Running Around Los Angeles
Today, a first for us, a Guest Blog. Mark Caplan of Merion, PA asked if we would publish a brief (somewhat) account of his recollections and experiences jogging and biking in Los Angeles. Since we incorporate fitness tours (hiking, biking, skating, horseback riding, whatever our guests desire) into our offerings, and one in particular he enjoyed with us, we thought we would let Mark provide our blog entry today.
Los Angeles is by far one of my favorite places to run and bike. From easy going jaunts along the strand connecting Marina del Rey to Hermosa Beach to hardcore vertical hell along the fire trails above the Hollywood Hills and Malibu, the land of silicone and stars has it all.
Nothing makes runners and cyclists happier than finding terrain that fits the mood. Only problem when in a new location, how do you know where to go to start the sweat?
MapMyRun.com does a great job sharing an amazing amount of diverse route options. One of my favorite alternate ways to hook into local running and biking culture (be it L.A. or anywhere) and meet people with similar interests is to join a local club for a morning or afternoon cruise.
The best situation, though, is when you know someone local to show you the best spots. A friend, a relative, or a luxury tour company like Elite Adventure Tours can get you to places you would never find even if you were Sherlock Holmes or Batman. Their hiking expedition past the old TV series Batcave up to the Hollywood Sign is one of my favorite expeditions. Let me say, too, there’s nothing like returning from a good hike to a luxury custom van with cold drinks, energy snacks and aromatheraphy towels and be driven back to where you are staying. A private custom hiking tour — what a concept.
My sister lived in Los Angeles a number of years. As a former marathoner and triathlete she trained all over L.A. This was (sort of) great for me because I would tag along and get to know some of the coolest routes I’ve ever taken. I write “sort of” only because though I’m faster than my sister, she can go about 5 times farther.
Throw boring out the window! You never know what (or who) you may come across when running and biking in L.A.
A couple of standout moments:
Mountain biking way above Pepperdine University in Malibu, I was cruising at a good clip along the fire trail at the top. I looked up and saw a mountain lion staring me down and licking its chops not far above me. Fortunately, I was not lunch that day, but I was given incentive to pedal a bit faster.
Running on the sand near Venice Beach a group of three super hot bikini clad gals thought it would be funny to flash me. I didn’t think it was funny — I thought it was terrific!
I’ve biked and run by more celebrities around Griffith Park than there are plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills. Running the median in Santa Monica, Don Ameche walked toward me with a big smile and yelled “great job, kid, keep it going.” I’m sorry he’s gone. I once ran past Axl Rose on Franklin Avenue.
There was a time I was riding down Nichols Canyon and it started to rain. My tires slid out and I crashed hard on my shoulder. I was in a lot of pain. There were no cars until a rather large white Mercedes pulled over. The driver got out and asked me if I was okay. It was Yanni, the new age musician. I told him I was fine and he drove off. How cool that he stopped. How dumb that I told him I was okay as I was close to passing out! I recovered from my spill and am ready for my next trip to Los Angeles for more hiking and biking adventures.
What will your first standout moment be?
Enjoy them all!