The cool winter weather continues to offer wonderful sailing along the Marvin B. I came up limping following five Full Marvin’s, almost 250 miles, within seven days. Riding is intoxicating.
Decided to cut my mileage in half, mix in some walking and cross-train a bit. I walked my bike along this sandy part of the beach in front of the power on way to Redondo. Shot this video on return trip north from the path itself:
Settling in a bit here in LA. Mid 60 F most days but every once in a while we hit 70. I’ve been sticking with my gravel configuration out here and so far it has been working fairly well.
This is my current cold weather kit and set up for the beach.Really lovin’ this Chrome hoodie!
Shot this during a cooldown after wheel sucking some club riders into Redondo from Segundo:
More motorized devices of all sorts yet people still manage to share the path. The Venice Beach section remains the most problematic as well as the most congested. Many serious Freds are willing to brave Highway 1 at the North end and take other similar alternatives to the Marvin in order ride at an effective training pace. In fact, I’ve seen riders paralleling the route on regular roads all along the Trail. The bicycle friendly signs and signals in LA are the best I’ve experienced to date.
Venice Beach is also the curviest section of Trail and for some reason always a bit sandy. Maintenance crews keep most sections free of blowing sands very much like we snowplow in Buffalo. In fact, whipping sands are probably the very worst you can expect in the way of bad weather. Like Buffalo, I constantly see people riding shirtless on even extremely cool days.
Venice also has the most attractions/distractions/destinations and bike crashes than any other section. Despite a wide pedestrian walkway, foot traffic is heavy. As are motorized devices, toddlers, and almost everything else. Yesterday I saw a woman on a bike with her dog leash between her teeth taking a selfie with her free hand.
I dragged my Flevo Racer out here deciding that I would finally learn to ride it. The front wheel almost under the seat which makes the wheelbase very short and twitchy. Rode it the other day in some traffic, not without some difficulty:
I like to ride my bike stoned. [Medical Edibles only] Yeah, I just said that. With more than 50+ years of cycling experience, it’s time that I finally came out of the closet. I love the feeling of freedom that traveling noiselessly along country roads with two gyroscopic wheels spinning between your legs can offer. Greeting each new moment face first and instantaneously releasing it for the next. Matching my breath and peddling cadence until the process becomes so automatic that I now longer need to think about riding. My mind empties and floats away to fly and play among the clouds.
Riding and breathing become one. The road disappears beneath me and I no longer know where bike ends and rider begins. Finally, the rider and the observer are both given over to the moment and both disappear.
This wonderful sense of oneness/nothingness struck me hard the very first time I turned my Huffy left at the end our driveway and sailed down the paved road.
I can get high just riding a bike. Any kind of bike. So, why would I want to taint this wonderful experience with “drugs” [plants] you may ask.
Simple, I like to travel higher to stretch the experience and more deeply probe the depths of the mind-body relationship.
I believe that altered states of consciousness and bicycle riding have a very natural affinity for each other. Albert Hoffman hopping on his bike following a healthy dose of LSD was no accident in my opinion.
I have enjoyed my older entry level Sofride for several years now.
The frame has been stretched in order to accommodate the Xtra Cycle rack system and a true 135mm rear hub. http://www.xtracycle.com/family/
This configuration provides the rider with superior vision of surroundings, the ability to stop with both feet on the ground, and the additional safety of never going over the handlebars in a collision. Not to mention the most FUN of anything you ever experienced on two wheels. The lightness of the rear wheel almost begs for an electric hub which I suspect will reduce the learning curve for new riders.
This bike rides very much like a motorcycle only with half of the wind resistance. Accordingly, it has the pulling power of a small locomotive on fairly level surfaces. Adding the electric hub will enable its rider to crush hills and/or pull heavier loads.
Since the frame is already articulated with the bottom bracket, turning radius is nimble, and the next step beyond the long missile shaped traditional Velo mobiles.
I’m ready to order a rear hub motor. Any suggestions?
