One of my favorite things to do in Southern California is ride along the coast. With the Pacific ocean in view, the sun shining, and miles of beachside concrete, it's no wonder that one of the best routes to cycle in SoCal is The Strand. I was recommended this trail by Spinlister, an online bike rental site, who shared two options of the strand from Point Dume to Santa Monica, or Venice to Hermosa beach. Personally, I did the the ride from Santa Monica all the way to Hermosa Beach and back. The best thing about cycling this route is that it is really flexible, easy, and beautiful. It's one of the best ways to get a feel for an ocean breeze ride along the Pacific if you don't want to climb along beach cliffs.
Some stops of note:
Redondo Beach Pier
Marina Del Rey
Santa Monica Pier
Some things to expect on this trail: crowds, sand, and epic views. To start, the weekend bike warriors are in full speed along with touristy bike renters, you're bound to find congested trails from Santa Monica to Marina del Rey, but once you're past the marina in Playa del Rey, you'll find it less congested.
Sand. You will most likely have to deal with the moderate buildup of sand on the bike paths. I found that the further south you go, the more your likely to find more sand build up. This can be an obstacle depending on your tires and speed, as it will surely slow you down.
If riding along sandy trails and crowds don't bother you then the benefits of riding The Strand will far outweigh the cons. After all, this is some of the best views and stretches of of LA's finest beaches. From Santa Monica's family friendly routes to Venice beaches quirky characters, there is so much sun and sand to soak in on a coastal ride here.