Commerce & Climate: Exploring the Harbor Area of Los Angeles

Wilmington, CA, United States; San Pedro, CA, United States
Est. 24.4km / 2 hrs / Map

Commerce & Climate: Exploring the Harbor Area of Los Angeles - Cya On The Road

The harbor area of Los Angeles is connected to the city proper by a 16 mile strip of land. This odd geopolitical boundary is influenced by urban design & laws from a colonial era. The harbor area is  responsible for Los Angeles being the economic powerhouse it is today. The Spanish government’s Ley de las Indias might have been the reason why Los Angeles was settled some 25 miles from the harbor. The grand expanse of the Spanish Crown’s territory created lots of shoreline real estate susceptible during an age of piracy.The decision to connect the port area to the city boundaries came in 1906, along with the decision to build an artificial harbor in San Pedro Bay. In 1922, longshoremen and maritime workers organized strikes and walkouts to protest low wages and poor working conditions, including anti-union practices. Writer Upton Sinclair was a part of this movement, which faced numerous instances of harassment by the LAPD. Whether it’s workers on land or in the sea, this area of Los Angeles fuels so much of our day-to-day lives thanks to the boots on the ground of generations of laborers. While the port is considered a hub for business, employment and economic growth, the port operations’ impact on the environment can’t be ignored. In April of this year, a new case study by the EPA examined San Pedro Bay Port’s Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP). Originally adopted in 2006, the CAAP seeks to address air quality impacts resulting from port operations.  As you embark on this ride, remember that by being on a bike, you are exploring the city on a mode of transit that is good for you and good for the planet. This ride’s sponsor, New Belgium, has helped get others on bikes by supporting cycling advocacy, helping cities become Bicycle Friendly Communities, and has donated resources to create safe cycling infrastructure. This 15 mile ride starts at Wilmington Waterfront Park and heads south. The first part of this terrain requires a lot of caution - the bike lane comes and goes and there are two railroad crossings. When crossing railroad tracks, always do so with your bicycle tires at a perpendicular angle to the tracks.This ride starts off with a couple of smaller inclines before taking you on a few sharp ups and downs as you gradually climb 230 feet, then come back down for a relatively flat ride until the last mile. There are six potential stops on this ride, with all but Harbor View Memorial Park having public restrooms.

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