Taking the kids to the LA Zoo by bike
Griffith Park isn’t “LA’s Central Park,” as it’s not very central — it’s too removed from West LA, South LA, and much of the San Fernando Valley. It’s also far too big — it’s four times the size of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and five times the size of Central Park in New York City. But it’s magical. I’ve lived in Los Angeles all my life, and I still feel like I’ve gotten to explore only a tiny sliver of this incredible place.
With my two older girls still not in school this week, I decided to take them to the LA Zoo — also located inside Griffith Park. And while I often go on leisure non-electric bike rides through the park, today on my route I was on my electric cargo bike — with a Burley Honey Bee trailer in tow that doubled as a stroller for the zoo. Our length was nearly 12 feet, with the cargo bucket in front carrying the kids, and the trailer in back. In theory, this setup could carry six kids, 3 in front, one seat on the rack, and 2 in the trailer in back. Thankfully, today I just had my two.
I was so impressed by the Load 75’s handling of serious hills. In some parts, I was pushing and pulling hundreds of pounds up 15% grades with no issue. It also handled dirt, uneven pavement and broken pavement with ease, thanks to its built in suspension. Especially with the winter tires, it’s truly a beast that can handle any situation, rain or shine, flat or hilly, dirt or pavement. Here’s how the route looked:
The only part of the ride that wasn’t great was having to “illegally” bike on the wide dirt paths of Griffith Park. If you go into Griffith Park from the Beachwood Canyon side, you enter a paved Mt. Lee Dr. which goes all the way up to the Hollywood Sign. However, if you want to access other parts of Griffith Park like the Griffith Observatory or the LA Zoo, there is no way to access them without biking on Mulholland Trail, which connects Mt Lee Dr to Mt Hollywood Dr. The trail is a 20' fire road, but according to LAMC 86.04, bikes aren’t allowed on paths designated as “trails” by the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners.
Here’s a quick video I made that shows the terrain for most of the ride. On the day we went, after a period of rain, the air was amazingly clean. We could see both the ocean and snow on the mountains of the Angeles National Forest!
Overall, it was a great day, and such a fun way to get to the zoo for all of us. Sadly, I was the only bike parked at the Zoo’s bike racks. It blows my mind that the Zoo is located inside one of the largest city parks in the US, and most people never get to experience the majority of it since cars are banned in most of the park. Next time you go to the zoo, consider biking there. It’s one of the most beautiful rides in LA.