DTLA Century Ride inside Downtown’s Untrue Loop

It’s pretty easy to fill up your social calendar when you’re on the Facebook. If you’re like me, there are so many invites that it’s pretty easy for a majority to go by without notice.

DTLACenturyRideLast week a pretty odd one came by that may not be thing, but made me rubberneck a bit. The DTLA Century Ride plans to ride over one hundred miles this Sunday around Downtown LA by covering every single street within the binary freeway loop featuring the 101, 10 & 110.

The route map is hard to distinguish because all the redlines makes it look like Strava is having a heart attack. Just from optics alone, downtown looks small enough that getting that milage seems impossible, but when you factor in the industrial zone, you’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

Another real interesting fact: while downtown is surrounded by freeways, it is impossible to drive a loop around it without exiting to the streets.

I know it doesn’t seem right, but I discovered this years ago working on a Caltrans project. The disconnect happens on the eastside as the broken configuration even holds true if you add I-5 to the mix. Don’t believe me? Try figuring it out on a google map.

Back to the cycling, the big hurdle of this ride isn’t the physical portion of completing a century ride. The course is pretty flat and it’ll be difficult to push any hard pace downtown.LCI01

It’s more the mental aspect. In order to finish a century ride efficiently, there’s got to be some flow to it. Being familiar with riding around Downtown, there’s a lot of pockets where you’re going to hit a stop light. Factor in all the turns you’ll have to slow down for, completing this course is going to feel like when you have to walk your bike for CicLAvia.

The other thing that gets me is how are you going to remember the route? Unless you’ve got it loaded on a Garmin with good battery life, you’re SOL if you have to step away for a pee.

Finishing this ride will make for great office cooler fodder on Monday. Odds are though, you’ll just have to tell me about it….