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Laurel Canyon to Mulholland according to Cole
I love the transformation of the air quality. You get to a point and suddenly you realise how bad the air was and how good it is now. It’s like a waterline. The elevation at which the change occurs varies from day to day, from month to month, but it’s always there when the city is miles behind you.
Hollywood Boulevard is brutal, it’s wide and loud and the trafﬁc is unkind. We’re in a single ﬁle but not drafting, just surviving. In fact, we’re keeping about ﬁve feet and enough time between us to bunny-hop over and swerve past all the ridges and holes and trash in the street. There’s so much of it, and some of it is
treacherous, calling it out was no longer an option. We started a mile or so ago on a quiet street. We rolled onto Hollywood and just shut up for ﬁve miles until ﬁnally turning-off at Laurel Canyon, we could hear the world again.
The surface here is smooth enough when you can ﬁnd it. It’s almost always covered in rocks and sand and dirt. Small pick-up trucks with landscaping equipment line the street. These roads are so tight and so steep that in the winter in the rain's two feet of rapid running water is not uncommon. Sandbars form, dogs go missing and smaller cars get turned around or washed down the hill.
We are in the heart of the legendary Hollywood hills, where actors, actresses and rock stars all live in their stilted houses. The climb to the top where the road intersects Mulholland is only about two miles long but it’s steep and winding and literally minutes from the action of Los Angeles.
There are several canyon roads that cross the Hollywood Hills from LA to the Valley and some like this one are excellent to ride, Coldwater and Nichols for example.
Once at the top, infamous Mulholland twists and rolls to the west almost as far the Ocean. And to the east it plummets into the Valley with the hillside when that too ends just past downtown.