Los Angeles River Ride Frequently Asked Questions


SUNDAY, JUNE 28th, 2015
Frequently Asked Questions


Registration Questions

Preparing for the Ride

The Ride



How long is the River Ride?

The River Ride is 10 Rides in One - listed in chronological order below (NOTE: if you are registering on the day of the ride, arrive at least 30 min before your ride starts):
100 Mile LA River Century Ride - start at 7:00 a.m.
From Griffith Park, riders start with a route within the park,  then hit the LA River Path down to Long Beach.  They then do a loop around Long Beach and then return to Griffith Park.
From Long Beach, riders start with a loop in Long Beach, then ride up the LA River Path to Griffith Park. They do the route in the park, then ride back to Long Beach.

70 Mile Expert Ride - start at 7:45 a.m.
Riders take the LA River Path from Griffith Park down to Long Beach, then back to Griffith Park.

70 Mile "Playa to Park" Long Beach Start Ride - start at 7:45 a.m.
Riders take the LA River Path from the Long Beach Aquarium to Griffith Park and back.

50 Mile Half Century Ride - start at 8:00 a.m.
Riders take the LA River Path from Griffith Park down to the Paramount Dills Park Pit Stop, then turn around back to Griffith Park.

36 Mile Training Ride - start at 8:30 a.m.
Riders take the LA River Path from Griffith Park down to the Maywood Riverfront Park  Pit Stop, then turn around back to Griffith Park

25 Mile Explorer Ride - start at 8:45 a.m.
Riders start at the Autry Center in Griffith Park, ride down river on the LA River Path, then to the Hollenbeck Park Pit Stop in Boyle Heights, where they turn around and ride back to Griffith Park.

25 Mile Long Beach Loop - start at 8:30 am
Riders start at the Aquarium of the Pacific and take a scenic tour of Long Beach, eventually returning to the aquarium.

15 Mile Family Ride - start at 10:30 a.m.
Riders take the LA River Path from Griffith Park down to the Elysian Valley Pit Stop, then turn around back to Griffith Park.  This ride is on a dedicated bike path (no streets, no cars!), along a scenic natural stretch of the LA River. Very young riders (and their families) can easily do this ride.

Kids' 2-Mile Ride - 9:00 am to 10:00am
This is a ride upstream on the LA River Path from the entrance near the Autry. Riders will be escorted by parents to the path entrance and back. Total riding distance is 2 miles.  If families are participating in both the kids' ride and the family ride, participate in the kids' ride first, then join up with the family riders. Kids will learn about bike safety and enjoy other activities.  Bikes and push bikes are okay. Please, no tricycles.  Riders over 9 years of age should probably ride (with an adult) on the 15 mile Family Ride.




Is it round trip?

Yes, it's round trip.  The mileage is calculated accordingly.



Do I have to pre-register?

No, but all registrants will be charged a $10 late fee for registering after June 24th.

Day-of registration opens at the following times:
100-mile ride - 6:00 a.m.
70-mile ride - 7:00 a.m.
70-mile ride from Long Beach - 7:00 a.m.
50-mile ride - 7:00 a.m.
36-mile ride - 7:30 a.m.
25-mile Long Beach Ride - 7:30 a.m.
25-mile explorer ride - 7:45 a.m.
15-mile Family Ride - 9:30 a.m.
Kid’s 2-mile wide - 8:00 a.m.



How old do I have to be to ride the River Ride?

Kids' Ride: Recommended age for the Kids' ride is 2-10 years.
15 Mile Family Ride: Minimum age for the Family ride is 6 years. Riders over 10 years old are recommended for the 15 Mile family ride. All family riders under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
70 and 50 and 36 Mile: Minimum age recommended for the 70 Mile ride is 14 years. All 100, 70 and 50 Mile riders under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.



Do I have to pre-register my child?

Yes, children 12 and under are free, but in order to plan for all the kids we need to have an accurate head count. Also, parents must sign a waiver on behalf of their children.



Do I have to ride with my child?

Children riding 15 miles or more must ride with a parent or other adult guardian. Adults and/or guardians riding with children must also register for the ride. Parents bringing their children to the kids' ride and activities don't need to register, but must stay at the event with their children.



How much does it cost to ride the River Ride?

Please see the main River Ride page for a chart of listed prices.


Where does money raised by the River Ride go?

Money raised by the River Ride goes to the LA County Bicycle Coalition - a non-profit bicycle advocacy organization dedicated to making LA County a safe and enjoyable place to bicycle.  The Bike Coalition works to implement bike facilities - bike lanes, bike paths, bike routes, bike parking, etc - as well as to educate motorists, bicyclists and the general public on bicycling issues.

