Families and avid cyclists alike should plan a weekend in Claremont to enjoy dozens of bicycle-friendly and scenic routes with varying degree of challenges, the city’s unique European-like village atmosphere, and a broad range of hotels, restaurants, spas and nightlife.
For families and casual riders, Claremont is easily navigated on bicycle at just 14 square miles, and the city takes great pride in being a leader in providing bicycle-friendly initiatives for visitors. The League of American Bicyclists has acclaimed Claremont as a Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly Community, noting Claremont’s funding of bike lanes, road diets (reducing the number of vehicle lanes), and intersection improvement. The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park has an additional 10 miles of mountain bike trails and five miles of shared use pathways.
For riders seeking longer, more challenging rides, Claremont is well-known as a key starting and finishing spot for a strenuous road circuit along the Glendora Ridge Road through the San Gabriel Mountains, as well as many established and safe routes to cities as far away as Long Beach.
Gaining in popularity is the ride up to Mount Baldy. Claremont hosted Stage 7 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, a nearly 100-mile ride from city’s historic train depot that climbed close to 10,000 vertical feet in elevation and finished at the base of the Mount Baldy ski resort. Amateur cyclists seeking to experience the same road course as the professionals will find Claremont to be an ideal wake-up-and-ride starting point or an evening dine-and-stay experience. Local cyclists usually complete the circuit by riding downMt. Baldy Roaddirectly into Claremont.
Claremont’s ever-growing bicyclist population has created many clubs willing to offer tips. Ranging from college groups to baby boomers, these groups regularly announce events, trips and other useful information. Local bicycle shops include Jax Bicycle Center near the Claremont Depot.
Getting to Claremont is easy. Metrolink’s bicycle-friendly San Bernardino line stops in Claremont, giving weekend riders a short train ride from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles or other neighboring cities. Claremont’s historic train depot is located in the heart of the Claremont Village, a short bicycle ride away from the Claremont Colleges and shopping along Historic Route 66 California. Bikestation Claremont provides bike storage facilities at the depot to members.
Claremont’s five hotel choices range from economy to upscale. Options include the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont on Historic Route 66, and the Hotel Claremont & Tennis Club near Interstate 10. The budget-minded cyclist will appreciate the Claremont Lodge or Howard Johnson Express Inn Claremont south of downtown, while the boutique Hotel Casa 425 offers upscale accommodations in the heart of the Claremont Village. Casa 425 also offers bicycle rentals to its guests (the DoubleTree will be adding this service soon).
Claremont features more than four dozen cafés and restaurants across a wide range of cuisines, including many locally famous eateries that families and cyclists alike will appreciate discovering.
Just a few blocks from boutique hotel Casa 425 to Harvard and Yale avenues, early morning risers will find locally crafted pastries and coffee at popular Claremont eateries or can enjoy midday noshing at local brunch spots peppered throughout the village. Claremont is also home to a variety of international cuisines and restaurants, while nightlife reigns at numerous hotspots at the College Heights Lemon Packing House (532 W.First St.), in the Village and throughout the Claremont Public Plaza. More than a dozen day spas and salons can also help sooth sore muscles and freshen windworn skin after a day of riding.
Located just 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, the City of Claremont prides itself on being a showcase community in Southern California. Its tree-lined streets, Village shopping districts, five distinctive hotels and spas, and stately college campuses have made it a destination for tourists and locals alike. More information about dining and staying in Claremont can be found at http://www.discoverclaremont.com and http://www.thevillageclaremont.com/.