Last week I explored bicycle trails along the Los Angeles River from Frogtown to Atwater Village. Today’s mission is to check out the trail on the east side of the Los Angeles River
north from North Atwater Park to Riverside Drive, and also kick scoot up the trail on the west side of the river.

I’d ridden this trail once two years ago, and found it closed at a gate just south of where the 134 crosses the Los Angeles River.

East side of the Los Angeles River

Crossed the river on the white suspension bridge with a Xootr Scooter.
Crossed the river on the white suspension bridge with a Xootr Scooter.

The trail’s too bumpy for me, same as further downstream. So I crossed the river on the white suspension bridge, and set out to the north, upstream, on the trail on the west side of the Los Angeles River. And on this day, the barrier gate’s gone, so it’s a clear shot to Riverside Drive.

Perfect weather, blue skies overhead, warm but not too hot, and not much wind. On this stretch of the trail, there’s a fair amount of shade from trees. I see the usual tents of the homeless, plus nice views of the river bed, with trees and other lush greenery, then, where the river bends to the west, the trail continues along an expanded river bed where the river’s joined by Verdugo Wash coming down from Burbank.

I ride past the Gene Autry Museum to the west, that features exhibits that blend real history with history as portrayed in movie westerns, Quixote Studios to the east, where I’ve had auditions for film projects and worked in a few background gigs, then the Dreamworks Animation Studio.

This is the heart of movieland. Tinsel Town. My town. And I’m part of it. Come on and ride with me. Any time. Really.

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Jonathan Kelley, 80, was born in Boston, and educated at Exeter and Princeton, then Harvard Medical School, after a year teaching English in Cali, Colombia. He was a Navy anesthesiologist during Viet Nam. He spent the middle decades of his life working in a community hospital in Northern California. Besides his career in medicine, he’s a chef, pianist, and actor in his artistic life. In the kitchen, he specializes in croissants and cooking with coconuts. At the piano, it’s boogie woogie and Joplin rags. As an actor, he’s done fourteen seasons in a Mexican Christmas play in Los Angeles, plus the occasional movie role, as in the soon-to-be-released feature film “Amor en 266 Millas,” where he plays the hippie patriarch of a desert commune in the Antelope Valley. He has two books available on Amazon, “Counting Backwards from 100: My Life as an Anesthesiologist,” and “Short Stories by Jonathan Kelley.” Searching for improved balance and leg strength at age 77, Jonathan came by chance upon a Xootr scooter. Jonathan’s wife is the lovely Puerto Rican actress Gloria Laino. Their mix is like Puerto Rican arroz con gandules served next to New England style cranberry sauce.

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