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Where to Spin Your Wheels Around L.A.

June 04, 1988|MARTINA WINN

Kenneth Newell Bikeway to Brookside Golf Course Overlook (about 4 miles; easy to moderate): Following the edge of lightly developed Arroyo Seco, this well-marked trail wanders through one of Pasadena's loveliest neighborhoods. You'll pass several parks and the Rose Bowl along the route, which travels uncrowded streets.

Park on San Pasqual Avenue in Arroyo Seco Park, near Stoney Lane. Cycle north to Arroyo Boulevard and turn left. Grand old mansions and cottages line the right side of the tree-shaded street, their gardens overflowing with flowers. Turn right onto Grand Avenue, left at California Boulevard, right on California Terrace, left on Arbor Street and right onto Arroyo Boulevard. Alternatively, remain on Arroyo Boulevard and rejoin the path at Arbor Street.

After passing under the Colorado Boulevard and California 134 bridges, you enter Brookside Park and arrive at the Rose Bowl. The path swerves right at Seco Street, but still follows Arroyo Boulevard. You can detour here to circle the Rose Bowl on a marked bike path. Otherwise, continue along Arroyo Boulevard to the overlook just past Everts Street to view Brookside Golf Course and the surrounding hills.

Bolsa Chica Path to Balboa Peninsula (about 14 miles; moderate): The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, home to snowy egrets and California least terns, is one of many attractions along this mostly flat beach route. You can often see downtown Long Beach and Santa Catalina Island.

Start at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Warner Avenue in Sunset Beach. Follow the oceanfront path south past Huntington Pier to where it empties onto Seashore Drive in Newport Beach. Continue south on Seashore Drive to 36th Street, where the path swings right one block to travel along the beach again. Journey past Newport Pier and Balboa Pier (follow the signs to take the ferry to Balboa Island); then turn left at E Street and right onto Balboa Boulevard. Continue south two blocks, turn right on G Street and left on Ocean Boulevard. This pleasant residential street leads you to West Jetty Park, where you can watch sailboats tack in and out of Newport Harbor. Just across the channel lie the cliffs and beaches of Corona del Mar.

Doheny Bikeway (6 1/2 miles; easy): Rural San Juan Capistrano is the setting for this path, which leads to Doheny State Beach and Dana Point Harbor. At the corner of Avery Parkway and Camino Capistrano, head south (left) on Camino Capistrano. You'll cycle by several orange groves and through El Camino Real Park before turning right at La Zanja Street, then left on Avenida de la Vista. To visit the San Juan Capistrano Mission or the architecturally acclaimed San Juan Capistrano Library, continue several blocks along Camino Capistrano.

Otherwise, follow the path at the end of Avenida de la Vista along San Juan Creek to Doheny State Beach. To continue to adjacent Dana Point Harbor, exit through the park's entrance and turn left on Dana Point Harbor Drive.

San Gabriel River Trail to El Dorado Park (5 1/2 miles; easy): This is one of the most popular sections of the San Gabriel River Trail, which runs about 37 miles from Seal Beach to Azusa. Pelicans and small owls are among the many birds often seen along the river.

Start where Marina Drive crosses the San Gabriel River in Seal Beach. When Coyote Creek diverges to the right, take the bridge that spans it and follow the San Gabriel River. Long Beach's 800-acre El Dorado Park, less than a mile past the bridge, has bike paths, several lakes and an 80-acre nature center.

Sepulveda Basin Bikeway (about 9 miles; easy): On clear days, there are wonderful vistas of the hills surrounding the San Fernando Valley along this path. It meanders through the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area and only enters the road for a short section on White Oak Avenue.

The trail consists of two loops joined by a Balboa Boulevard underpass. The eastern loop, which passes Woodley Park Model Airplane Flight Field and several golf courses, is the most scenic. A short detour east along Burbank Boulevard at Woodley Avenue leads to the top of Sepulveda Dam and overlooks the Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve. The western loop circles and crisscrosses a park; the section south of the Los Angeles River is the most pleasant. There are parking lots just north of Burbank Boulevard on Balboa Boulevard and east of Balboa Boulevard on Burbank Boulevard.

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