Long Beach Bikeway Route 10: East Long Beach to Downtown
2012-12-12 · By Peter Dopulos
Ride Type: Commuter, Recreational, Family (partial)
Long Beach Bikeway 10 is a spectacular ride that connects the residential east side of the city to its urban city center by way of posh Belmont Heights neighborhood and the East Village, before finishing as an urban loop along the city’s bike boulevards. In fact, this route passes so many landmarks and points of interest, with a great deal of variety in terrain, I would suggest this route to any first time visitor to our city looking for a single ride offering a sampling of our city. Of course, without a map and this review at hand, they are likely to get lost. This route’s signage is so poor that it would be impossible for anyone not familiar with the city to find their way along the entire route. That being said, if you get lost, you will be lost in a very interesting, picturesque part of town.
This route begins on East Anaheim Street, near its intersection with Palo Verde Avenue, near the entrance to Hill Middle School. Making your way along an off-street bike path, head towards Studebaker Road for 0.11 miles before turning right onto the Los Cerritos Channel bike path. There is no sign here at all indicating this turn. This path narrows after the Seventh Street Pedestrian Bridge and passes through Channel View Park, which is very popular with strollers and dog lovers, so be mindful of your speed.
At 1.16 miles the path ends and the route turns right onto Vista Street, a residential road that parallels Loynes Drive. At Margo Street follow the signs and turn left onto the bike path that travels alongside Bixby Village Golf Course. Margo Street is also Bikeway 18 and will take you uphill to Cal State Long Beach.
The path forks at 1.71 miles and, again, there is no sign to indicate which way to go. To follow Bikeway 10 continue straight across Bixby Village Drive as the route passes alongside Loynes Avenue where the path descends over some very bumpy section, stay alert.
Cross Pacific Coast Highway, Bikeway 1, at 2.48 miles and move to the other side of Loynes onto the off-road bike path. At 2.72 miles, cross Bellflower Boulevard and ride along the bike path as it passes between condominium complexes before heading for Marina Vista Park and Marine Stadium, excellent place to make a stop and picnic. A pleasant side trip is to turn left at the end of the Marine Stadium and ride along the opposite side. This is an especially attractive detour for those traveling with children or inexperienced riders, as the upcoming sections really are not family friendly.
The path suddenly ends at the intersection of Elliot Street and Colorado Street right in front of Fires Station 14 and there are no signs to indicate direction. Cross over and turn left onto Colorado and then another left on Nieto Avenue. Continue along Nieto, crossing Bikeway 25, Appian Way, as it heads up a modest hill before descending towards Broadway. Here, again, there are no signs to indicate that the route makes a right turn here. Ahead lies your steepest climb of the day as you travel through one of Long Beach’s most attractive neighborhoods, Belmont Heights. Broadway is narrow but lightly traveled until you cross Ximeno Avenue at 4.46 miles where traffic volume and speed really pick up. Although designated a bike lane, there is no painted bike path and lots of street parking through here.
At 4.97 miles a Bikeway sign indicates a left onto Loma Avenue, which comes at just the right time, as traffic through this section is heavy and often impatient with cyclists it seems. Although there are no signs, turn right onto 2nd Street at 5.02 miles and enjoy the quiet calm as you pedal past attractive, often grandiose homes and gardens.
2nd Street becomes a one-way street at 5.96 miles where it crosses Junipero Avenue. At 6.97 2nd Street dead ends and you will need to turn right onto Alamitos Avenue, Bikeway 17, as the signs indicate to continue on Bikeway 10. At 7.11 miles turn left on 3rd Street, one of Long Beach’s Bike Boulevard. Bike Boulevards are designed to maximize traffic flow for motorists and cyclists and I have found them to be some of the most enjoyable urban rides I have ever pedaled. That being said, it is imperative that as you ride you pay attention to the bike boulevard traffic lights that indicate when cyclists are to cross roads, not the usual motorist traffic lights. Also, green pain on the road indicates this is a section that cars and bikes share, stay alert. Although it can be daunting at first, I have taken my kids along these Bike Boulevards and have found them to be very safe.
Turn left onto Maine Avenue at 8.20 miles before turning left again onto Broadway, another Bike Boulevard. Travel along Broadway until its return to Alamitos Avenue and turn right. At 1st Street turn left and travel along this one-way street until it reaches Junipero Avenue at 10.47 miles. There is a sign that indicates this is the end of Bikeway 10, which accounts for its official distance. If you were to continue on along 1st Street and turn left at Loma and completing the loop, this accounts for an unofficial distance of 11.55 miles.
Official Distance: 10.47 miles
Unofficial Distance: 11.55
Connects to: 1, 17,18, 25
Points of Interest: Cal State Long Beach, Channel View Park, Pete Archer Boathouse, Colorado Lagoon, Marine Stadium, Belmont Heights, East Village, Promenade, Pine Street, City Hall