12th Annual Los Angeles River Ride Adds a New 70-mile Reverse Ride

Now on its 12th year, the ever-popular Los Angeles River Ride sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has announced a new 70-mile reverse river ride in addition to its existing six itineraries. The new route starts in Shoreline Aquatic Park by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and loops around the Autry National Center. "We've just had so many requests for the route so people from Long Beach can participate in the ride," said JJ Hoffman, LACBC's River Ride coordinator.

Since its inception more than a decade ago, the Los Angeles River Ride has been reconnecting Angelenos to its 52-mile waterway by way of two-wheeled fun in the sun. Each year, around 2,500 cyclists sign up for one of six itineraries rolling up and down the Los Angeles River including a 15-mile family ride, a 70-mile round trip ride from Los Angeles to Long Beach or a full 100-mile ride.

"[The ride] is wildly different now than it was before," says Hoffman, who has been with the event since 2005, recalling that there were only two choices--the 10-mile or the 70-mile ride--when the River Ride began in 2001. "Now, the LACBC's added prizes, music, food, finishing prizes."

Each June, cyclists and enthusiasts alike find themselves with a fun way to see all parts of the river and its flora and fauna. Hoffman herself enjoys seeing a glimpse of the many geese along the path. "It's just so funny to see them in the middle of the city." The annual ride has become the biggest fundraiser for LACBC, which sees as much as 30 percent of its revenue from the project.

Despite enthusiasm for the yearly affair, not everyone is quite willing to pay the hefty $40 and up fee to ride, especially since the route itself is free and open to the public every day. "If increasing bicycle infrastructure is important to them, then the ride should be something important as well," said Hoffman in response to these concerns. She also offered a wise suggestion to those who can't quite bring themselves to open their wallets: volunteer. "Get in touch with our volunteer coordinator and see what the ride and LACBC is all about."

The12th Annual Los Angeles River Ride happens June 10, Sunday. Last day to pre-register is this Wednesday.

About the Author

Carren is an art, architecture and design writer and an avid explorer of Los Angeles. Her work has been spotted on Core77, Dwell, Surface Asia, and Fast Co.Design. You can find her online and on Twitter. 
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It's worth noting that while the route is free and open to the public year-round, the LA River Ride includes pit stops with food, water, restroom facilities, bike repair and first aid, and is monitored by marshals who are ready to help with mechanical issues along the route and coordinate transportation back to the start/finish line for exhausted riders. Part of the entry fee goes toward coordinating and paying for all of these services, besides funding the LACBC's advocacy and education efforts. Point is, you're likely to have a better experience doing the LA River Ride vs. riding the route unsupported on some other day (though I've personally done both).