Touring LA County with LACBC & Where to Bike: LA Roubaix
Every spring, around Easter, professional cyclists tackle Paris-Roubaix (pronounced ru-BAY), a race across Northern France. First run in 1896, it’s one of the oldest cycling contests—a true classic. With sections of bumpy cobblestone, country roads, many, many hills, and typically foul weather, Paris-Roubaix is known for making riders suffer, worthy of its term of endearment: “a Sunday in hell” (there’s even a movie about it with that title).
Our version—L.A. Roubaix—is really not hellish at all, and we can realistically hope for great weather, but you can expect to suffer a little. No cobblestones, but the Los Angeles equivalent: rugged, barely paved back roads (don’t worry, they’re not that rough. You can safely navigate them on a road bike). Yup, we’ll climb hills, too—but nothing daunting. Our route will take us into car-free, backcountry areas of Griffith Park. From there, we’ll ride around Silver Lake, through the city’s second-largest park, Elysian Park (way more bucolic than the Champs Elysées), and swing past Echo Park Lake. We’ll finish our loop at The Trails Cafe, where we can dig into well-deserved treats like fresh-squeezed lemonade, great coffee, home-baked quiches, apple pie and cookies, plus amazing avocado sandwiches.
Ride Length: 35 miles.
Ride Duration: Approximately 4-5 hours, including stops.
Difficulty: Recommended for intermediate-level riders, age 16 and up. You should be comfortable riding on rough roads with mostly packed patches of sand and gravel. The total elevation gain is about 2,500 feet. The route also includes city riding on bike lanes and “sharrow”-marked bike routes.
Rain Policy: Torrential rain, 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 at The Trails Cafe.
RSVP: Strongly encouraged, via firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can send you last-minute advisories, particularly about weather.
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 our meet-up point. 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 adventures.