgian Waffle, kind of hitting all the, all
the biggest off-road events. – [Jeremy] What do you think about riding Leadville
100 on a gravel bike? – I think it’s a terrible idea. Drop-bar, drop-bar mountain
bike could be cool. Could be cool. My buddy, T. Brown, Travis
Brown, did that one year. Full suspension drop-bar set up. – Okay. – Pioneer. Personally, I still love a hard tail or a light dual suspension for that event. Gravel bike would be brave. – Yeah. Cool man, well, I wish you
the best of luck this year. I hope to see you top many podiums. – I appreciate it. Thanks, Jeremy. (upbeat music) – [Jeremy] Is this the top? – [Payson] This is the top. – [Jeremy] That’s a nice climb. – [Colin] Yeah, beautiful, gentle. – [Jeremy] It’s awesome
and it’s pretty unique. I mean, we’re here in LA and there’s literally a
billion very important things going on, at least
seemingly, down in this area. Ocean’s out there, absolutely beautiful. But, here, you could hear
a pin drop right now. Well, guys, thank you. It was awesome riding with you. I wish you both the best. Hope I see you guys at some gravel events. – Thanks, Jeremy. – Yeah, awesome. – Thanks man. – Awesome to ride. Hopefully I see you guys out there. I’m going to Pedalers Fork for coffee. – Enjoy. – [Jeremy] Catch you next time. (upbeat music) The desolate feeling of
descending along the West Ridge was nothing short of amazing. Looking out at one of the biggest cities in the United States without anyone really around to bother you, other than hikers and a couple gravel riders and maybe an ambitious dog walker. The roads were impeccable
for riding your gravel bike. Criss-crossing with single
track trails all around you, it wasn’t just beautiful,
it was ridiculously fun. With the California sun on our backs and that LA haze in the sky, as we made our way to Pedalers Fork, it was nothing short of perfect. (upbeat music) Give us a wave! (upbeat music continues) (sighs) That was sick coming down
the mountain, you just. Do the single track. You get to tear it up with that afternoon, LA
sunlight just beaming in. Absolutely stunning. I made it to Pedalers Fork,
and we’re going to go inside and meet up with the owner, Gideon. This place has got a bike
shop, coffee shop, restaurant. Over the years, when I
did Tour of California, we used to stop in here and get a coffee, so I have great memories of this. I think you guys are going to enjoy it. (slow upbeat music) It’s cappuccino time. – [Barista] Cheers man. – [Jeremy] Thank you. (slow upbeat music) (coffee beans pouring) (slow upbeat music continues) So, I found one of the guys behind this whole operation here, 10 Speed Coffee, Pedalers
Fork, Gideon Kleinman. Thanks, thanks for taking a minute. – Thank you. – Yeah, tell us what’s
going on in this space, because it’s absolutely beautiful. – Okay, so yeah, we’ve been
here for going on seven years. The original idea behind
it was a beer garden with this short of, you know,
bike shop in the background. And, we always wanted a spot to ride and essentially, have beer. You need to have coffee before, so we got into the
coffee business full on. Met the original owner of 10 Speed up in Hood River, Oregon. The original driving force
behind it was, you know, all the cycling amenities. If you don’t care about
cycling, come hang out. It’s a fun theme. Fun every now and then to
see people coming and going. You know, we do morning
rides, we do night rides, and our regular customers,
they love it all just the same. It’s just a big place to hang out really at the end of the day. – [Jeremy] Yeah. – [Gideon] Yeah. – Super welcoming, it’s really fun. I’m enjoying this delicious coffee and just taking in everything. And, it makes you feel
really like you’re at home. So, we’re about the head back here. We’re going to go up some climb and make our way over to the PCH. But, thank you so much for hosting us. Thank you for this beautiful space that you’ve created for cycling crew, and for what you do for
this area and the community. – Awesome. Thank you so much. (slow upbeat music) – [Jeremy] After some chit-chat
about all the cool things that Pedalers Fork had going on, we had to hit the road
and beat the setting sun for one last big climb, as we made our way over to the Pacific Coast Highway. (upbeat music) So, we’re climbing the
last time of the day. Stunt, I don’t know if
it’s a canyon or a road. I have no idea, but it’s a good climb, supposed to be around twenty minutes. I’ve never done this one before. It’s really, really pretty and thank God I got that coffee. (upbeat music) (upbeat music continues) (upbeat music continues) About three quarters of
the way up this climb. Stunt Road and it is wow. It’s super, super hard. Been digging, but it’s beautiful and we’re just about to the top. So, yeah, not much more to say other than we got to get on with it. (upbeat music) (upbeat music continues) (audible exhale) Man. (panting) Even if we weren’t in
LA, this would be pretty. So, that’s the top of Stunt Road. I’m staring at the Pacific. I’m looking back at these
beautiful mountains. Honestly, I could be in Europe. I could be anywhere in the world. This is one of the prettiest places that I’ve ever check out. We’re going to fly down here,
go down this very steep road, Tuna Canyon, boom, boom, boom, to the PCH, the famous
Pacific Coast Highway. We’re going to end down in Santa Monica. (slow upbeat music) (slow upbeat music continues) (slow upbeat music continues) (slow upbeat music continues) That was a day of it. We started in one part of LA, came all the way across,
so much other stuff. This place is awesome. As you can tell, the
surfers are finishing up their last sessions of the evening. As they tighten things
up, the sun is setting. We made it down Tuna Canyon
onto the Pacific Coast Highway. We saw a lot of stuff. If you guys have trained in
LA or ever been out here, let us know in the comments. Definitely give us a thumbs up. Let us know what area of LA
you like riding in the most. There’s so many different areas out here. And, you guys want to subscribe to GCN, click right in the center. Check out other cool content over here. You know the drill.

