View Full Version : Downtown L.A. help: Where to rent and ride?

06-09-2019, 01:53 PM
Los Angelenos, I am flying in for a conference and have three hours to kill before an evening reception. I'm traveling a lot for the next two weeks, and want to squeeze some riding in before late July, when I go to France and Italy and ride the gravel roads of the Little Maginot Line with my brother.:banana:

I land at 1:45 pm Tuesday. I'm staying in downtown LA, and I figure I can be ready to ride by 3:00, 3:30 at the latest.

Rental: Any suggestions on bike rental close to downtown would be very helpful. I ride a 58 ETT. I could take an Uber somewhere to rent, but then I'd have to be sweaty in another Uber on the way back.

Rides: Nichols Canyon via Sunset La Grange looks just about perfect in terms of length, climbing and LA canyon-ness, but it might be too far west from my hotel. Should I stick with something closer to DT, such as Griffith Park and/or Mount Hollywood Drive?

Any thoughts about routes of 20-30 miles in length with a good bit of climbing would be appreciated. I've been to L.A. twice, and never ridden there.:help:

06-09-2019, 01:59 PM
I can't help on the rental front in downtown. If you're willing to do the Uber thing then Helen's/I. Martin would be an option, from which Nichols would make sense. There are a number of canyons off Mulholland as you're working your way west from Nichols that you could add for elevation.

But if you find a bike rental closer to downtown then I'd say Griffith Park or Mt. Hollywood are better options. If you secure a rental feel free to either post back with location or PM and I can put together a route.

06-09-2019, 02:48 PM
I live in Hancock Park/Larchmont which is mid-way between downtown and the the Westside (but closer to downtown)...here are some observations:

1. If you land at 1:45 being ready to ride by 3-3:30 may be optimistic. By the time you de-plane, grab an Uber, etc...your ETA at the hotel is probably 3pm. That's not even factoring in the bike rental.

2. We love our neighborhood but it's no bueno for out-the-door cycling. So I drive to my routes which is cool since I'm mid-way between PCH rides and Angeles Crest, etc.... Although many people do it, it would redefine "garbage miles" as you make your way through MacArthur Park, K-Town, and Hollywood to start the course.

3. A better ride may be a Rose Bowl - Angeles Crest route of around 40-ish miles and probably around 3k feet of climbing. You can make it to the Rose Bowl from downtown (taking Uber) in 20-30 minutes.

4. For any ride, don't worry about being sweaty in an Uber. Having taken dozens/hundreds of Uber rides around LA and hearing some hilarious stories, I can tell you a guy wearing lycra wanting to stuff a bike in the trunk is not out of the ordinary.

5. One alternative is to bring your Look-compatible shoes and do a Soul Cycle/Flywheel class. Plenty of studios in and around downtown (my daughter works at the Flywheel in Larchmont). I realize it's not an epic canyon ride, but a great workout nonetheless.

06-09-2019, 06:39 PM
i'm going to assume you plan on returning the bike immediately after the ride so forget dtla and consider the lbs as your start/stop point. you can go the hotel afterwards.
that time of day midweek will add to the garbage miles mentioned ^. in light of that, try ubering directly to the lbs to avoid rush hour and get rolling asap. since you're going to return the bike anyway, call ahead and ask if you can leave your bag there while you ride.
try pasadena incycle to be reasonably close to the rose bowl tues/thurs ride (if it's still going...) for a fast group ride or to access angeles crest for climbing.
i think there's a shop in montrose as well that's a spec'd dealer tho you'll have to check with them about rentals.
either way, make sure their hours line up with your expected return time. don't want to roll back to a closed up shop.


if you like the idea of ubering directly to a shop, you can find a shop on the west side to do something similar. there's folks here who are more familiar with the west side shops and routes who can fill you in on those options. that would be closer to lax but farther from downtown.

Ken Robb
06-09-2019, 06:43 PM
I agree with Jason about ETA from LAX to downtown. With only three hours you might have more fun skipping the hassle of renting a bike and getting somewhere fun to ride and then getting back to your hotel in the worst of rush hour. Try finding something interesting within walking distance of your hotel and relax.

06-09-2019, 07:05 PM
i misunderstood the op. if there's only a few hours between landing and the reception, you're best just settling in and grabbing a drink.

06-11-2019, 12:09 AM
1. Thanks to all who answered, and talked sense to me about traffic, time, and lack thereof. I should’ve booked my trip a day early and spent it riding somewhere—next time.
2. I’ll probably go straight to the hotel and hit the exercise room there. Jason, going to a spin class is a great idea that I hadn’t thought of. There’s a Bespoke studio a block from the hotel.
3. cgolvin and vqdriver, thanks for the recommendations on shops. I’m still holding out hope I can make it work by Ubering directly to the lbs from LAX.
4. The concept of garbage miles is cracking me up. I’m not sure why, because it’s a simple enough idea to grasp. Maybe it’s because Jason said riding through the city would “redefine” garbage miles.
5. I live in Burlington, Vermont. I’ve lived in big cities, but it’s good for me to remember that not every place is like here, where very few miles are garbage, and I can be rolling through farmland within 15-20 minutes of downtown.

06-11-2019, 12:17 AM
Go surfing, dude!