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A Bike Ride to the Ocean

A cruise to Santa Monica with two youngsters yields important life lessons.

My family loves our new home. Facing south towards Pico Boulevard, it's situated in such a way that we get a nice, ocean-like breeze and rarely need air conditioning. Sometimes a seagull flies by our window, which got me thinking: How far is Santa Monica exactly if I take Pico all the way? I MapQuested the route and found that it's 6.9 miles.

I decided that a cruise to the beach with my kids on our new bikes would be a fun excursion. We went straight down Pico and stayed on the sidewalks until we got to Santa Monica, which has bike lanes.

On the way, I learned a few things:

  • Everyone loves kids on bikes on sidewalks.
  • Everyone hates adults on bikes on sidewalks.
  • Pulling your 9 year old and a 20-pound bike out of a manhole is not as hard as it looks.
  • If you buy your bicycles at Toys "R" Us, take them to a mechanic before the long journey.
  • To appease a crying child, desperate mothers can fix anything with their bare hands, including greasy chains and faulty brake pads.
  • Get your French manicure after the bike ride.
  • Jelly beans make tears go away.
  • “Beep-Beep!” is the better than “On your left!”
  • Never say “just a bike ride away. … ”
  • Note to self: The Big Blue Bus has a bike rack and air-conditioning.
  • If you are over 40 and trailing, jumping off the curb is not a good idea.
  • If you are going to fall off your bike, avoid the cactus bed.

When we saw the ocean, it changed our mood immediately. We went to the Santa Monica Pier, visited the Third Street Promenade and got a slice of N.Y. pizza. When we headed back home, we took Olympic Boulevard. Coming up the hill past the Ralphs in Century City was the last worst leg. Then it was downhill, past and .

A feeling of accomplishment. Home sweet home.

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Mark Elliot September 04, 2011 at 08:58 PM
This is a terrific start to a prep list for the would-be Westside recreational cyclist, Maureen. Thanks for sharing your the hard-won fruit of your experience making the trip to Santa Monica. Let me attest from personal experience: the BH-SM journey may seem arduous at first, but once you find a comfortable route, it gets better and better. I make the round trip 4-5 times/wk, and I have it down to 35 minutes from my door in the center of town to Ocean. And yes, once in SM, isn't it a relief to have the bike lanes! That city is really moving forward to become a truly ped- and bike-friendly city-by-the-sea. Here in Beverly Hills we're working on it too. Our motto is racks, routes, plans, and programs. Have a look at our site: http://betterbike.org Consider penning an article about what you've learned and how our city can better accommodate you and your kids safely. We'll welcome your input! Mark Elliot, Organizer Better Bike & the Bike Beverly Hills campaign
nano karmanto January 02, 2012 at 05:38 AM
nice to meet you
nano karmanto January 02, 2012 at 05:39 AM
good luck my friend and happy new year

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