FARGO STREET FAQ
Photo by Dan Wyman
What is Fargo Street? It’s one of the steepest streets in Los Angeles, with a grade of 32-33 degrees. It’s short, only a block long, but hard to ride up on a bike. Every year in March, the Los Angeles Wheelmen Bicycle Club has an event where all comers can try to ride up.
Where is Fargo Street? Near the south end of the Glendale (2) freeway, in the Silverlake/Echo Park area of Los Angeles. The cross street is Allesandro St. Thomas Guide page 594 E-5.
When is the event? Sometime in March. Check our home page and ride schedule. Starting time is 9 AM.
How long have the Wheelmen been putting on this event? Since 1974.
Can I come by car or bike? Either. If you drive, park on Allesandro St. or nearby. The LA Wheelmen also holds a bike ride to the event starting at “The Corner”, Olympic Blvd and Le Doux Rd in Beverly Hills. Check our ride schedule for start time. The route slips and maps will be available the week before the event. All are welcome to join this ride.
Does it cost to watch or participate? No. And if you make it to the top, you get a patch (first time only). And helmets are mandatory! (riding only, not watching)
Do I have to ride straight up, or can I zigzag? Either is acceptable. If you zigzag, balance and turning skills are critical, because the street is narrow and very steep. Going straight up requires a lot of power and endurance, and you need to keep your weight well forward, because the front wheel of your bike tends to lift up.
May tandems participate? Yes. It’s still hard, maybe harder (don’t yell at each other!). Tandem bikes with only one rider are also allowed.
Do you keep records of the number of ascents in one day? Yes. Men- Steve Gilmore, 101 (2008). Women – Heide Volpe, 35 (2012), Senior Division (over 60)- Doug Kubler, 82 (2007).
Must I sign up in advance? No, except that anyone thinking about trying to breaking the record of 101 climbs must contact Kermit Ganier (see below) for starting early and staying late. There will be monitors at the bottom for mandatory sign-ins and to regulate the starts so that it’s not a free-for-all.
May children participate? Yes, if they are serious and well-conditioned and have good equipment. We’ve had kids as young as about 8 or 9 be successful. It shouldn’t be done just to make Dad proud.
Whom do I contact with questions? Kermit Ganier (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (310) 367-0458.