Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

VIDEO: Biking the Angeles Crest Highway

When you drive up the Angeles Crest Highway, you’re likely to be awed by the incredible mountain scenery. Or maybe you'll be impressed by the skyline view of greater Los Angeles neatly laid out below. Also known as the Angeles Crest Scenic Byway, this two-lane segment of California State Route 2 runs 66 miles from La Canada Flintridge to State Route 138, just north of Wrightwood.

What you’re also likely to be awed by on the highway? Groups of intrepid bikers, pedaling up the steep inclines as if their thighs are made of steel. Check out the above video from 3(316)Sixteen Bicycles for a look at what it takes to bike this highway. Or bike this highway while listening to techno club music.

The Angeles Crest Highway, called “the most scenic and picturesque mountain road in the state,” began construction in 1929 and continued until 1956. The route, originally intended to be a fire access road, moves along the highest ridges of the San Gabriel mountain range. This makes it a popular destination for local bikers with the skills to propel themselves through the mountains.

Not quite ready for the pulse-pounding heights require for route? Here’s a map from the Metro showing all Class I, Class II, and Class III bike paths in greater Los Angeles. Riding a Class I path means you are traveling on a “paved [route], separate right-of-ways, mostly in parks, along rivers, beaches, and lakesides.” 

A Class II path means that you are riding a path set aside on a city street exclusively for bikes. Watch for motorists making a right turn in front of you.

And finally, Class III bike paths are often low-traffic residential streets where you share the road. Wherever you ride, observe the California DMV rules of safety