This year we are partnering with the LA River Revitalization Corporation on its Greenway 2020 Campaign, which would make the LA River Bike Path a continuous protected path all the way from the Valley to Long Beach by 2020.



Where do I pick up my packet?

Arrive early, before your ride, and pick up your bib at the start. Or, you can pick up your packet the weekend before:

Register and/or pick up your packet ahead of the 15th Annual Los Angeles River Ride to avoid the day-of lines and get great prizes!

Saturday, June 20; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.:
- Performance Bicycle Woodland Hills - 6400 Owensmouth Ave
- Performance Bicycle Santa Monica - 1314 Wilshire Blvd

Sunday, June 21; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Performance Bicycle Long Beach - 7611 East Carson St, Long Beach Towne Center
- Incycle Pasadena - 175 S Fair Oaks Ave



Can a friend pick up my packet for me at the Packet Pickup?

To ensure a registered participant receives event information and a bib, we require a written note by the registered participant indicating their authorization for pick-up by another individual. Information should include full name, address, age, and signature. If you have not signed a waiver form yet, the participant must be physically present and sign the form before receiving ride materials.



How do I get a River Ride Jersey?

You may pre-order your exclusive River Ride Jersey with your registration and pick up the jersey at the start/finish of the ride. You may also purchase River Ride Jerseys at the ride while supplies last.



Can I change the distance I ride?

Yes, until June 24th if the distance that you wish to ride has a higher price than the one you originally signed up for, simply pay the difference before receiving your packet. However there are no refunds for riders wishing to ride shorter distances. Consider the extra money you paid a donation to LACBC!



If I am riding a tandem bike, do my partner and I register as one person or two?




If I sign up and can't ride that day, do I get my money back?
No - your admission fee is non-refundable, but is transferable only if you make the transfer by June 24th, 2015. If you do not ride that day, you can call or email to request to pick up your t-shirt and goodie bag.



What kind of bike should I use for the River Ride?

100, 70 and 50 Mile - We recommend a road bike. The 36 Mile can comfortably be done with any kind of bike, depending on your skill level. Some brief portions (less than 0.1%) of the River access road are slightly bumpy, but still very easy to cover on a road bike by slowing down a bit and paying attention to the surface conditions. The street portion of the 100/70/50/36 Mile obviously includes the sometimes imperfect, sometimes uneven surface conditions found on many of our city streets. This includes approximately 6 railroad track crossings. Wider touring tires are recommended over the very skinny racing tires. Experienced riders should be able to navigate the course on pretty much any appropriate bicycle, including hybrids, mountain bikes (slick or hybrid tires suggested for longer on-road rides), tandems, recumbent, etc.

15 Mile Family Ride - This course is relatively short and can be done on pretty much any bicycle. Children's one-speed bikes are fine. Mountain bikes, hybrids, ten-speeds, beach-cruisers, motor-cross bikes, are all fine.

Kids' Ride - Training wheels may make it difficult due to the grass we will be using. Only single-speed children's bikes recommended. If your child rides a multiple-gear bike, she/he is probably ready for the 15 mile ride (and if 15 miles is too long, you can do a third, half or two-thirds of the 15 mile ride and turn back early).



Can I get my bike tuned up before the River Ride?

If your bike needs major repairs, we will encourage you to take it to a professional bike shop. We recommend that you make sure your bike is ready before the day of the ride. Our pit stop mechanics can fix and tune minor items, but not major ones. 



Do I need to wear a helmet on the River Ride?

Yes - you must wear a helmet on the River Ride. Not only are helmets a good measure to keep you safe from head injuries, but they are required by the insurer of the ride. No riders will be allowed to participate without a helmet.



Where do I park?

Participants riding in the 100, 70, 50, or 36 mile rides beginning at the Autry should park at 1625 Flower St in Glendale just off the Western exit of the 5 Fwy. Participants will be instructed to ride 1.5 miles to the start. Please use these directions.

For families riding the 15-mile ride or the kids' ride, you may park at the Autry.

For 100-, 70-, and 25-mile riders from Long Beach, parking is available at the Aquarium of the Pacific for $8.




Even though it isn't an official part of the ride, can I still take the Metro?

You may take the Metro to com back. You will need money for your Metro payments, one ticket per rail line. The blue line begins at Long Beach on Pine St. and 1st. Please note that maintenance is being performed on the Blue Line, so you may have to ride a little to get onto a stop that you can board the Blue Line at. Then transfer to the Red line to Union Station, from there join with the other riders heading back to Griffith park. See route slip on the day for final details and last minute changes.



Should I bring my own water bottle?

Yes, refill your own water bottles at each pit stop.



What kinds of refreshments will you have?

