Marathon’s Bike Tour Route Finally Posted!

As an annual participant of the L.A. Marathon’s Acura L.A. Bike Tour since its inception back in 1995, I’ve been checking into the marathon’s website these last few months to see what was planned for the March 4 bike route since they breathlessly announced a total revamp of the course from a 26.2-mile loop that began and ended downtown to a point-to-point format that starts at Universal City and finishes at the Central Library.

Visit after visit after visit I would click to the bike tour’s home page to find this headline:


Dot dot dot, indeed. And sure enough this morning there was that same aggravating message again in all its all-caps stagnation. Only this time while scrolling down the page looking for a contact email with which to pointedly ask WTF? instead — surprise! — I find what I’d been left a-wanting for oh so long just unceremoniously dropped in near the the midpoint of the page:


Seems like a fine ride beginning and ending around Exposition Park with stretches through downtown, the westerly eastside and midcity to me (and one I promptly emulated in Gmaps to find the distance to be 20.7 miles). Seems to be a few too many short stretches between various rights and lefts, but then again I have no idea if this is the final route. If it is, I can tell you that hairpin turn onto Jefferson from MLK Boulevard so close to the start is going to be a gridlock hell for everyone but the front riders who’ll clear it before the remaining 15,000 cyclists jam it all up. And sending everybody up 6th Street from Figueroa seems like a particularly sillly thing to do when a block south 7th Street is a decidedly milder grade up over the 110 Freeway. But that’s just me thinking about the tots over-pedaling their little BMX bikes and the babes on their single-speed grocery-getters. Someone has to.

But the real trick will be how those of us fools who plan to do both the bike tour and the marathon will then be able to get from the bike tour’s finish line near USC to the marathons start line up by Universal City Walk.

5 thoughts on “Marathon’s Bike Tour Route Finally Posted!”

  1. I love the babes on their single-speed grocery-getters. At last year’s ride, I slowly passed a mother of two, hauling her toddlers in a trailer attached to her very heavy-looking mt. bike. She was wearing Teva sandals and a skirt and her legs looked better than Lance Armstrong’s.

    I wanted to stop and ask her if I could swallow her entire body please.

    Love the babes on their bikes.

  2. Maybe this is last year’s map? If not why isn’t the bike marathon route following the same route as the runners (universal to the lapl)? Also, is there any way to get around the $80 registration, that seems a bit high.

  3. HI Jessica, It’s definitely not last year’s course, which had been the same for several years and took riders west through Leimert Park before coming up to Venice Boulevard and going all the way out to the vicinity of Robertson before working its way back to USC.

    As to why it’s not following the new marathon course I think I understand why. Universal City and the immediate surroundings will be gridlocked enough with some 18,000-20,000 runners and walkers on site. Factoring in another 15,000 cyclists into the mix would just be a nightmare.

    And about the entry fee for the bike tour, that’s $35, not $80. To do the marathon is $95. In terms of getting around it, there’s always a percentage of cyclists who crash the bike tour. Sure, the ride organizers state that participants without bib numbers or helmets will be removed from the course, but in all the years I’ve been doing it I’ve never seen that happen.

  4. Thanks for the info – this will be my first year doing the marathon bike tour and I had always just thought it followed the marathon route – just earlier to be out of the way of the runners. And glad to realize I had the fee wrong – I can handle $35 to ride in the streets with thousands of other ridazz

  5. Glad to help Jessica and you had always thought right, the bike route did track along the marathon route minus a couple miles at the beginning and a few more at the end. This is the first year the starts of the respective events have been so far apart.

    Ride safe and ride on.e

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