Los Angeles is rich with cycling locations, but often times they are on the northern and western fringes of the city. In the city center you are limited the network of roads in Griffith Park and the bike paths. Parts of Hollywood have limited access to these roads, but are still too far away from the hills above Santa Monica. For those living or visiting in this area around Hollywood one of your best alternatives to driving is actually the famous Mulholland Drive.
What Makes It Great
The history of Mulholland goes back to old noir Los Angeles, but still remains a fixture today. It was named after the original chairman of the Department of Water and Power, when Los Angeles was fighting for water rights. This story is loosely the plot of the famous 1974 thriller Chinatown. Since its inception, the road has been the most famous Hollywood road.
The road begins in Hollywood where the 101 Freeway goes over the hill on the western edge of Griffith Park. From here, Mulholland Drive climbs along the ridge that separates Los Angeles from the San Fernando Valley. It turns to dirt shortly after it crosses the Sepulveda Pass and the 405 Freeway. After the dirt section ends near Woodland Hills, the road turns to Mulholland Highway and eventually meanders to the ocean, terminating just north of Malibu. But the eastern, paved section between the 405 and 101 Freeways is 11 miles long and has views in all directions, not to mention the extravagant homes that line the road. Traffic is moderate, but rarely fast, and you typically have a good lane in which you can spin.
The road begins at Cahuenga Boulevard West and is a straight out-and-back, with lots of turns and short climbs along the way. The only alternative route is very early on, in fact, its right at Cahuenga and Mulholland, here you can take Woodrow Wilson Drive. Woodrow Wilson is a steep twisty road that bypasses the only stretch of Mulholland that is regularly packed with tourist going to Runyon Canyon. Woodrow Wilson is a tight, residential road that starts and stops at Mulholland.
Who is Going to Love It
Riders who love the historic relationship that Mulholland Drive has with cinema will appreciate this ride. If you not a cinema buff, the great views of the valleys and tight turns might be enough to keep you elated. The route is scattered with amazing homes belonging to some of the most famous people in the world, so it is also a great spot to be star struck. The ride can be tough depending on tempo, but most intermediate riders can thrive on this road.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From Hollywood/Downtown, take the 101 Freeway and exit at Barham Boulevard, merge onto Cahuenga Boulevard East and turn right onto Lakeridge Pl. After Lakeridge crosses over the freeway it turns to Mulholland Drive. There is a small dirt parking lot on Mulholland just left of the overpass. Once you’re on the bike, continue up Mulholland or turn right and go past Lakeridge to get to Woodrow Wilson Drive.