So this has been a regular occurrence for the past few months. It starts with an early morning wake up, a thirty minute getting ready session, (to achieve this takes some preparation from the night before – knowing what I’m wearing helps the process!) a quick stop at Starbucks for our fave coffees for the journey and we hit the road. The weather here in Los Angeles has been pretty gorgeous so what better way to spend a day off than bicycling along the beach path from Santa Monica to Venice. The views are not only beautiful but also interesting, to say the least… there are all sorts of characters roaming the dusty pathways.
Once we arrive in Santa Monica, we park the car and take a leisurely walk to the beach front, through the throng of people milling around 3rd Street Promenade and those heading to the pier. The weekend is usually heaving but so worth it to feel the wind through your hair once your feet hit those pedals. Especially if the sun is a scorcher on that day!
We hire our bikes from the beach front, there are various places to hire them and they all range from around $7 an hour or $20 for the day. The beach is so beautiful, with pale sand that stretches far and wide… till you catch a glimpse of the sea in the distance. People walking up and down the beach front, the strong scent of tropical suntan lotion fills the air in bouts as you ride past batches of people enjoying the vibe and scenery, playing a spot of volleyball or just kicking back with friends and family.
It’s definitely the time to slather on the sunscreen though, with the wind, it’s very deceiving as to how much sun you’re actually getting and it’s always better to protect your skin. I slap it on at the start and then make a couple of pit-stops whilst riding to apply more if necessary, paying close attention to my forehead, nose, backs of hands and shoulders.
We stop for lunch at one of the cute beach cafes where our feet can nestle in the sand as we watch the day go by under a brightly coloured umbrella. We listen to Frank Sinatra or some other kind of relaxing tunes from the outdoor speakers scattered about the place. After a bit we decide to go further down the beach, heading towards Venice, you can kind of tell – even though there are no signs to say you’ve actually arrived there – that you’ve arrived! The skateboarders, artists, rollerbladers, street vendors, blaring music, dancing skaters, muscle beach goers, tourists and the grubby guy sitting on the floor holding a sign saying “not gonna lie, need money for beer”, all give it away! It’s truly an eclectic place.
We stop at one of the ice cream parlours for dessert and then head back up the path to Santa Monica when we’ve finished moseying around for a while, taking it all in.
It’s definitely something different to do for a day not to mention fun! Before we’d decided to go these little bike riding adventures, each time discovering some place new, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been on a bike so I was a little nervous. Especially since the first bike we’d hired didn’t have traditional handlebar breaks but the breaks that were in the pedals, which took some getting used to but as the saying goes “it was like riding a bike”, literally!
I’ve been hooked on spending days like this ever since, away from the computer, away from the tv and getting out and about. And I plan on doing it a lot more. You should try it if you haven’t. It’s so much fun.