Cycle City: Biking in Long Beach

Long Beach has been building momentum as one of the most recognized bike-friendly cities in the world, and pedaling through town is a breeze. Whether you’re a serious fixed-gear cyclist, a relaxed cruiser, or someone who sets their pace somewhere in between, you’ll enjoy exploring Long Beach’s interconnected bicycle routes and iconic beach and river paths that have paved the way for a flourishing citywide bike culture.

Stop 1: Gear Up

Don’t have a bike, or maybe the one you have is covered in dust with two flat tires? There’s no need to backpedal your plans, just visit GoActiveLB Hub (223 E. 1st St.) downtown, where the nexus for the Metro Blue Line and Long Beach Transit converge. There, you’ll find bike rentals, indoor bike parking, repair services, retail sales, maps, and even showers. One of the mottos at the hub, run by an organization called Pedal Movement, is: “Everyone deserves to feel safe and confident choosing a bicycle as transportation.” Stop in, and you’ll find that they’ll help guide even the most novice rider.

At the GoActiveLB Hub, those without their own two wheels can give cycling a spin through the Long Beach BikeShare program. Riders can rent a blue eight-gear bike equipped with an adjustable seat, basket, bell and lights, plus a GPS. The bikes can be picked up and dropped off at any designated hub. There are more than 750 bicycles available through the city’s program.

Stop 2: Waterfront Ride

Ready to ride? One of the City’s most unique cycling spots is the 4.5-mile Long Beach Bike Path along the Pacific Ocean, stretching from Shoreline Village to Belmont Shore. Flat and wide, the paved path is great for all skill levels and has stellar views of the beach, Long Beach skyline, and Catalina Island. Those traveling as a family also have the option to cycle as a unit on a popular pedal-powered surrey available from Wheel Fun Rentals (429 Shoreline Village Dr).

If the beach isn’t quite close enough to the water, you’re in luck! You can actually pedal on the water with Long Beach Waterbikes (164 N. Marina Dr.). The company offers reservation-only rentals, including nighttime “glow rides” on floating bikes through the picturesque Alamitos Bay and the Naples canals. If you know how to ride a bike, you can handle one of these!

Stop 3: Hotel Royal

Stop 4: Beyond The Beach Path

Although Long Beach’s showstopper is its shoreline, there are other stunningly scenic bike rides that are well worth hopping off the Peloton and getting outdoors.

Long Beach has four major off-road bike paths, including the nearly 30-mile Los Angeles River Bikeway along the east side of the Los Angeles River; the 28-mile San Gabriel River Bike Trail through El Dorado Regional Park and down to Alamitos Bay Marina; the 4-mile El Dorado Bike Path, which separately runs through the 450-acre park and connects to the San Gabriel River Bike Trail in several locations; and the 2.5-mile Heartwell Bike Path through the 162-acre Heartwell Park, which also connects to the San Gabriel River Bike Trail.

Stop 5: Shop Bikes

Since this is sure to be just one of many future bike outings in Long Beach, you may want to personalize and accessorize your ride for next time, or you might just need a replacement chain. Those looking for custom wheels, vintage style, or even an extra push from an electric charge, need look no further than Long Beach’s many specialty shops.

Check out hip local bike stores such as: The Bicycle Stand (2740 E. Broadway), where the family-owned business focuses on refurbishing classic bikes; Jax Bicycle Center (3000 N. Bellflower Blvd.), which is basically a one-stop-stop for most any cycling retail or service need; Propel Electric Bikes (100 E. Broadway), offering an innovative selection of pedal-assisted e-bikes; and many other city cycle shops rolling with their own custom vibes you can only find in Long Beach.