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…