Blue Water Rides: Carpinteria, California to Downtown Los Angeles, California via PCH
It is with great excitement that I am able to bring you a new series of blog posts! This series will be a collection of cycling routes which I have personally ridden and investigated. My aim is to provide insight and inspiration for you to get out and enjoy a ride along these routes or to create your own perfect ride. As always, I am open to new ideas and suggestions. If you have a ride you'd like me to check out and include in this series, feel free to send an email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Amtrak from DTLA to Carpinteria, California then bike back to DTLA
One of the best things about this ride is actually getting to the starting point of Carpinteria, California. Of course, you could ask someone to get up at the crack of dawn to drive you there and drop you off (100 mile drive one way from LA). OR you could simply go to the nearest Amtrak station and take the smooth and relaxing ride from LA north to Carpinteria! This is what I did and highly recommend it. It is a great change of pace to avoid all traffic while sipping some coffee and soaking up the views along the way. There are a few trains leaving each morning with the earliest on a Saturday at 7:50 AM. Click here for the link to the Amtrak schedule.
Below is a map of the route I chose for reference.
As you can see from the map, the total miles from Carpinteria to Downtown LA is just over 100. Alternatively, if you are interested in a somewhat shorter ride, you could easily get off the train in Oxnard and ride from there. It is a very straight-forward route once you begin. Simply keep the vast Pacific Ocean generally toward your right side, and you'll be in good shape. Additionally, there are clearly designated Pacific Coast Bike Route signs guiding you whenever necessary such as going through Ventura.
The road conditions are generally very good the entire way. As always with road cycling, caution and awareness are important for your safety. On a busy summer Saturday as you travel further south, the amount of traffic increases significantly. Particularly, the stretch south of Malibu toward Santa Monica is where I would advise the most caution regarding vehicles and traffic. There continues to be a good shoulder along the road and generally courteous drivers despite the heavy traffic.
Although this may seem like a long ride, it it most likely one of the easiest ways to surpass the 100 mile mark. This is primarily because there is usually a favorable wind direction, and it is generally fairly flat (just over 2000 feet of elevation gain). The icing on the cake for this glorious ride is the striking beauty everywhere you glance. Dolphins, mountains, beaches, quaint towns, countless surfers, and blue water as far as the eye can see were just a few of the sights I encountered along the way riding it last weekend. If you haven't yet done a century ride (ride greater than 100 miles), this could be a great way to accomplish that landmark making this route one that I would highly recommend.