The refreshments at the pit stops will include water for you to fill your own water bottle with, Clif Bar product and fruit, and other snacks to be determined. All other snacks are on a first come first served basis. If you feel that you need extra nutrition on the ride, please be prepared by bringing your own supplemental snacks. Clif Bar will be at the starting line dispensing snacks for you to take with you on the ride.



Where does the ride start?

This year we will be starting and finishing at The Autry Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way. Please consult the website for a map and directions. The after ride festivities will also take place at the Autry. The Autry is within the bounds of Griffith Park, near the Zoo, and historically, where the ride began.

The Long Beach rides start at the Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802



What is the route of the River Ride?

Route slips will be given to all River Riders the morning of the event. Routes will also be posted online via RideWithGPS.com. At this time, the description below is the best information available to date, but it is still subject to final confirmation, and may change slightly before the day of the ride.
All Griffith Park rides start at The Autry Center,  and those from Long Beach start from the Aquarium of the Pacific.  Much of the rides are on the LA River Bike Path.  The final route is to be determined, but may include Riverside Drive, San Fernando, Avenue 19, North Spring Street, Alpine Street, Cesar Chavez, Boyle Boulevard, Olympic Boulevard, Grande Vista Avenue, and District Boulevard.
Riders enter the South County LA River Bike Trail just east of Atlantic Boulevard in the City of Vernon, the 36 mile riders turn around at the Maywood Riverfront Park just past Slauson and the 50, 70 or 100 mile riders continue downstream to Imperial Highway. At Imperial Highway, riders cross the River to the east bank with a rest stop at Ralph Dills Park in the City of Paramount (50 mile riders turn around here). 100 and 70 mile riders continue south to Long Beach.
The round trip proceeds back upstream, retracing the same route in reverse, with a minor modifications in the last mile. See route slip on the day of the ride for final details. 
100 mile riders starting and finishing from the Aquarium of the Pacific head south towards Seal Beach and do a loop up the San Gabriel River path and back before heading up the River Path and doing the same ride as the riders from Griffith park only in reverse.  The 70 mile ride that starts from Long Beach will turn around at the Autry National Center.

15 Mile Family Ride: Riders begin the ride just like the above rides and turn around when the path ends in Elysian Valley. Riders will enjoy a pit stop then return to the Autry Center via the same route and exit the bike path near the Autry Museum area, and you're home. See route slip on the day for final details and last minute changes.



How long does it take to ride the River Ride?

Century ride - Experienced riders will complete the route in 5 or 6 hours, those attempting a century for the first time can expect to take longer. SAG vehicles will be available so it will be easy to "bail out" if you find you can't complete the entire 100 miles. Course opens at 7 AM and support will closed completely at 5 PM, so all riders need to be done in under 9 hours. Rest stops close progressively, as follows:

  • Long Beach  pit stop is at mile 35 and closes at 2:30pm
  • Ralph Dills Park in Paramount, at mile 25 and 45, closes at 3:00pm
  • Maywood Riverfront Park is at mile 18 and mile 62 closes at 3:30pm
  • Steelhead Park is at mile 8, which is geared more for the family riders, closes at 4:30pm
  • Start/finish closes at 5pm

Directional signage will be taken down following the above times. If you are still riding past closing, then you are on your own - released from the event, riding on your own in public right-of-ways with no event support.
70 Mile - Experienced riders will complete the route in less than 4 hours. The rest of us can expect to be riding for 4-7 hours.
50 Mile - About the same as the 70 Mile Ride, including if you decide to use the Blue and Red line train to return.
36 Mile - Riders should expect to complete the course in 2 to 3 hours.
25 Mile - Riders should expect to complete the course in 1-½ to 2 hours
15 Mile Family Ride - Fast paced riders will complete the 15 miles in less than 1-1/2 hours. Families with kids (and those of us who enjoy a leisurely bike cruise) should expect a 2-3 hour ride.
Kids' - The kids' ride will take from 30-60  minutes depending on the abilities of each child. Stay to enjoy the festivities.



What is the River Ride course like? Is the River Ride all on bike path or do I have to ride on city streets?

Century and 70 Mile Rides - The Park to Playa to Park travels approximately 7.5 miles along the LA River Bike Path, then exits onto Riverside Drive. The route then goes 9 miles on city streets through downtown Los Angeles and the City of Vernon, where riders enter the South County River Bike Trail. The route continues approximately 18 miles - from Vernon to Long Beach on the County Bike Trail and the LARIO Trail to Long Beach. From the end of the LARIO, riders travel approximately .5  mile to the turn-around point and rest stop in Long Beach.
Percentages are as follows:
Bike Path: 71% (50 miles)
On-Street Biking: 29% (20 miles)

50 Mile Ride - Similar to the 70 Mile Ride except you do not travel all the way to Long Beach, instead turn around in the City of Paramount.
Percentages are as follows:
Bike Path: 50% (25 miles)
On-Street Biking: 50% (25 miles)

