We enjoyed a warm, sunny Sunday bike ride along the Venice and Santa Monica Beach bike path. It did take us a little over an hour to get there because we hit heavy traffic along the way and at one point when our GPS, Holly, was directing us to turn off the 405 and onto I-10 we were treated to a roadside sign telling us that I-10 was JAMMED! Fortunately Holly gave us an alternate route so we were able to avoid that mess. The next problem we ran into was finding parking in Venice. There were many lots with available spaces but they wouldn’t take a truck, but again luck was with us and we found an underground lot right at the beach and $5.00 cheaper than the other lots. We forked over our $15.00 for the day, unloaded the bikes and headed off to the beach.
We did about 10m, 16k, of the bike path, which is 22m, 35k, long in total. We road from the Venice Pier, past the Santa Monica Pier, and down towards Pacific Palisades. Our ride was on a dedicated, paved, bike path but you did have to be careful of people crossing to the beach and sand that had blown onto the path, but it was worth it as the views were great!
After turning around and heading back toward Venice we decided to park our bikes and check out the Santa Monica Pier.
In 1909 the City of Santa Monica built a 1600 foot pier in order to run a pipeline out into the ocean so that they could dispose of their sewage … Yuck! Fortunately they discontinued that practice in the 1920s 🙂 During 1915-1916 a second pier was added to the south side in order to build an amusement park.
During the depression the amusement park was closed and in 1983 a severe storm demolished over one third of the pier. In 1987 construction begun to repair the pier and in 1990 the pier was reopened. In 1996 the new amusement park opened and from what we saw it is still a very popular place.
In 1926, Route 66 was created as a link between Chicago and Los Angeles. In total it was over 2,400 miles and through out our travels we have come across various sections of it. Why am I telling you this? Have I lost my train of thought and move onto a whole new blog? Nope … we saw the end of Route 66 when we entered the pier.
While there are many theories on were Route 66 ends on November 11, 2009, the Santa Monica Pier was designated as the official Western Terminus of Route 66 by the Route 66 Alliance.
After all this history we felt we had to at least have a drink on the pier so we stopped at Mariasol and had a Margarita while sitting at the bar 🙂
By the time we left the pier the beaches were filling up and the bike path was getting very busy so we headed back to the truck and made our way back to the RV Park.
I’m glad we did this excursion but I’m not sure I would do it again. The street along Venice Beach wasn’t anything like what I had seen on TV, it seemed much more run down with lot’s of street venders and tattoo parlors … and the smell of pot was very strong as we road past the grassy (no pun intended :-)) areas. Still I’m happy that we road the bike path and next time I would like to head further south through Marina Del Rey down to Torrance County Beach.
This brings our week in the LA area to an end and hubby and I are both thankful that our upcoming travels will take us far away from the LA traffic … I honestly don’t know how people do that everyday!
Until next time …