Long Beach Bikeway Route 54 : East Wardlow Road

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long beach bike route 54Before I review Long Beach Bikeway Route 54 I would like to tip my hat to the City of Long Beach and all those who volunteered to organize and run the Long Beach Bike Tour. A thousand riders participated and $60,000 was raised for Miller’s Children’s Hospital. I did not ride the whole route, but the section that I did ride was well marked with directions and mile markers. Congrats Long Beach!

Also this weekend was the 4th Street in Motion event along Retro Row. This event was very well organized as well and had an amazing, eclectic group of participants from toddlers to grandparents, cyclists to roller skaters.

At the event Swoop’s World Radio interviewed participants and among those interviewed was none other than bike-architect-in-chief for the city, Mr. Charles Gandy. In the interview he discusses progress made over the last three years, what’s ahead in the next year and announced that a map for the Bikeways is now available. So check out the interview and find your map at such places as the HUB, your local bike shop, or head up to the 10th Floor at City Hall and grab a copy.

Long Beach Bikeway 54 used to be my preferred route to get from my Cal Heights home to El Dorado Park or Long Beach Bikeway 65 until I discovered Bikeway 56 (Conant) which is a bit more family friendly. That being said, from the route’s official beginning at Studebaker (Long Beach Bikeway 33), the route has painted bike lanes in both directions for its entire 1.5 official miles.

The traffic through Bikeway 54 is brisk and there is on-street parking which can make the bike lane seem a bit narrow when a posse of cars passes by. It was this fact and my son’s inability to ride in a straight line (he’s only 9) that made for some hair-raising moments and a switch to a less-traveled bike path. After passing over the San Gabriel River, on-street parking disappears but traffic along Bikeway 54 picks up considerably until reaching the route’s terminus at Norwalk Blvd. For experienced riders, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that the Bikeway 54 does not connect directly to Long Beach Bikeway 65 even though it crosses over it. Instead, if you are trying to get to Bikeway 65 you need to pass over the river trail, ride into El Dorado Park through the pedestrian entrance that is about quarter mile past the Bikeway. Or, if you are feeling adventurous and your bike isn’t too heavy you can lift it over the bridge railing and onto the dirt hill on the other side and then from there ride straight onto the Bikeway 65. (Or so I’ve heard.)

Unofficially, Long Beach Bikeway 54 begins at the Long Beach Airport and Lakewood Blvd where East Wardlow picks up. This section has no painted bike lane and plenty of on-street parking. This part of Wardlow would best be avoided by families and the inexperienced, with Bikeway 56 being a preferred alternate route, or even Bikeway 60.

Bikeway: Route 54
Streets Travelled: Wardlow Rd.
Official Mileage: 1.5 miles
Unofficial Mileage: 43.7 miles

Landmarks: Long Beach Airport, El Dorado Park, City of Cypress

Connecting Routes

Long Beach Bikeway Route 23 (Conant)
Long Beach Bikeway Route 27 (Bellflower)
Long Beach Bikeway Route 29 (Woodruff)
Long Beach Bikeway Route 33 (Studebaker)
Long Beach Bikeway Route 65 (San Gabriel River Trail)

About Peter Dopulos
Peter Dopulos is an avid cyclist and can often be seen riding the Long Beach Bikeways. He recently wrote a book, Where to Bike Orange County, he is also the co-host of the Long Beach radio talkshow Swoop's World and a co-founder of GreenWorld365.com.

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