Like To Bike: The Autocalypse Now Ride

Unlike most of the general city citizenry who’ll be doing its collective best to get away from the autocalypse this weekend, I’m just too curious not to get on my bike and go for a looksee by riding up into the eye of that storm that is the Sepulveda Pass tomorrow morning (July 16).

The Autocalpyse Now Ride

If you’re partial to longer rides and interested in coming along, I’ve charted out what’s roughly a 47-mile route that will begin and end at the Happy Foot/Sad Foot sign at Sunset Boulevard and Benton Way in Silver Lake (here). In a nutshell it will involve heading upstream along the Los Angeles River Bikeway in to Burbank where we’ll then access the Chandler Bikeway to North Hollywood and then the Orange Line Bikeway to the Sepulveda Basin. After a sidetrip to marvel at the monochromatical Kafka-esque vastness of the Sepulveda Dam spillway, we’ll make the climb up to the top of the pass where we’ll pause to fathom the rareness of the entirely dried up Interstate and perhaps imagine in the marked silence that there might be a valley-bound zombie horde made up of UCLA students and reanimated corpses from the Los Angeles National Cemetery trudging toward us from Westwood.

Presuming I’m not the only one on the ride, If I’m feeling particularly talkative I might regale you with the tragic/triumphant connection I have to the Mullholland Bridge that makes me kinda sad to see it demolished.

We’ll then cruise downhill on Sepulveda to Santa Monica Boulevard and work our way eastward through the westside. Once at the Bicycle District I probably can’t help myself but stop at Scoops for a treat before rolling those last three miles back to Silver Lake.

Time: Saturday, July 16. Gather 9AM; Depart 9:30
Duration: I’d guess around six hours
Route Link:
Distance: 47 miles
Recommended Ride:
A bike in good working order — preferably multi-geared
Pace: Expect a 12-15mph average speed; slower on the uphills, faster on the down.
Whatcha Mean Uphills?: The climb from Sherman Oaks up the Sepulveda Pass is about 3 miles in length with roughly a 600-foot elevation gain
Pit Stops: Minimal
Spokecards: Working on it
Poo On: The Getty Museum for being closed
And Yes: There will be handlebar cam timelapsing involved.
And No: We will not be attempting to ride on the freeway.

8 thoughts on “Like To Bike: The Autocalypse Now Ride”

  1. I know I will incur the wrath of many by asking, but isn’t this kind of the worst possible time to bike the Sepulveda Pass, what with a half million cars displaced from the freeway onto surface streets? Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to the posts and the pictures, but please be careful Will and anyone else joining.

    1. First off if there’s anyone out there even so much as slightly considering the delivery of any wrath for my friend Travis to incur, I most urgently request you refrain from so doing.

      Second, Travis is not at all incorrect in her assertion that this might not be an opportunistic time to bike Sepulveda Pass — and in fact I’m glad she brought the issue up because this isn’t a ride to be taken lightly.

      In counterpoint, I would offer that there is rarely a truly good time to bike Sepulveda Pass and with the increased law enforcement presence and anticipated slower vehicular speeds this weekend indeed might be the best time to do so.

      As to the 405’s ripple effect gridlocking expanding rings of surface streets, I’m certainly planning on exercising extreme caution.

  2. Can’t wait to see photos and I wish you were coming just a bit further south to Pico and Sepulveda (Uh oh, now I’m going to have that song stuck in my head all day) so I could wave as you go by!

  3. Will – I always admire your rides! In this case I’m going to be imitating, due to my start point in Santa Monica. Very sorry to miss one.

    We’ll be riding to the Westwood VA, then up Sepulvada to the top, and probably down Nicolas Canyon, and then back down to Helms Bakery for food and drink. Anyone else geographically unable to make Will’s much better ride are welcome to join us. Look for us a the UCLA stadium inside the VA at around 10:15AM. We’ll aim to meet you at the top on the bridge at 21:30 ish.

    Eric W

  4. I will totes try to join you tomorrow morning. I was looking for a longish ride to join tomorrow and glad I found this!
    See you at the podiatrist!

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