At the start of the Marina del Rey segment of the path
Attractive beachfront house
The bikes only path
The Marvin Braude ( a Los Angeles city councilman for 32 years) Bicycle Path is a jewel of a path running along the Pacific Ocean for 22 miles. The pavement in most sections of the path is smooth and makes for an easy ride; in fact a good part of it is concrete. We did the path in three segments over as many days.
The first day I rode alone, starting out from our hotel, the Marriott in Marina del Rey, where my husband was attending a seminar. I rode down Waahington Ave. toward the ocean and found the path on the right just before reaching the beach. In Marina del Rey, the houses facing the beach were attractive; the landscaping was pretty with lots of grass and palm trees, which somehow seem appropriate in southern California, but always seem out of place to me in northern California.
I had always heard about Venice and I expected a hippie sort of area, but as I entered the Venice section of the path, I found the whole atmosphere changed. The buildings were covered in graffiti, and there were homeless people everywhere with their untidy piles of possessions, some asleep and others just wandering around, many alone but a few in groups. Since I was riding alone, I found the entire scene unnerving, and I did consider turning around. But I wanted to ride up to Santa Monica to see the famous pier, so I kept going. No one approached me, and there were a few others riding on the path, which gave me some reassurance.
When I crossed into the city of Santa Monica, again the entire ambiance changed, this time for the better. The landscaping was well maintained, and the people looked more like folks enjoying the outdoors and the beauty of the ocean. Just before the Santa Monica Pier, there is a playground for adults, something I consider a good idea. Surely exercising in the out-of-doors in more appealing than exercising in a stuffy gym.
The playground for adults
The Santa Monica Pier
An elegant hotel on the Santa Monica beach front
I rode under the Santa Monica Pier through a rather dark, rough surfaced tunnel. A bit north of the pier I decide to turn around. I briefly considered riding city streets back to avoid Venice, but I decide to return the way that I had come, along the beach. Coming back was not too bad because it was later in the morning, and there were more people about.
After a brief stop at the hotel, I headed east on Washington Ave. to find the Marvin Braude Path in the other direction because I wanted to visit the Waterside Shopping Center. The path was well marked to the right off of Washington, and while the surface was a bit rough, the beginning of that segment of the path runs through a pretty area to come out along one of Marina del Rey’s main streets, Admiralty Way. On this particular day, the main path was replaced by a detour through some parking lots, a rather unusual ride. However, I soon found the shopping center and after a couple of hours browsing and eating lunch, I returned to the hotel for a well-deserved swim following my enlightening southern California day.