Touring LA County with LACBC and Where To Bike LA: Three Rivers

March 7, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 8:30am

When: Saturday, March 16; Meet at 8:30am; ride at 9:00am.
Where: John Anson Ford Park - 8000 Scout Avenue, Bell Gardens (map)

Last month, cyclists on our Touring L.A. County ride experienced the Santa Clara River arroyo as we pedaled up Soledad Canyon to Acton.

Now we’ll explore the county’s three other rivers — the Rio Hondo, the Los Angeles and the San Gabriel — for an entirely different riding experience. Though largely channelized in concrete, this trio of waterways still offers abundant birdlife and re-emerging river greenery. The upside to these engineering interventions is miles and miles of smooth, virtually uninterrupted, car-free bike path atop the river levees.

From John Anson Ford Park, we’ll head down the Rio Hondo to its confluence with the LA River. From there, we’ll continue south a short stretch, crossing Long Beach — past Rosie the Riveter Park and the old Douglas and Boeing aircraft factories — to the San Gabriel River. (This brief foray onto bike lane is the ride’s only segment away from a river’s edge.) From there, we ride north to Whittier Narrows, across the flood control dam, and then, back down the Rio Hondo to the trailhead.

Ride Length: 44 miles

Ride Duration: Approximately 4-5 hours, including stops.

Difficulty:  Recommended for intermediate-level riders, age 16 and up. The total elevation gain is about 2,000 feet over the entire ride, but it’s so gradual you’ll think the GPS is fooling you. What goes up must come down — so, on the return, there’s a gradual downhill. The route includes some city riding on bike lanes as we cross Long Beach from one river to the other.

Rain Policy: Torrential rains, snow, earthquake, or fierce wind cancels the outing. Otherwise, we ride.

What to bring: A road-worthy bike, extra inner tubes, a patch kit and pump, drinking water, a pocket snack (such as an energy bar, banana or trail mix), a helmet, and money for refueling stops and post-ride refreshments.

RSVP: Strongly encouraged via, so that we can send you last-minute advisories, particularly about weather.

About Touring With Rides: Touring Los Angeles County with LACBC and Where To Bike Los Angeles is a series of rides that are free and open to every LACBC member, plus one guest. Interested in becoming a member? Join the LACBC online or at a discounted rate at the ride start.

These rides are co-hosted by Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles, a guide to bicycling in Los Angeles County, published by BA Press. Copies are available at REI stores, local book and bike shops, and from LACBC — on line, at its offices, or at the end of these group rides.