29 Replies to “LA Sucks For Cycling | America’s Hidden Bike Riding Paradise”

  1. I usually ride on Dirt Mulholland solely for the fact that I don't have to worry about getting vaporized by a sports car like I would on regular Mulholland.

  2. Lovely to see my local roads being featured on here. I live out near Pedalers Fork and ride the roads and trails of the Santa Monica Mountains every time I ride. And, every time I ride, I count my blessings. It' is paradise for cycling. Thanks also for not mentioning my favourite routes! :-p

  3. LA Sucks for Cycling?! I suffered the worst traffic jam on a Sunday evening. Great video… Now I have a good reason to push myself up hills.

  4. Cali rules, maybe overall, the most beautiful place on Earth…the fkg filthy carz plague doesn't change that, though it tries.

  5. Great video! You hit up some of the best roads. Imagine another 90% more awesome choices of roads. Now imagine doing way more rides on epic mtn bike trails!! That's LA!!

  6. Road biking in LA sucks. Riding in the Santa Monica Mountains, Angeles NF, San Gabriel Mountains is pretty amazing.. except when it gets too hot

  7. Once you go at least 30+ miles (mostly east) from DTLA, you will find many amazing roads to ride on. The eastern part of Orange County (Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Irvine, etc.) have many roads with bike lanes and some good inclines. Glendora Mountain Road that takes you through the mountains in Mount Baldy and is a challenging, yet beautiful ride. Many roads near the LA/San Bernardino County line (Claremont, Chino Hills, Upland) and the OC/Riverside County Line (Corona, Yorba Linda, East Anaheim) have large inclines and really good views of the mountains and the entire valley.

    FYI, Be careful on many of the busier, flat urban roads in the areas I described above. There are lots of commuting drivers who are constantly on their phones (probably looking at Waze), and I can’t tell how many “non-cyclist cyclists” ride against traffic on the roads, even on the bike lanes that have clearly marked arrows.

  8. I am currently looking for a new pair of "Do-It-All" gravel tyres. Focused on gravel and wet roads, but not too slow on tarmac. Any recommendations? @Jeremy what do you ride in this video?

  9. Not for nothing, but PCH is part of my daily cycling commute. I live in the West Valley and work in Malibu. It's a 3 hour bike commute, but I love it! It's great training and the views are amazing.

  10. I prefer riding the river trails, or taking the loop from San Pedro through Palos Verdes and back. Just hold on tight when you get to Portuguese a Bend!

  11. Lovely scenery from the mountains, but DAMN, that city, when you film over the populated areas – are there really people living like that?! Getting the feel of canned sardines, I was seriously gasping for air when those views were on!

  12. Once you get off PCH the riding here in LA is pretty awesome. My favorite is to ride all the way up PCH to either Mulholland (which hasn't been open since the fires unfortunately) or Yerba Buena/Deer Creek – the latter half of these 2 climbs intersect and have just been repaved in super smooth blacktop, you hardly see any cars. Other than those Latigo is a perennial favorite, nice long climb never very steep. There is access to so much more also, if you head north out of LA and up the 395 to the Eastern Sierras you have some of the hardest climbs in the country if not the world up there – Onion Valley Road, Horseshoe Meadows, Whitney Portal etc.

  13. Armstrong and others use a follow car for solo training rides. Any place can be awesome if you have a follow car forcing a gap from cars.

  14. Orange County, Newport Coast Drive, El Capitan, Newport Ridge, San Joaquin Hills Rd, PCH South to San Diego, SART to San Bernardino, Laguna Beach, IE, Riverside, The Desert, The Mountains….the list is endless

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