By Jeffrey the Barak
You have seen it on TV and in countless movies. The twenty-six mile bike path along the coast in Santa Monica Bay is a place that many a kick scooter rider is longing to try out.
The bike path is quiet in some places and crowded in others, and some of it is really not the best place for a scooter, but nevertheless, the day you find yourself standing there with your scooter still sitting at home is a sad day indeed.
As we Kick Scooter riders know all too well, twenty-six miles is much too far for one day’s ride, and a fifty-two mile round trip would be beyond torture for me personally, so let’s break the path down into sections, to be enjoyed over the course of many visits.
Google Maps has an overlay view of the L.A. Beach Bike Path at this link:
Part One: Take your KickPed to The South Bay!
The Southern end of the L.A. Beach Bike Path is within the City of Torrance. At the intersection of Via Rivera and Paseo De La Playa are a pair of parking lots where you can grab your KickPed, or whichever scooter you are the proud and enthusiastic owner of, from the trunk of your car, and stroll, or ride your brake, down a short pathway to the beginning, or end of our legendary trail. There is a restroom here so you can be sure you are ready to concentrate on the scoot.
Here you will start to get used to fairly smooth concrete surrounded by yellow sand and the Pacific Ocean a few yards off to your left.
After three minutes or so you will have traversed from Torrance into the City of Redondo Beach. To your right will be a steep grassy bank. The constant ocean breeze rises up this bank, and on the street at the top there are quite often people with radio controlled gliders and various kites taking advantage of the updraft.
Fold up your kick scooter, or risk getting a ticket!
The bike path is virtually straight all the way from the Torrance end to Mile 2, Redondo Beach Pier, where it becomes complicated. When you get to the pier, you may as well dismount and fold it up, because that is the only way you can be guaranteed to get through this section without a ticket and a fine. You will soon be past the pier and able to scoot again. But it would be a shame not to take a break here and walk around the pier with scooter in hand.
North of the pier you will not have a beach on your left for a while as the bike path cuts through the Redondo Beach Marina and King Harbor. There are many restaurants in this area so if you are hungry you can carry your kick scooter to your table and get fueled.
KickPed along “The Strand.”
At Mile 3, Herondo Street the path takes a sharp left and right and then you once again down on the sand and free to ride. To your right will be the houses on “The Strand” and there will be beach volleyball nets to your left. And you will also be in your third city of the day, Hermosa Beach.
Here, as in Southern Redondo Beach, the path is straight. There is no room for pedestrians, but there will almost certainly be many, getting in the way, and despite your slow speed on your kick scooter, it will be the bicycles that hold you up as people stop to chat. This is no place for a race and it is best to get into the slow flow of things and not be in any hurry.
The next major landmark is Hermosa Beach Pier. Pier Avenue is a crowded, booze-happy place that spills across the bike path. You should always step off and pick up your kick scooter when you pass the pier.
I’ve passed this point on all manner of kick scooters, bicycles and skates over the years, but since I have had my KickPed scooter from NYCeWheels, I have found the easy folding aspect of the design makes a walking break very easy. No time is wasted with Ergo-pins, turning bolts etc. From riding to carrying folded, or vice-versa literally takes three seconds. The KickPed is ideal for alternating on and off kick scooter riding.
Continuing North on your Kick Scooter
Continuing North on your kick scooter, it is again a long, straight, beach level bike path, and by this time you will be hankering for some carving turns, But there are none this far South. At 35th Street there is another sharp right and left where it is best to walk. You will observe that cyclists seem to find this spot very annoying, but we scooter riders are usually in much less of a hurry and we don’t mind stepping down and taking our time.
This point between Mile 4 and Mile 5 also marks the approximate border between Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, our fourth city so far.
From here it is a short ride up to Manhattan Beach Pier, our third pier so far. This is a nice pier to walk along. It is slightly uphill towards the ocean end where there is a cafe, and also the Roundhouse Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, which is worth a visit. Heading back down the pier toward land it is slightly downhill. If you are sure you see no police and it is not too crowded, you can risk a free-coast back to shore.
The Southern section of the L.A. Beach Bike Path is not the part you see on the big screen or TV. There are more locals and fewer tourists. The vibe is not as frantic as it is in Venice and Santa Monica. But we will be covering those sections later, and they are great scoots!
5 1/2 miles on your Kick Scooter, not bad
So far we have ridden about five and a half miles, from the Torrance end to Manhattan Beach Pier, not counting walks along the piers etc. Add the five and a half miles back to the car and this is way beyond the recommended distance for a leisurely scoot. But if you are making a full day of it, perhaps eleven miles is something you could take on. If not, break this Southern section into two or three shorter visits, and take your time, enjoying the sights from the back of your favorite scooter, whether it be KickPed, Xootr, or Razor!
Jeffrey the Barak writes from Los Angeles, California.