Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day Two Ride: Griffith Park Loop

Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains in the Los Feliz neighbourhood of Los Angeles. The park covers 4,310 acres & is home to the famous HOLLYWOOD sign.
It is much more rugged than I expected, covered with California Oak trees, pines & wild sage. I even spotted many big grey squirrels busily gathering acorns & pine nuts ....... 

Having lost much of the morning, at Helen's Cycles, Marina Del Ray, getting the derailleur bracket straightened, so I could only spare an hour. But I was determined to get in a decent ride, so I got going quickly from the Travel Town Museum car park. Turning left, my first view of the park was of dappled light and a smooth quiet road.
Soon enough my Garmin map lead me to a barrier ..... the road was closed, so I had to sling my bike over a boom gate. This turned out to be the start of the climb ...... a steady 7 km climb, 4 - 6% ....... This was looking really good ..... no-one about ...... nice so far.

Not far along, I was joined by two mountain bikers, out for some training in the park. Why not ..... ? car free, sealed roads like this are hard for any cyclist to resist. Even though I had downloaded a map, here was a chance to get some local knowledge, so I chatted to them as we leisurely climbed. They invited me to stay with them on their ride. It turned out they were parked quite close to where I had started.
One of them asked me to hand over my camera for a backwards snap as we rode. That's always a good offer .....The road was cracked, the sun was out, pleasant company & it was so quiet, only a kilometre from a freeway, and probably only 3 - 4 km from Sunset Blvd.
At the top of the climb we skirted around the crest for a few faster kms & saw a direct view of the Hollywood sign. The photo here doesn't indicate just how close it was. Close enough for plenty of tourists to make the walk the few kms along the closed road, starting at the opposite end to where we started.
At the boom gate there was a junction. One way went to the Griffith Observatory, and the Greek Theatre ..... but no time today, the two mountain bikers took off, in the other direction, straight into a road tunnel ..... whooping as we went through it, just for the fun to hear the echo ...... It was then a fast run down through stop signs, turns & increasingly busy roads, until we reached Los Feliz Blvd. I was relieved when we got back onto the park road, to continue on back to where we had started.
We bid one another farewell, and I rode back to the museum car park, closing the loop on my Griffith Park ride. It was very enjoyable, and a big surprise to have discovered such a fine ride so handy to the city & close to the factory where my saw was being made. I'll try to visit the observatory next time.
After a quick wipe down with a wet towel & into my civvies, I was soon back onto the freeway heading for my 1.00pm appointment to continue work on the saw ......


  1. I'm assuming when you "handed over your camera for a backwards snap" you were confident that you could retrieve it as the unknown cyclist rode away from you!
    I'm also starting to think the "saw" is maybe code for something else. It really means excuse for being able to go back again and again to LA to ride!

  2. Captain, you know how fussy I am with detail ..... the saw will certainly take another trip to LA to get right. That is important, because unless it is spot on I won't be able to get the second, improved model, developed on subsequent trips. At this stage I figure we need three saws ... eventually.

    As for loosing my camera .... I made sure about that, his Mountain bike had very fat, flat tyres. Hmm, I suppose he could have just jumped off the bitumen & disappeared into the Oaks though