An Afternoon Bike Ride in Marina del Rey

Jul 06, 2010 by Lisa Newton

I love to mix it up and do several recreational activities all in one afternoon. Call it a bit weird, but I’m of the school of “Work Hard-Play Hard,” so when I have the chance, I make the best use of my time to do either with a frequency, intensity, and duration that’s appropriate for my mood.

So this past Sunday was my “Play Hard” day where I combined several different activities in one action packed afternoon of fun; I got my bike out and took the perfect Southern California bike ride at Marina del Rey.

My chosen route consisted of a scenic 5 miles, so it’s great for new riders who might be a little nervous about riding a long distance. Plus, for those riders who are a little nervous about street riding, it includes super-wide street portions, providing essentially an entire lane to yourself.

If you want to make this route a tougher weekend warrior workout, the second beauty of this ride is that it passes through a park with a fitness course. So you can combine bike riding with some cross training. Be careful to not push yourself too hard as soreness can hasten sports injuries.

A 5 mile ride really encompasses an entire afternoon if you pack a picnic lunch, incorporate a cross training workout, and/or include time for hanging out for some serious sightseeing.

Let’s retrace my Sunday:

My starting and ending point for this ride is the small park at the end of Via Marina Street (see the map below). It’s a great spot to watch the boats go in and out of the Marina. There’s something soothing about watching the boats in the shining and aquatinted water. You can also catch a few rays, or walk to the end of the breaker.

As you ride up Via Marina, which includes a lane basically entirely unused by the cars, cyclists feel safe and secure. The harbor is on your right, so as you ride, you’ll get to check out all the boats in the queue waiting to be taken out on their next ride. Soon, you’ll approach a major intersection.  That’s Admiralty Way, so turn right.

Here the street gets a little narrower but there’s still plenty of room for bikers.  As you round the little bend in the road, you’ll see the Yvonne B. Burke Park, off to your left. Cross the street at the crosswalk, and from here, you’ll meet the Marvin Braude Beach Bikeway.

As you can see, paralleling the bike path is a jogging trail with an accompanying fitness course. As I mentioned above, here you can choose to have a more intense workout. There’s nothing better than enjoying the cool ocean breeze while working up a sweat and getting your body and muscles moving.

Because we’ve joined the popular Marvin Braude Beach Bikeway, a lot of other bicyclists are around. Being a bit of a bike enthusiast, I enjoy checking out what the other guy—or girl—is riding. In front of the Lloyd W. Taber Library, we’ll be crossing the street again.

From here, the bike path twists and turns through a parking lot, but with the Marina so close it doesn’t take too long before you’ll find yourself back on the street again, but this time, there’s a marked bike path. From this point you’ll be riding single file along Fiji Way, but if you’re hungry and didn’t pack a picnic, the local’s hangout, Fisherman’s Village, is just off to your right.

Continuing on the bike path, you’ll get to the end of Fiji Way where the Bikeway meets the Ballona Creek Bike Path. From there, you can continue on the Marvin Braude Beach Bikeway all the way down to Torrance.

But, if you’re only here for the afternoon, and if you have your picnic ready, then going to the Burton W. Chace Park is the best and easiest place to go.

Once you’re round the bend at the end of Fiji Way, you’ll be retracing the route.

Following the bike path further along, within a few minutes you’ll reach Mindanao Street. Here, instead of continuing on the bike path, make a left turn and head down the street. Ahead is a beautiful, quiet park with grassy slopes, and the perfect place for relaxing or having a picnic lunch.

After lunch, I got back on the bike path to return the same way I came, but today, I had something different in mind.

You see, Burton Chace Park is one of the stops on the Marina del Rey WaterBus route, (I’ll be writing more in depth about this later during the week), so for $1.00, I’m hopped onto the Water Bus boat that will take me back to the other side of the harbor, where I’m going to get back on my bike and ride back to my starting point.

I can’t think of a better ending to my bike ride than a boat ride, especially one that welcomes bike riders.

For a different view of the harbor, take the WaterBus ride before stopping off at the Marina Harbor stop, which is at Tahiti Way. Now, I’m only a few minutes from where my short ride started. If you’re looking for a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, try the same bike ride in Marina del Rey.

Here’s a map to help get you started and to replicate the above ride:

View Marina del Rey Bike Ride in a larger map

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Biking, Family, Maps, Marina Del Rey, Recreation, SoCal

4 Responses to “An Afternoon Bike Ride in Marina del Rey”

  1. Ebie says:

    Hi Lisa, a group of us around 20, were at the fisherman’s wharf by the light house last Sunday. We did walk all the way to the other end of the Ballona bike path almost across from the barge (fireworks) It was fun and it was also my first time to visit MDR.

    I would like to explore your Sunday’s bike route. I hope to post some photos.

    P.S. I love your new blog design! And I have a new blog too.
    Ebie´s last blog ..Have a Safe and Happy 4th- My ComLuv Profile


    Lisa Newton Reply:

    @Ebie, I can hardly wait to see the photos. It’s a great little bike route; especially on a lazy weekend afternoon.


  2. O. Bisogno Scotti says:

    That’s one of my favorite bike rides. Nothing like riding at the beach! I also kayak at the Marina. Starting at the children’s beach, I paddle to the breakwater, make a right or a left and keep going till I get tired. Plenty of sea lions and dolphins to play with out there too.


    Lisa Newton Reply:

    @O. Bisogno Scotti, I was surprised when I saw a sea lion just relaxing next to one of the boats in the Marina. I had no idea they were so close.


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