Posted by: robinson2000 | September 28, 2010

The Ride Through LA

20th September

Nothing like a “Grand Slam” Denny’s breakfast consisting of 6 pancakes and 2 sausages for $6 to stoke up the fire for the day. We left our motel room early and headed out in the morning sun towards LA. The first part of the ride was into a tough headwind but after 10 miles we turned onto a road that ran right along the beachfront and the wind pushed us along at a constant 20 mph. We headed towards Malibu, famous for being the home to lots of movie stars and surgically enhanced people and on the way spotted a school of dolphins frolicking in the waves. Malibu stretched over 27 miles with lots of stunning beaches and overly priced food markets. The riding was quite easy and soon we were riding along a cycle path that went straight through the beach. The only downside to this was the amount of sand that had blown onto the path which caused our bikes to slide all over the place around corners and clog up our chains with grit. The speed limit on the path was 8 mph so we charged along at 16 mph and by 5 pm we were cycling through the famous Venice Beach. My first reaction to Venice Beach was the huge number of homeless people littered along the sands and the distinct smell of cannabis in the air. We rode through at a leisurely pace but missed Muscle Beach where weightlifters go to workout in the open air. After 62 miles we called it a day and rode a couple of blocks away from the coast to find a motel. We’d been warned about the traffic and the LA attitude towards cyclist before the trip and they weren’t wrong. After 15 minutes of fighting through the aggressive drivers we found a cheap motel in a slightly rough part of town but it didn’t matter. Tired and exhausted we ordered a pizza and watched a film in front of the TV for the night. 

21st September

The book described today as being an incredibly difficult day of riding including heavy traffic, poorly sign posted intersections, roads full of potholes and broken glass, and truly foul air which left us with an uneasy feeling as we woke up.We set off early to avoid some of the traffic and found ourselves back on the beachside bike path crawling along at an agonizingly slow speed as it twisted and turned around the beaches. After cycling quite close to a couple of LAX’s runways we left the bike path and took our chances on some LA’s main roads. In all honesty the roads weren’t anywhere near as bad as how the book had described them and our main issue was getting past some of the run down area’s that it guided us through. By 6.30pm we finally reached our destination of Dana Point camp site after 76 miles of riding. To end the ride we had to pitch our tent on what was essentially concrete which bent any of our remaining tent pegs. With true caveman style we bashed a couple of pegs in with rocks to get the tent erected. Only 2 more days to the border.

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