The start of a new season of work is never smooth. This year we’re already off to a rocky start. Machines not working and frazzled engineers make for some unproductive days. Yesterday was bad though, so instead of having us sit around and crack wise at them, they decided to send us home. A nice turn of events for me, because I rode in to work and now had time to explore a different route home.
I wanted to add around 5 miles to my commute home and maybe some extra climbing too. So I pointed the Surly Long Haul Trucker towards Griffith Park not really knowing where I was going. Last September Bruce and I rode with Lance Armstrong through Griffith Park. I wanted to try and find the dirt road that we were on back then, and ride it in reverse. I just wasn’t sure where it was exactly. Luckily it all started to look familiar as I got close to the park, and the Garmin 705 helped to confirm that I was on the right path.
Signs warned me of the dangers to look out for. The LHT and I didn’t think twice though and climbed up behind a golf academy to an overlook. The sun was directly overhead and hot, but I think this area will be perfect in the morning or evening.
From the overlook I could see the hills that I had to ride around or over. I decided to head south using the LA River bike path and then rejoin my normal route in Lincoln Park. I thought I could use the same route as the LACBC‘s LA River Ride. Serbrina and I had ridden the tandem on it earlier this year and I remembered that it intersected my normal route. I still had to descend the dirt road to get back to pavement. I was enjoying the silence up in the hills, but back at civilization, a sign reminded me of the noise that would be filling my ears again.
I learned a lesson too. For my commute I only carry one small water bottle. However, with my extra exploring I ran out of water. The heat of the day wasn’t helping either. I had to stop at a park to refill. I was never far from water of course, so it was by no means an emergency. From now on though I think I’ll keep 2 bottles on my bike. One with water and one empty. That way if I suddenly have some extra time, or just want to go exploring I can fill the extra bottle.
The new route looks pretty good, and there are a couple more options to explore. It ended up only adding about 4 miles to my commute home. They are probably the most scenic and enjoyable miles of the commute though. Tough to beat riding on fire roads and then along the river, and it’s all within sight of Downtown Los Angeles.