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Spending a few months away from Moonshadow Lodge during the traditionally coldest months to get some outdoor cycling time. Discovered this trail was close by and decided to explore my new neighborhood. BIG FUN! Over 20 miles of paved , maintained, patrolled, sandy, sun-filled beach trail. Drink as much coffee as you can hold because there are plenty of restrooms. Bring along your surf/skate board, roller blades, trike, recumbent, electric bike or even your velomobile. This is mainly a bike trail but it is also shared with PEDS and some times these peds are pushing baby strollers, running, walking, texting/picture-taking, guiding elderly grandparents, sucking face, talking to God or smoking some sweet bud. Throw in a toddler racing blindly across your path at any moment and you have all the ingredients for a video-game-type of bike maneuvering. Although a centerline exists one is constantly forced into oncoming traffic to avoid something or someone. Added to this eclectic list of participants the “serious” riders that are time trialing, group riding, or simple shooting for a personal best and the games begins.
Helmet are optional and I elected to go with my fishing hat lined with a bandana for added UV protection. However, apparently the entire North American coastline is currently being saturated with radioactive debris from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown. Tide pools are devoid of the small microorganisms and the lack of green plant life makes the rocks appear clean. None of this seems to bother the surfing population all along the trail especially in the El Segundo area.
Marina Del Ray is the only area where the trail meanders away from the sand shoreline to a paved bike path which leads them around the Harbor. This geographic feature also acts as a natural dividing line between two very different riding experiences. Although the hard-core continue to use the entire length of the trail, casual riders might want to consider exploring the southern section on its own.
A few weeks later…
My time in LA comes to a close soon. I hoped to share a more detailed description of this great trail, however this riding experience is just so much fun, writing about it takes a back seat. Many times I wanted to stop pedaling, dig my iPhone out of its plastic baggie and capture more photos. However the decision to just keep moving along and enjoying the moment always won out.
Therefore, let me just mention some highlights that you may want to look for.
Will Rogers State Park at the Northern most point of the trail is a welcome respite from the busier sections of Santa Monica and Venice. Clean, new restrooms.
South of Del Ray, the beaches are much more open and path traffic thins perceptibly . The cities of Hermosa and Redondo both have excellent parallel bike-only trails with tons of signage and working bike traffic signals. Road lanes are often devoted to bicycles and pavement signs direct bicycles to “take the entire lane”! Drivers expect to see riders and I met no disrespectful drivers during my two month stay.
Captain Kidd’s Fish Market, near Redondo, has fresh, local fish. Our swordfish stakes were great. We also found excellent dinning at the Bluewater Marina restaurant.
Because I usually entered the path at the 11.25 mile mark, Torrence Beach was my natural turn around and break point. The 00.00 mile marker is found here and it’s a convenient t place to meet other riders. The surf is always pounding and beckoning to the beautiful beaches south of LA.
In summary, this entire trail is a joy to ride with something for everyone. If your used to dodging trucks and side view mirrors on your daily route/commute, this place will grow a BIG smile on your face immediately. Although motorized electric/gas engine bikes are not permitted, I saw many of them. Clearly, this added power is unnecessary as the entire 22+ miles is basically flat. Perhaps these restrictions are enforced more thoroughly in the summer months.
However maybe they aren’t. Everyone on the trail seems to have the more laid back, Best Coast, attitude of live and let live. It suggests the famous Star Wars bar scene with its super charged diversity. Everyone gets along and is willing to give you your “space”.
If you enjoy riding in your own space and giving [all] others theirs, you will love the Marvin Braude…
To say that 2014 was a big year for Moonshadow would be an understatement. Life-changing comes a little closer to describing the whitetail deer attack on my Honda Shadow on June 7, 2014, that shattered my ankle and sprayed more of my blood than I ever care to witness again all over County Rd# 32. Of course, one could explain it as karma for all the deer hunting I’ve done around here for the past 33 years. Luckily I was drinking so there really wasn’t much real pain when they loaded me into the Mercy Flight helicopter. Just lots and lots of red stuff.
Well, to make a long story short, this experience awakened a profound realization for me that life REALLY can end at any moment. Recently I learned that there was a term for what I had experienced, PTSG. Post-Traumatic Stress Growth.
Several years ago I decided to use web design as a templet for organizing my goals and aspirations. Since then this site has undergone several significant transformations. The most recent of which has been a transition to Word Press design and publishing. Unfortunately this move did not allow a direct importing of earlier activities and fragments of this evolution may still appear on searches.
Marly is a family name and Marley is the name of my eleven year old yellow labrador retriever. She and I spent many wonderful hours together on the beaches of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.