Mandeville Canyon

Summary: 

20 miles, including 2-10%, 5-mile climb

Difficulty: 
Day: 
Time: 
6:30AM
Place: 
26th Street and San Vicente Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA
Description: 

This ride begins with a short warm-up around the Brentwood Country Club. After taking a right back onto San Vicente, the group then heads north on Burlingame, across Sunset Boulevard and down to Mandeville Canyon. The initial pitch of Mandeville is reasonable, maybe 2%, but the pace is usually fast (18-20 mph). After the first mile-1/2, the road rises slighty, to about 4%, to the "white fence" which signals the approximate half-way mark of the climb. The grade is fairly steady until about 1-mile to go, when it grades up to about 6% until finishing up a [painful] 10%, 200-meter wall to the top. Depending on your effort level up the climb, you may have to concentrate on holding down your breakfast as the ride regroups and recovers for several minutes. Slower riders can catch the ride on its return down the canyon. At that point, ride leaders may decide to either continue on to do an Amalfi loop in Pacific Palisades (see the Riviera ride) or head up Chalon Road to tackle the [tortuous 12-15%] Arbutus/Banyon/Cordelia adjoining climbs. Beverages at Peet's in Brentwood (San Vicente and Gorham) afterward.

Danger!

There are many blind driveways on Mandeville. Stay to the right of the road on both the climb and descent of Mandeville. The road is prone to heavy residential construction traffic and more of those caffeine-fueled, cell-phone yammering, late-to-work drivers.

Tips for New Riders

Take the pace as easy or as hard as you feel like. Often, this ride goes off as a "team time trial" at the bottom, slowly burning off rider after rider until someone makes it to the top. You may not want to (or be able to) go that fast. Stay alert in order to catch the group coming back down the canyon , check for traffic and straggling riders, make a SAFE u-turn and jump on.

Mandeville Safety

Cyclists must take responsibility for their own safety and constantly be aware of all risk factors. Being “in the right” is of no value if you have been hit by a car. Mandeville is an excellent place for a training ride, but the point of riding Mandeville is to work on your climbing. It is simply too dangerous to race downhill. There is an increasing amount of traffic, workers unfamiliar with the road and, people rushing to get to work - and there are many hidden driveways. Save your downhill racing for weekend riding in the Santa Monica mountains.

  1. NEVER ride more than double file, and when a car is trying to pass, SINGLE UP!! and move as far right as safely possible.
  2. On the descent, control your speed so that you have reaction-time. TRANSLATION: SLOW DOWN!
  3. On the descent, ALWAYS ride SINGLE FILE.
  4. STOP at Stop Signs – including Chalon Road . It is dangerous not to stop, and the residents know that. LAPD has been known to patrol that intersection and hand out very expensive tickets!
  5. USE EXTRA CAUTION if the view of the road ahead is obstructed - for example, by a parked truck.
  6. LOOK AHEAD for cars pulling out of driveways, and watch for any signs of motion near hidden driveways.
  7. USE HAND SIGNALS to indicate your intentions to turn left or right. They don't know if you don't tell them.
  8. BE VISIBLE. In the early light, use a rear red blinking light and a front headlight. That's the only way that a driver can SEE you.
  9. If you are truly harassed, endangered or threatened by a driver, get the license plate number and report it to the police as well as to club sponsor/attorney Seth Davidson.
  10. We highly recommend the use of front and rear-mounted cameras to capture any dangerous driving by motorists.

And be aware that if a driver sees you do something dangerous and/or idiotic, they will report it. La Grange members can do their part - - most of all by riding properly. We must show respect to get respect, and as the “elite” cyclists we consider ourselves to be, we must set an example for other cyclists. Besides riding safely and legally, we can use courtesy to build a better relationship with the residents. You can smile and say “hi” to joggers, dog walkers and construction workers. And if a driver is working to pass, you can acknowledge the presence of the car, which will make the driver feel more secure when it is safe to pass. And you can thank a particularly patient and courteous driver with a wave or a verbal “thank you”.