Bicycling in Eagle Rock is pleasant, for the most part. However, to reach the majority of destinations in our town we often have to negotiate with loud zooming cars on Colorado Boulevard, making bicycling less attractive when considering how to get somewhere.
Thankfully there is a bicycle friendly street that can serve as an alternative to Colorado Boulevard but it is perhaps not so well known. This alternative is Las Flores Drive.
Many Eagle Rock residents know that Hill Drive roughly parallels Colorado Boulevard, but the street meanders and, as its name implies, has hills. The conditions on Hill Drive make it not such a bike friendly route for the everyday person looking for a relaxing, laid-back bicycle ride. For those looking to ride a bicycle for small trips in the neighborhood Las Flores is the best way to avoid cycling on Colorado Boulevard and to avoid hills.
Las Flores is a little disjointed, but otherwise serves as a perfectly good alternative to Colorado Boulevard for casual bicyclists as it is a relatively calm, flat and low traffic route. Where Las Flores interrupts between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Maywood Avenue you can make a small jog onto Hill Drive for a block and continue back on Las Flores. Below is a Google Maps image showing Colorado Boulevard represented with a red line and the Las Flores alternative I have come to use in blue.
As you may notice, you can still reach a considerable amount of destinations by using Las Flores rather than Colorado Boulevard. From the Eagle Rock Plaza to Trader Joe’s and everything in between – still reachable – requiring only minimal interaction on Colorado Boulevard when arriving at your destination and saving the casual bicyclist a lot of stress.
According to Google Maps taking Las Flores doesn’t add terribly much distance to one’s journey; only half a mile more if you’re traveling the entire Las Flores route to avoid Colorado Boulevard. On a bicycle an extra half mile is negligible and it is unlikely one would traverse Las Flores from Townsend Avenue to Sumner Avenue for the majority of their journeys anyway. In my experience any added distance taking Las Flores over Colorado Boulevard is well worth it to not having to contend with intimidating conditions on our main street.
The next time you need to run a small errand which you would typically make by driving on Colorado Boulevard, consider cycling on Las Flores– it really is quite nice, and relaxing. And given the price of gas these days, being able to choose the bicycle for small trips could be a nice way to save a few bucks.