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How to Explore South L.A. on a Bike

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If you've ever wanted to ride your bike to the Watts Towers, this is your weekend.

The group Ride South L.A. is hosting its second ride this Sunday that starts at the Augustus F. Hawkins Natural Park and ends up at the Watts towers.

The ride is part of a bigger project to make South Los Angeles more accessible and friendly to bikers, whether they live in the neighborhood or not. It's about biking but it's also about social justice. Some of the groups involved include biking group, like T.R.U.S.T. South LA, C.I.C.L.E., Bikerowave, the East Side Riders Bike Club and CicLAvia. Most of the research is conducted by USC’s Mobile Lab.

You don't need to wait for a group ride to check out the ride on your own. The fruit of the project is a PDF map that you can download or pick up at locations in the area. But there's also a website for bikers with smart phones that includes pictures taken during the last ride in January.

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The first ride was supposed to be a one-time thing, but it's getting an encore because of popular demand.

“Initially, we weren’t planning to organize another ride of the same route and we thought the map would be for ride-it-yourselfers," François Bar, a Professor of Communication at USC told LA Streetsblog. "But at every event where we handed out the map, from CicLAvia to TEDxUSC and the Bike Week launch, people kept asking, 'When is the next ride?'"

The tour this weekend kicks off at 10 am at the Augustus F. Hawkins Natural Park (5790 Compton Ave. in L.A.) and will ultimately end up at the Watts Towers. The entire ride will finish up around 2 pm. Bring some snacks or some cash for patrons along the way. For more information, check out the event's Facebook group.

Here's a video from the last ride (that makes it look like a lot of fun):

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Related:
Lonely Planet Explores Not Quite Uncharted Territory: 'Bike-Friendly' L.A.
Photo Essay: Biking from Downtown to the beach