36 Mile Ride - Similar to the 50 Mile Ride except you instead turn around in the City of Maywood.
Percentages are as follows:
Bike Path: 30% (11 miles)
On-Street Biking: 70% (25 miles)

25 Mile Ride - Similar to the 36 Mile Ride except you turn around at Hollenbeck Park
Bike Path: 40% (11 Miles)
On-street Biking: 60% (14 miles)

25 Mile Long Beach Loop takes you through beautiful Long Beach where many improvements to city streets have been made to accommodate cyclists.100% On-street Biking

15 Mile Family Ride - The 15 Mile family ride is a lovely ride along the  LA River Bikeway in the Glendale Narrows and Elysian Valley. The ride is entirely separate from city streets, except for the area in Griffith Park itself.
Percentages are as follows:
Bike Path: 99% (15 miles)
Griffith Park: 1% (less than a mile)

Kids' - The Kids' ride is 100% on the path, but the children will be escorted through the park to the path entrance.



Are there any hills on the River Ride?

The 15 mile family ride is very flat. (It does feature two very small easy uphill sections at bridges: Alex Baum Bridge at Los Feliz and the Riverside/Figueroa.) The 100, 70, 50 and 36 Mile ride overall is a very flat course, with only one relatively easy hill as riders climb into Boyle Heights from Downtown Los Angeles (as well as 4 easy bridges). The 100 mile rides include a hill in Griffith Park. Obviously the ride from LA to Long Beach features a very slight (almost imperceptible) continuous downhill grade, and the return ride a very slight continuous uphill grade.



Is the LA River all concrete? Isn't it just a storm drain?

The LA River was a natural river that provided the water for the young city of Los Angeles for over a century. Due to flooding danger, much of the River channel has been deepened and reinforced with concrete, but today there are still many areas with a natural earthen bottom featuring tall trees, birds, turtles, and fish.
All the rides show off the scenic "Glendale Narrows" stretch of the LA River. While not quite a pristine, natural river, this 8-mile stretch just north of downtown Los Angeles, is one of the most beautiful, most natural areas along the 51-miles of the LA River. Riders can expect to see ducks, egrets, herons, and more in this stretch. The longer rides ride also features the relatively natural earthen-bottomed Long Beach Estuary, and the Golden Shore Wetlands - both inhabited by pelicans, ducks, stilts, and other shorebirds.
In recent years, the LA River has undergone a transformation from mostly just a storm drain to a true natural resource in the heart of the City. Community and environmental groups have planted thousands of trees, created new mini-parks and public art, and much more is on the way. Come and see for yourself the revitalized Los Angeles River.



Will streets be closed for the River Ride?

No. Bicyclists must follow all the rules of the road, including obeying traffic signals, sharing the road with cars, yielding to pedestrians, etc. All riders must use common sense and obey the rules of the road.



Is this year's River Ride the same as last year's River Ride?
Much of it is the same. We are back at the Autry Center. We will have a catered lunch by Cheers catering with lots of choices! Lunch is not included in the price of the ticket so bring some extra cash. There will also be beer to purchase if you so choose. Also like last year, to eliminate waste and care for mother earth, bring your own bottle.



Is the River Ride a race?

The River Ride is not a race. The ride does not compute your time, nor do we award prizes to "winners." You are all winners.



How many pit stops are there?

The 100 and 70 mile rides feature five pit stops each available on the outbound and inbound ride.
The 50 mile ride features four pit stops.
The 36 mile ride features three pit stops.
25 Mile ride from Griffith Park has two pit stops
25 Mile ride from Long Beach has one pit stop
The 15 mile ride features one pit stop.



What if I get tired and can't finish the 100 or 70 mile ride?

It is expected that 100 and 70 mile riders will ride the entire course. However, there is a SAG team to help you if you cannot finish or if your bike needs repair. Each pit stop has a support or bike techs on hand to help you with repairs.



I've never done a Century, how difficult is this one?

We are referring to this as the most achievable Century available for first time century riders. The profile is very flat. See route slip on the day for final details and last minute changes.



Can I wear my headphones or talk on my cell phone while I ride?

No - headphones that cover both ears are against State law. Using a cell phone is not recommended while you ride. If you bring your cell phone, please pull over if you need to talk on it, and resume riding when you are finished with the call.



What can I do to help the River Ride?

We need volunteers to staff our rest stops, setup, do course marking, cheer riders on along the course, stuff goodie bags, etc.
Volunteers are especially needed the day of the ride, but also the day before, and the week before (for goodie bag stuffing). Volunteer shifts are as short as 2 hours. All volunteers receive a River Ride T-shirt and refreshments.
Check out the list of River Ride Volunteer Tasks.