The Seven Downhills Route
- Written by Super User
- Parent Category: The Whole Night Skate Blog
- Category: Reviews and Maps
- Published: 12 January 2012
- Hits: 4961
The full moon was just waning, rising from behind the buildings to light the night. When we started out of downtown heading north on Main St. it hung lazily in the sky to our right, flattering the view with a diffused blue and golden light. That light fell on our backs when we cut across 19th to The Fig Bridge and bombed down the first of our 7 hills of the night (#1), to the southern end (of the northern part) of the LA River Path, a.k.a. the LARP.
We paused to refresh briefly at Oso Park - as is tradition regardless of whether we are traveling north or south - but we were antsy and didn't stay long.
The lights were out on the path, leaving the moon to cast sharp blue-on-black shadows in front of us. It gave the scene a spot-on teal & orange feel. Only our quiet, inconsequential conversations broke the sounds of skate bearings harmonizing with the gurgling LA River. Too soon we were at Fletcher St., and we popped up off the path for a little history.
We ooo'd and ahh'd the footings (and the gap) where the Fletcher St. Trestle once stood in a manner proper and befitting a former bridge whose footings have been designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument before invading the AM/PM for snacks and heading back to the path. In the future we'll remember that section of path just north of Fletcher - where the path is quite dark - treeroots have made the path all lumpy.
The path lights were on past that, so we covered the mile or so up to the pedestrian bridge over the I-5 quickly. The bridge is cool, but the exit is steep and short with a small mud, dirt and fence landing, followed by about 50 yards of off-road skating. Still, it was better than crossing the freeway using sidewalks. We regrouped and skated around the construction on Riverside, then crossed to the Mullholland fountain where we took our last break before the big climb.
Covering 150 feet of elevation in a quarter mile on a craptastic, 4' wide sidewalk is not anybody's idea of "fun", but it ended mercifully soon at the intersection of Griffith Park Blvd. After regrouping again we embarked on the "Bombing Runs". In fairness, some of the pavement was generously described by at least one skater as "pants" (a pejorative), but all in all these runs were easy-peasy wth no drastic braking required.
We bombed the whole of Griffith Blvd. (#2), almost a mile and a half before easing onto Hyperion where the two nearly intersect east of Sunset. From Hyperion we took the right on Del Mar and got at totally sweet run down Sanborn to Hoover (#3). A 30-foot climbtook us to the top of Hoover, and we were treated to another half-mile run down to Temple (#4). A short climb up Virgil took us to the run down across 4th St. (#5). We cut across Lafayette Park and did the cross-park run (#6) through the tunnel and over to the lake.
A vote sent us up 7th St. on the totally excellent bike lane, and we took the last downhill into town (#7) on 7th St., which seemed appropriate. A quick zip past Pershing Square confirmed that it's dead like Fred after 10pm, so we went to Spring and did the green OWWW lane up past 3rd. A right on the mid-block route took us to the meetup and boom, there it was. Afterwards we went home, 'cause that's where we live.
Deets: 16.5 miles, ~700 feet vertical gain