Dolly's Bike Blog

Musings about fun between my legs

Hermosa Beach to Laguna Beach 10/23/17


After a delightful breakfast with college friend Jack Yellin in Westchester,  Don drove me back to Hermosa Beach to continue my journey.

I was immediately in Redondo Beach, along CA 1, before turning east through Torrance and Carson, definitely urban biking.  Even though it was after 9 am, there was plenty of traffic and stop lights for the next 15 miles.  I passed hospitals, small shops, vegetable fields, and oil refineries along the route.  Sometimes there was a bike lane, other times just a wide enough street for 2 cars traveling, one car parked and me.  I was only honked at once when I was forced to take the lane; even the trucks around the refineries gave me a wide berth.

Eventually, I crossed the Los Angeles River and joined the bike path.  That too was a different scene: a good number of homeless hovels, and few vagrants, and not many bikers.  I just kept moving without any incident.

The Los Angeles River bike path took me to the Long Beach Shoreline bike path.  I enjoyed the route around Shoreline Village, though it was quiet, in contrast to the beach activity I experienced yesterday.

I ate lunch in the Belmont Village area south of Long Beach then continued along San Pedro Bay before crossing Alamitos Bay, and briefly meeting up with Don in Naples.  Crossing the San Gabriel River, I was cycling on CA 1 until the cues (Ride with GPS) took me onto the Huntington Beach bike trail.  This was a path parallel to CA 1 along the oceanfront, then through the parking lots of Bolsa Chica State Beach and Huntington Beach State Park, close to 10 miles off the busy road.  In Newport Beach, I rejoined CA 1 with a bike lane and signs indicating that it was acceptable to ride on the sidewalks.  I was briefly tempted to dolly-gag to Balboa Island where we had lived for 4 months when I was in 8th grade, but decided that traffic would only be increasing, as was the heat, so I continued on.

A local rider helped me detour around the congestion of Corona Del Mar, Don brought me Starbuck’s lemonade and tea and I finished along CA 1 into Laguna Beach, even climbing up the hill to our hosts, Jan & Ken Kaplan.  Jan was my college roommate and their home above Laguna Beach is always a special treat for us land-locked Midwesterners.

The temperature was close to 90 degrees this afternoon, but the sea breezes kept me cool, and I concentrated on staying hydrated.  Cooled off after my ride with another ocean plunge.

Garmin:  51.37 miles, 11.84 mph, 1683.1 ascent


Ventura to Hermosa Beach


Long day, great day, short write-up.

Started early this morning as we discovered that the Ventura Marathon/Half Marathon/5K course was going to block streets on my way out of town.  So I got to enjoy sunrise over Oxnard.

At mile 20, I joined CA 1, with a plenty wide shoulder and lots of traffic – perfect beach day.  At mile 36, I saw the sign for Malibu, followed by another sign indicating 21 miles of scenic coastline.  For the first 10 of those miles, there were intermittent fancy homes along the coast and the city didn’t really come into view until close to mile 50, when Don and I met up of a quick lunch.

Close to Santa Monica, I joined a beach path, which was basically my route for the remainder of the miles past Will Rogers State Park (I think we used to go there when I was in college), past the Santa Monica Pier, past Venice Beach, to Marina del Rey.

Don met me there at close to 70 miles, and I was game to continue, finally ending in Hermosa Beach with a most pleasant plunge into the Pacific Ocean (biking clothes but no IPhone).

We are staying tonight with Pam & Willie Hodges near LAX – he and Don were Sigma Nu fraternity brothers at Vanderbilt many years ago….

Garmin:  80.22 miles, 12.02 mph, 2,962.6 ft ascent


Lompoc to Ventura 10/20/17


So. yes, it is 10/21/17 and I didn’t write last night:  86 miles, reunion with Don, farewell to biking friends, I was tired.

Now, after an hour-long massage, I’m ready.

When I awoke yesterday, it was drizzling and I had a sense of dread:  long ride in the rain.  But the “weather gods” smiled down, and by the time I started biking at 7:30 am, it was no longer raining.  The roads were wet but not a lot of puddles.

After we cycled out of Lompoc, we were quickly on SR 1 and a 15-mile gentle climb over the coastal foothills.  At times, the clouds looked threatening, but no more rain.

At mile 20 we merged onto US 101 and a 2+ mile steep downhill.  The sun appeared as did the ocean and numerous oil platforms.  As we approached Goleta and Santa Barbara, we were off the highway and onto bike paths.  It was a bit of an adventure winding our way through the UCSB campus – lots of bicycles and students walking every which way.

We joined the Coastal Route bike path, transitioned to the Obern Trail, and ended up at the Santa Barbara waterfront.  I biked to the end of the wharf and enjoyed the sea breezes and a Diet Coke.

Again bike paths through Summerland and Carpenteria, before we had to get back on US 101 for 1/2 mile.  The bike paths along the coast were wonderful, and there were numerous state beaches where campers could book a space for 2-3 days and they provided a bit of a wind block.  I should add that we enjoyed a 15-20 mile tailwind for most of the miles along the coast.

Arrived in Ventura just before 4 pm, even beat Don who had played golf in Santa Barbara during the day, then got caught in traffic on US 101.

Closing dinner at Cafe Fiore to say goodbye to a great group of fellow cyclists.

Garmin:  86.90 miles, 13.05 mph, 3786 ft ascent.    Total tour mileage:  1499.73 miles.


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