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My girlfriend will soon be moving to Sherman Oaks in about a week. I tend to spend 2-3 weekends up at her place (I live in Huntington Beach) and have no idea on were I can head out to do 2-4 hour training rides. Any good routes or group rides that are somewhat safe?
 

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Sherman Oaks may not be a paradise for cyclists, but that doesn't mean there aren't many good rides.

Here are some rough ideas.

South on Sepulveda and over the pass. Turn right on Constitution Avenue (which is just north of Wilshire). Navigate your way through the Veterans Administration to San Vicente. Join the bicycle fashion show and ride down San Vicente to Palisades Park and the beach. From the beach, either head back the way you came (about 30 miles total and about 1700 feet of climbing), or go north on PCH to Topanga Canyon and climb your way back to Ventura Blvd (about 40 miles total).

Ride south on Sepulveda to Mulholland Drive. The two streets don't directly connect, but your girlfriend will likely know how to get between the two. Go either east or west. The westward option will only give you about three miles before Mulholland becomes a dirt road, but it's still a nice vigorous climb. If you go eastward, you can make your way all the way to Cahuenga Blvd. From there, head north into the valley and back to Sherman Oaks along Ventura, Moorpark, Riverside, Magnolia or Chandler Blvds. (About 25 miles with about 1700 ft of climbing, also.)

Go west along Burbank Blvd until it merges with Ventura Blvd. Take Ventura Blvd. west to Topanga Canyon. Go South. At this point, you have many options, all of them excellent.

You can climb Topanga Canyon and end up at PCH, and then return to Sherman Oaks via San Vicente and Sepulveda.

You can make a right turn onto Mulholland Highway and then make a left onto Old Topanga Canyon. You can then take the very pretty Old Topanga to (New) Topanga. From there, either climb New Topanga back to the Valley, or turn right and head down toward the ocean.

You can just take Mulholland Highway until your legs fall off. You can detour off Mulholland Highway onto such lovely roads as Stunt Road, Las Virgenes and Decker Canyon. You can ride Mulholland Highway all the way to Leo Carrillo Beach, and then cruise downwind on PCH back to Santa Monica.

Hope this helps. I'm sure other posters will chime in about other routes. Many people like to head east into Glendale and Pasadena, for example. Some like to head north and then over the Santa Susanna Pass.
 

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Ride east on Riverside, make a right on Ledge and cut through Toluca Lake. Get yourself to where Smokey Joe's is on Barham right on Barham and make a left onto Forest Lawn.

From here you can ride through Griffith Park. Make a right onto Zoo drive and a right up the hill. This is "Trash Truck Hill". You can either go up and over it, continuing down through the golf course area or make a right at the gate at the top of the hill and continue climbing up to the Griff. Park Observatory.

Another option is Chevy Chase. Ride east on Riverside and stay on Riverside until you get to Glenoaks. Right on Glenoaks and ride it until you get to Ethel. Make a right here - this will have you continuing on Glenoaks. Cross the bridge, up and over a short steep hill. Make a left onto Chevy Chase. You can either turn around and come back or take several detours around the Rose Bowl area. Maybe even go up Angeles Crest. Me, I make a left on Descanso and head down Verdugo then backtrack my way home.
 

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Ride up to Mullholland and take that East. Cross the 101 and climb up to Lake Hollywood. EIther drop down to Barham and Forest Lawn Dr to Griffith Park, or just come back on Mullholland.

I've had many great rides just exploring all the roads and hills around Studio City and Sherman Oaks. You can drop into Bel Air and Bev Hills too. The possibilities are endless.

Drop me a PM or AIM when you want to ride and I'll take you around.
 
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