Marvin Braude Bike Trail

Finally having a day free (not waiting for UPS/Fedex to show up), I took my bike down to the beach. LA is blessed with a beautiful coastline, and a 35km bike route starting at Will Roger’s beach, and ending at Torrance County Beach.

Often referred to as the Strand, it was officially renamed in 2006 for LA Councilman Marvin Braude.

The route is really great, comprising of a wide concrete path, right on the edge of the beach. In some sections you share the path with pedestrians, but for the most part it’s just for cyclists. There is one slight detour around Marina del Rey, a combination of on-road bike lanes and separate paths.

metro bike

metro bike

Not living by the beach, I opted to take the Metro to Santa Monica. I then rode north to the start of the trail, and all the way down to its end. For midday on a Thursday there were more people than I expected, but not crowded at all.

Start at the Will Rogers Beach

Start at the Will Rogers Beach

I did it in about 1hr25min on my mountain bike, but it would probably take longer if you just want to go for a relaxed ride (Google reckons 1hr45m).

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier


My detour in red

I also did a slight detour by Marina del Rey. You can see on the below map where I should have turned, but it’s not signposted, and if you don’t know there’s a turnoff you might miss it. I point it out in the video at the bottom as well. I only noticed when I ran out of bike lane though several hundred metres on.The trail can be unofficially continued through the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and then continued along to Long Beach. I opted to grab the Metro back home instead.

Trail End Beach View - Torrance Country

Trail End Beach View – Torrance Country

I did a GoPro compilation of many sections of the route which you can check out below.

Sani Pass – June 2015

panoramaLast weekend a friend and I spent some time with my family in Kokstad. While there we decided to take a trip up the Sani Pass, on mountain bikes. Sunday we headed out through Underberg and Himeville and on to the pass. The road to the South African border post was mostly good with a couple rough patches, and a bit of ground clearance would come in handy. That being said we saw a ford fiesta with 4 people that somehow managed to scrape its way to the border post.border postPassports are required, but it’s a quick stamp at the SA offices before you climb on your bike. The pass officially starts several kilometres earlier, but we decided to ride post to post. It was a long climb up. The route is only 8km, but you climb vertically from 1965m up to 2873m. A tough job for my sea-level accustomed lungs. It took us about 2hr15min to do the trip up, of which we were stationary for half an hour.up and upOnce up top we had a quick meal at the self-proclaimed ‘highest pub in Africa’, a glass of gluehwein to warm us up and a cup of coffee to sober us up for the trip down. It had snowed there several days prior, but most of the snow had already melted. Coming up the pass some sections which don’t get the sun were still iced over though. Only 4×4 vehicles are permitted to go up the pass, that doesn’t stop everyone though, and we saw some sliding fun by a RWD Ford Ranger on one particularly icy section.Frozen WaterfallThe trip down was a lot of fun. Definitely worth the tough climb, and I’d love to do it again. The first sections are particularly slow due to the ice. We also had a fair amount of traffic both ways, but it’s usually relatively easy to get past the vehicles. Especially on the way down they are driving much slower than a bike.High PubWhile there are a lot of rumours of tarring the route, tillĀ  now no work has taken place, nor any visible preparation. It’s gravel the whole way till you cross the Lesotho border, at which point you ride onto nice smooth asphalt.looking backMy full trip down can be seen below:


Medallion, Tour de Stellenbosch

Yesterday I took to the road once again, riding a ride I’ve probably ridden more times than I have the Argus, the Mushroom ride, or as it’s more officially known the Medallion Tour de Stellenbosch . I’ve also just realised that blogging from my phone isn’t as eaay as I’d hoped, thus the hanging link.

In any case, I always enjoy the ride, and yesterday was great besides one or two concerns. Firstly being the start time. The 100km started at 6.30, which is great. Then the short route started at 8, also fine. But only starting the medium (62km) ride at 8:30 is ridiculous. I, being unseeded, ended up only starting at 9, as its getting warm, and, slightly dishearteningly, as a large proportion of the long riders are returning.

The other issue being that as we arrive to start, we’re told our ride is being cut short by 5kms due to roadworks. How difficult would it have been to just add a small loop around there to keep the distance up. The roads outside of Stellenbosch wind and crisscross so often, they could easily have got around the roadworks.

I won’t even go into what the rides cost these days compared to a couple years back. I’m just glad i pre-entered and didn’t have to pay the effective R195 late entry fee.

This was also the first race that I rode without my transponder :) so it wasn’t even timed after all that.