You know those folks who immediately want to run away from the scene when someone mentions ‘exercise’? Yep, that’s me.
I hate to workout. Put some music on, and I will dance like no one is watching. But drag me to the gym, and you may just be promoted to being my worst enemy.
Some of you know – We moved to LA about 6 months ago. This city, for some reason, is all about healthy living. It is not uncommon to see people in their gym-like attire everywhere. Malls, grocery stores, car wash stations, banks, breakfast spots, really…everywhere.
Just where I live, there are three yoga studios, two Pilates studios, couple Circuit/indoor cycling spaces and at least 6 lap-pools, and a few big gymnasiums. People are really into it.
A few months ago, a few family members came over from Victoria, Canada and we decided to go to the beach. Hanging out at the beach, listening to the ocean, feeling that cool breeze and sipping grown-up drinks seemed like my kind of thing to do, so I went along with the plan.
Well. Lo and behold. The rest of the gang, including my dear Mr. Kapoor had a different plan. Biking on the beach…for the WHOLE DAY!
Most days, I am not a spoil sport so I said yes. We started at Venice Beach and went all the way down to Manhattan Beach. Then, we turned around and went back to our starting point in Venice. We had some ice-cream and then went all the way down to Santa Monica Beach, in the opposite direction, and back to Venice. 20 miles of biking.
I don’t think I have ever done 20 miles on a bike. One with fancy gears I din’t know how to use. I was sore for a few days but I have to admit, it was fun.
Have a look at that map above. LA has gotten it right for sure. They have a separate bike lane on the beach. This is a very well-planned route. Breaks along the way, bathrooms around the way, different lane for pedestrians, crosswalks for pedestrians, bike racks to park your bikes if you decide to get a quick bite to eat, to check out hot guys and chicks working out at the famous Muscle Beach , to enjoy the Santa Monica rings, the Venice Skate Park or Board Walk.
Not to mention the amazing beach and the majestic Pacific Ocean.
Yes, I was sold.
My first LA bike experience was actually so fun that I convinced my husband to do this often. Now, we have practically put this in our weekend routine. We don’t obviously go the whole day – we make it into a two-hour, once-a-week activity. Our daughter still needs her training wheels so we get a tug-a-bug trailer instead that we can attach to an adult bike. This way, she doesn’t slow us down.
This 2-hour routine, at about 8 mph, helps me lose around 400 calories. More than the calorie loss, I think this is a great exercise and beats going to the gym.
If you rent two bikes, one with the tug-a-bug at a bike shops at the beach, it costs about $40 for two hours. In the past, we have rented from Hermosa Cyclery at Hermosa Beach, from Perry’s Rentals at Venice Beach, and Santa Monica Beach Bicycle Rentals in Santa Monica. All great!
If you make this into a routine, it may make sense to buy a regular bike.
You may also want to get yourself a bike rack. There are two kinds – a hitch and a carrier-of-sorts. A hitch may need installation and the carrier is easy to fix and does not need installation. This article is fairly recent and might help you make a decision. Most reviews suggest that the Saris Bones 3-bike Car Rack or the Saris Bones 2-bike Car Rack are your best bets.
SO. When in LA, bike. I promise you won’t regret it.