While there are many places to take your Dutch bike in Los Angeles (some were covered in the 19 Best Los Angeles Bike Rides) the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area is a new favorite of mine now that I've earned my stripes. While some of my first bike rides haven't been as eventful, the Sepulveda River basin proved to contain many little treasure that I tried very hard to document.
My bike setup
Peace Dreamer Step Through Bike
Bag: Basil Katharina Shoulder bag
Bell: Basil Big Bell in black/white dots
Saddle Cover: Basil Katharina Bicycle Saddle Cover
Entering the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area
If you like the Lord of the Rings Movies, you'll understand when I tell you that the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area which is in Encino, CA 91436 is like the "shire" in the San Fernando Valley area. The area is lush with indoor & outdoor sports facilities, a community garden, an amusement park, golf courses & more. There's also the Japanese Garden nearby which I recommend, but good luck getting your bike in there.
We parked on the side of Webley road where there are gaps in the fence and paths in the brush to make a nice entrance right onto the trail. I was with my boyfriend who convinced me to park off Webley after we saw how many people where at Vegfest. I thought the park area would be packed too, but to our surprise it was quite sparse. There were just a few families here and there and a few more bicycle enthusiasts.
My first thoughts as I rode my bike down the sometimes bumpy pebble trail, was that it was very comfortable and that I was pleased with the balloon tires on the bike.
The cool thing about the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area is that it's situated around a protected animal habitat which is centered around a lake. I stopped at one of the focal points to take a look out onto the water at a little island inside the lake that is a breeding ground for many birds in the area.
This stop had an imprint of a compass on the ground which added some pizzazz to our stop. There was much thought which went into this recreational area. Almost like that game Myst I used to play.
After taking a second to refresh myself with some water that I stored in my handy Basil Katharina Shoulder bag attached to my bike rear rack, I kept biking until I saw a little bunny. This turned out to be one of many, many, little bunnies that we ran into that day. Definitely made the day a little more magical. We spotted seven total on the trail!
We rode on and came to a clearing where lots of people were picnicking. Then I saw this little color swirl someone attached to a tree branch and that made my day again. The way it was swaying in the wind just encompassed the joy I was having riding my bike all day.
We rode on and spotted some kids flying kites at the top of a long rock hill. This place it really a sight you have to see for yourself as well as one of the defining features of the Sepulveda River Recreation Center.
The trail here was especially bumpy and full off fissures from the recent rain. Being a newbie, I almost flew off a couple of times. Thankfully, I had the balloon tires on my Peace step through bike. The balloon tires really cushioned every bump the trail threw at me. If I had been on a road bike I would have definitely fallen.
We went through a bridge underpass tagged with graffiti to get to the other side of the park. I wish there wasn't so much graffiti I remember thinking, but I guess those will be the cave drawings of our time.
The underpass opened up to a whole new part of the recreation area. We biked straight as we rode out and came upon the Sepulveda Dam itself. (in all of its glory)
When we biked closer we saw a guy waking his cute dog. There are usually a few people scattered here and there on the trail.
Then I saw a lonely sunflower growing all by itself. This wasn't the first time I saw a sunflower growing by itself. So I had to take a pic.
After trying to snap snap some pictures of the ducks near the steam (who flew away and obviously didn't want to end up on the web) I mounted my step through bike to continue the journey.
After checking out the recreation area dam and all of its glory, we decided to go back to the lake to watch the birds. The ducks were having a relaxing time until some people came and fed them. Then the geese came in after to try to steal their food.
And if that wasn't enough of a party, a photographer and some models came over and asked to be photographed next to the "gorgeous" bikes. We obliged off course. Overall, it was a successful day and I will definitely be back! I leave you with some parting shots of me and my bike.