Los Angeles Beaches by Bike

Flying into Los Angeles the urban sprawl below appeared to stretch on forever – A concrete jungle of highways and towering palm trees.

I simply couldn’t comprehend cycling in the maze below.  Staying with a friend at Venice beach, he offered us the use of his rusty old beach cruiser bikes.  We happily accepted his kind offer and discovered we could cycle the Strand cycle path.  This path follows the sandy beaches from Santa Monica pier to Redondo Beach.  The following morning we headed off with the bicycles clanking and squeaking their way towards Santa Monica.  The bicycles funky shape matched the sunny L.A lifestyle and we were excited to be back on two wheels again.

Santa Monica pier was full of busy noise from people and the wild rides that were on offer… with the blue sky above and the squeals of delight from the roller coaster the place appeared to be a combination of magic and happiness.

The rolling lane of concrete path left Santa Monica taking us over the white Californian sands towards Venice beach.  We pedalled past bulging muscles being tested in the outdoor gyms to any audience eager to watch, a clutter of tourist shops selling every item possible and a small array of colourful people trying to make a living by busking or begging with the aid of cardboard signs.

Rows of palm trees swayed above us as the path weaved between them like a hammock swinging in the breeze – putting us into a relaxed state of cruise control.  Skateboard parks and ball courts were all a hive of activity – people swarming in like bees to play in the sunshine.  We overtook the groovy people rollerblading, the dog walkers and the sweaty runners… it was a busy part of town!  Our bikes zipped past beach homes eventually turning off the coast and on to a busy road taking us all the way to the boat filled – Marina Del Ray.

We followed the green bicycle signs as we slip in and around parts of the marina and stop for a quick refreshment break.  Empty car parks, quiet roads and a bridge took the bike path over Ballona Creek and we arrived back on the sandy beach at Playa del Rey this time with fewer people about.  At times the ocean is a far distance from the cycle track and we are reminded of its existence by the number of lifesaving huts dotted beside the water’s edge.

The path has small inclines and as gears are lacking on the designs our cruiser bikes we needed a bit of extra pedal power.  The path unravels through Dockweiler State beach and a deep rumble could be heard above our heads.

We looked up to see the underbelly of a plane only feet above us.   Los Angeles International airport is close by creating an interesting theatre in the sky for sunbathers using the beach.  The planes rattle our eardrums, but we are captivated at their closeness and watch a few more of the noisy creatures land.

The white sand wisps over the quiet path that twists and turns like a single piece of linguine taking us past clusters of pastel coloured beach houses and the sturdy wooden Manhattan Beach pier sitting a top the deep blue waters of the Pacific ocean.

Like pumpkins in the garden houses seem to grow in size until they are enormous.  They become more elaborate sitting right on the beach front trying to steal as much of the sea view as the neighbour next door.  The sun shines and the seagulls squawk and soar above our heads – the warm breeze tickles our skin as we pick up our pace and whizz towards the hustle and bustle of Hermosa beach.  We stop to briefly explore the colourful spot.

It isn’t long after that we soon find ourselves in Redondo harbour at an oyster bar surrounded by black and white photos of life along the waterfront, cosy red booths, a platter of fresh oysters and glasses of bubbly? How that came about I am still unsure – but it was a lot of fun!

Compared with my first impressions I can now say I have seen Los Angeles in a very sunny light…

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14 Responses to Los Angeles Beaches by Bike

  1. How did I miss this one?? Extraordinarily fine, just like all your other posts.

    “The white sand wisps over the quiet path that twists and turns like a single piece of linguine taking us past clusters of pastel coloured beach houses and the sturdy wooden Manhattan Beach pier sitting a top the deep blue waters of the Pacific ocean.”

    Ah! It’s been too long since I’ve read your heady, scintillating prose, my dear fellow! And yes, it’s funny how one often winds up at oyster bars with no recollection of how one got there. This happens to me all the time. Ah well, we must make the best of it… : )

    Hope you’re well and still enjoying two-wheeled adventures!!

  2. I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Although this is relatively new for me, I love blogging and reading the blogs of others and the sharing of what are sometimes very personal thoughts. The type of communication that’s experienced in the blogosphere, and between so many people, makes me feel how truly connected we all are on a higher level. I also know that when someone begins blogging, it’s not to win awards but to share with others. And sometimes it’s therapy for our self. That being said, I find your blog interesting and inspiring and I want to thank you for your contribution. If you choose to accept the award, you’ll find the “instructions” linked here: http://spiritualmysticism.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    Love and Light, Rev. Dani Lynn

  3. Atari says:

    You should ride a little further south into Orange County! I love the beaches, and the bike trails along the waterways are fantastic! Let’s not mention that the cool ocean breeze is a little cleaner than the ones you find up in LA.

    Also, kudos for getting a shot of the bearded skate fellow in Venice Beach–he seems to be in EVERY form of media that features the town!

  4. aFrankAngle says:

    Excellent ride and photos … and I came here from Pat’s link.

  5. zoeforman says:

    perfect timing to read this. I’m off to LA and Santa Monica next month and was looking to hire bikes for a beach ride. Nice feature, thanks

  6. Pat Bean says:

    Great blog. I gave it a Bean’s Pat on my blog today.

  7. Wow, beautiful photos

  8. Batu Bertuah says:

    nice post..happy day with blogging…thanks 🙂

  9. Excellent views and photos. I had a short visit in L.A. last year and loved my all too brief trip to the beach. Enjoyed your post.

  10. Jeff Shone says:

    Great pics

  11. amazingved says:

    nice post and pictures!

  12. Looks like it was a fun bike ride! 🙂 Nothing better than cycling in sunny weather.

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