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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for some help finding a way down from Mulholland Drive down to Santa Monica. I commute up Sepulveda to my work near the Skirball Center. In the afternoon I'd like to find a fireroad or trail that I could ride down instead of navigating Sepulveda in the worst of rush hour traffic.

Here is a link to a google map of the area where I think I might be able to find a route.

Google Map

Does anybody know a good bet for a trail or fireroad that a 'cross bike could navigate down from Mulholland Drive into Brentwood and ultimately Santa Monica? I realize I'd have to travel on paved surface streets once I get down into the Palisades/Brentwood area.

Thanks for any and all advice.
 

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Looking at the map

You could take Mulholland to Mandeville Canyon (the singletrack to the road), and that will put you on Sunset at rush hour at the bottom. But, it's not too far from Mandeville/Sunset to get to San Vicente.

The singletrack might be gnarly for a cross bike, so the other option would be to stay on the upper canyon ridge top fire road all the way down.

It would be a different type of adventure from riding in traffic down Sepulveda.

Canyonback will only get you to Mountaingate which will drop you right back onto Sepulveda.
 

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fracisco said:
You could take Mulholland to Mandeville Canyon (the singletrack to the road), and that will put you on Sunset at rush hour at the bottom. But, it's not too far from Mandeville/Sunset to get to San Vicente.

The singletrack might be gnarly for a cross bike, so the other option would be to stay on the upper canyon ridge top fire road all the way down.

It would be a different type of adventure from riding in traffic down Sepulveda.

Canyonback will only get you to Mountaingate which will drop you right back onto Sepulveda.
I believe the fireroad is called Westridge. It is where the Nike base is. Westridge puts you out onto Mandeville. Be careful going down Mandeville. Bicyclists have been hit on that street - not to mention Arnold on his motorcycle.
 

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Three main options there;

1. Kenter/Canyonback is the first left off of dirt Mulholland, fireroad down to and through the Mountain Gate development. Stay straight on Canyonback and around the gate, the large white water tank is where you want to go. Keep on heading down the fireroad from there, up a short climb and down to a second water tank, keep climbing the FR there and stay left until you hit some old pavement then a gate. Continue on down Kenter, across Sunset, Kenter will merge with Bundy which will take you to San Vicente.

2. Westridge Fireroad. Second left, up to the Nike base, go right past the ranger's house and down the dirt road. A short way down is a fork, left and down is Gardenland, a steep fireroad down to the upper portion of Mandeville. Go right and up to stay on Westridge, in about 3-4 miles you will hit the paved Westridge Rd., stay on that down to Mandeville, go right and shortly you will hit Sunset. Cross there,
option 1. left up the guardrail protected "sidewalk" will quickly take you to Rockingham, go right and it will take you to 26th or take the first left (Avondale) to San V.
option 2. go right, a little way down is a nice sidewalk path, take that to Allenford (first light) and go left. It turns into 26th.

3. Sullivan Ridge. Third left off of Mulli, stay on the main road along the ridge, one short climb on the way down, til you hit a yellow gate. Go around and take the paved road straight (not down to Camp Joshepho) you will hit one more gate before reaching the neighborhood around Capri and Amalfi. Amalfi will take you down towards the beach, Capri will take you to Sunset, where you can go left to Allenford.


Have fun, sounds like a great commute!
 

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Kraige. I hope you got good legs and a strong disposition. You're setting yourself up for a heck of a macho commute. And when the sun sets, it's a pretty dark, surreal one, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies and the heads up

Those sound like some solid options - though I have to admit I've never been down any of those trails. I'm assuming that I'll want to stick to the fireroads only since I'll be on a fully rigid cross bike. I don't think the singletrack is what I'm bargaining for. Do people who have ridden these trails think the fireroads are too technical or rough for a cross bike??

The commute in the morning is great. It's a climb, but I go so early up San Vicente and Sepulveda (and against traffic for the most part) so that I really find it relaxing (tiring, but relaxing).

I've had a few close calls with aggressive drivers in the afternoon coming down Sepulveda - especially near the intersection with Church and near the on ramps to the 405. I realize trucking down the fireroads brings a different set of risks, but I think that I'd rather wipeout without the cars bearing down behind me.

Any thoughts about the relative safety of these different routes for a semi-regular commute? Or any more thoughts on ways to troubleshoot the brief unpleasant stretch on Sepulveda? In the morning I'm on the road by 5:45am and in the evening I'll be home before the sun goes down. (Leaving from Venice)

Thanks, guys.
 

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Well I ride these all the time on my MTB, haven't tried on my road bike yet. I've seen CXers on the fireroads as well as down in Sullivan Canyon (single track trail, more technical than any of the fireroads). A friend of mine did ride up and down the Westridge fireroad on his road bike (on 23c's I think). I would say try Westridge first, it's only 3-4 miles of dirt and is the most gradual descent of the three (gets steeper on the pavement). Just keep your speed down while you learn the road, there are a few "loose" spots and runoff dips, also it is popular with hikers, bikers and dog walkers so you won't have it all to yourself (remember to yield to hikers and uphill riders). Like you said, there is a certain amount of risk on the dirt, but it's all in your control.

Oh, and you may want to give it a day or two to dry out now. Also, the climb up dirt Mullholland is in rougher shape than Westridge, so don't let that dissuade you.
 
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