Cycling The Strand

10 March, 2017

One of my favorite things to do in Southern California is ride along the coast. With the Pacific ocean in view, the sun shining, and miles of beachside concrete, it's no wonder that one of the best routes to cycle in SoCal is The Strand. I was recommended this trail by Spinlister, an online bike rental site, who shared two options of the strand from Point Dume to Santa Monica, or Venice to Hermosa beach. Personally, I did the the ride from Santa Monica all the way to Hermosa Beach and back. The best thing about cycling this route is that it is really flexible, easy, and beautiful. It's one of the best ways to get a feel for an ocean breeze ride along the Pacific if you don't want to climb along beach cliffs.
    To characterize the Strand, there are many a miles of concrete for cyclists/skaters/skateboarders/runners to do their thing and you don't have to worry about any cars. In flexibility, you can start at Santa Monica and end in Redondo Beach, hopping on and off bike to get a feel for the numerous beaches you'll be riding through and a bite to eat. I have yet to ride beyond the Santa Monica Pier but the Marvin Braude Bike Trail (which is The Strand) does go all the way through to Will Rogers State Beach in the Pacific Palisades. The bike trail is a total of 22 miles one way, so this is the perfect all day ride going back and forth.

    Some stops of note:

    Redondo Beach Pier
    Hermosa Beach Pier
    Manhattan Beach Pier
    Dockweiler Beach
    Marina Del Rey
    Venice Boardwalk
    Santa Monica Pier
    Some things to expect on this trail: crowds, sand, and epic views. To start, the weekend bike warriors are in full speed along with touristy bike renters, you're bound to find congested trails from Santa Monica to Marina del Rey, but once you're past the marina in Playa del Rey, you'll find it less congested. 
    Sand. You will most likely have to deal with the moderate buildup of sand on the bike paths. I found that the further south you go, the more your likely to find more sand build up. This can be an obstacle depending on your tires and speed, as it will surely slow you down.

    If riding along sandy trails and crowds don't bother you then the benefits of riding The Strand will far outweigh the cons. After all, this is some of the best views and stretches of of LA's finest beaches. From Santa Monica's family friendly routes to Venice beaches quirky characters, there is so much sun and sand to soak in on a coastal ride here.

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