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Need some nice ride rec's in LA area...(10 posts)

Need some nice ride rec's in LA area...rwbadley
Apr 16, 2003 2:45 PM
My son and I are going to the LA area for a few days. We plan on taking the bikes and do a little camping. We're looking for some good road/trail rides in the areas just Northwest of the City. We will probably hit the coast from LA to Paso Robles or so.

Any suggestions? Thanks,

Ventura's got (at least) a couple decent ridesThe Walrus
Apr 16, 2003 9:05 PM
Exit Highway 101 at Seaward, drive 2 blocks toward the ocean, turn right on Pierpont and head about .5 mi to San Pedro. I usually turn left here on San Pedro and find a place to park because I'm too cheap to pay for parking at the beach, but you might lack my scruples; if so, skip the turn and go straight ahead into San Buenaventura State Beach.

Get on the bike path at the edge of the parking lot, heading northwest. You'll parallel the beach, going under the Ventura Pier, along the Promenade past the Holiday Inn, up along Surfers Point with the County Fairgrounds to your right, and then you'll swing north at the Ventura River. About .5 miles after you turn inland you'll reach Main St., and you have to make a choice. Turn left and go over the bridge and you can follow the bike path along the coast at Emma Wood State Beach for about 4 miles. The path ends where it intersects Rincon Parkway. It's possible to continue up the coast on the parkway; it's pretty flat and the shoulder of the road is pretty generous, but you'll probably have a stiff headwind on the outward leg. If the weather's good, you'll have some good ocean views, including the Channel Islands. There are also several parks that allow camping (Hobson County Park, Rincon Parkway Campground and Faria County Park), as does Emma Wood State Beach. I'm guessing it's 10 miles up to Sea Cliff from the Ventura River; about .75 mi after you pass the freeway interchange and the fire station the road will come to an end, but it's possible to go under the freeway out to the beach. Return the way you came.

O.K., now if your choice was to turn right instead of left at Main St, go under the freeway to Olive St (about 2 blks), and turn north. Go another couple blocks to Rex St (just beyond the freeway ramp), turn left and you'll see the entrance to the bike path where the street curves. You can follow this about 15 miles to Ojai, a pleasant, artsy-craftsy, New Age-y sort of town, or you can stop about halfway at Foster County Park. That first half is pretty flat, but the scenery's not riveting; the bike path passes through oil fields a lot of the way, but it's still O.K. The stretch from Foster Park to Ojai has some climbing, but it's mostly mild, since the route follows the old Southern Pacific spur up the valley. This is a beautiful ride, on a bike path that's completely separate from traffic, except for street crossings, and it terminates at Libbey Park in Ojai, a block from the heart of town. It should still be pretty green, the river's running (trust me, this is rare) and you'll be going through lots of pastureland and oak savannahs, with the TopaTopa mountains as a backdrop.

You don't say how old/experienced your son is, but these rides should be doable by a teenager.
I love that rideAmbishawn
Apr 17, 2003 7:00 PM
I used to do that ride with My MTN bike with slicks. I would combine both rides together. I would start at the Marriot hotel parking lot on Harbor across from INandOUT. I would ride up to Mussle Sholes (where the pier goes out to that island)turn around go back to main street along the coast then up the path to Oahi. Sometimes I would ride up to the Brocalli Italian resterant making this 60 mile and a few tenths. I found out recently that the path along the ocean continues on the FWY for another 8 Miles one way making that into a possible nice 76 mile ride.

I havent ridden that ride since I've built up My Crown Jewel but plan on doing it soon. Actually this ride is the one that transformed me from MTN biker to road biker.
No reason to stop with just those extra 8 miles...The Walrus
Apr 18, 2003 5:57 PM
...after Mussel Shoals--ride up 101 past La Conchita to the county line into Carpinteria, and keep going up through Summerland and Montecito into Santa Barbara.

...or, since I'm always looking for excuses to ride the train, I get on Amtrak in Oxnard and ride up to Santa Barbara, grab a cinnamon roll and some coffee at that place on Cabrillo by Stearns Wharf, and then ride back down to Oxnard. A cushy ride up, and a tailwind all the way back...
...The Ojai ValleyThe Walrus
Apr 16, 2003 9:14 PM
The town of Ojai would be about at the middle left of this shot, but this gives an idea of what the area looks like. Incidentally, for you old movie buffs, this doubled as Shangri-La in "Lost Horizons"...
Pretty! Thanks for the tip, we'll check it out...nmrwbadley
Apr 17, 2003 6:59 AM
...along the wayThe Walrus
Apr 16, 2003 9:29 PM
This is looking up the coast where you turn inland at the Ventura River; that's Emma Wood State Beach just across the river (yeah, that's what passes for a river in SoCal....)
...on the RinconThe Walrus
Apr 16, 2003 9:37 PM
This is along the Rincon Parkway, about .75 mi beyond the end of the bike path.

Forgot to mention in the first post that if you're a fan of Patagonia outdoor wear, their headquarters and outlet store are in Ventura, on Garden St south of Main St (1 blk east of Olive St), for whatever that's worth.
Ventura Lake Casitas LoopGregJ
Apr 17, 2003 7:24 AM
These guys have given you some good ride options. I would suggest from Ventura head up the valley toward Ojai as described but then go to Lake Casitas. From there you can find Highway 150 (nice long steady climbs) and take that to 101 and head South on the freeway for a few miles, get off at Seacliff and then back to Ventura as described, I think this would be about a 40 mile loop. Santa Barbara has tons of nice rides as does the Paso Robles area and Santa Ynez valley. I would be happy to meet you for coffee in Santa Barbara if you like and if I have time I could take you out for a spin.
That sound like a good one too.mnAmbishawn
Apr 17, 2003 7:07 PM