Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Southern California
Reload this Page >

PCH north of Will Rodgers beach?

Notices
Southern California Southern California

PCH north of Will Rodgers beach?

Old 01-29-21, 11:47 PM
  #1  
ChrisAlbertson
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Southern California
Posts: 158

Bikes: 70's frame, newer parts

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 37 Times in 26 Posts
PCH north of Will Rodgers beach?

I'm a long time So Cal resident. I've been riding since the 70s but just last year getting back into it seriously again. At age 60+ I'm looking to do a ride I used to be able to do at age 18. I want to ride up Topanga Bl. from Redondo Beach then back.. I've done Redondo to Temescal Cyn and now it is easy for me. Topanga should be my next goal.

Questions
  • Is PCH North between Temescal (Will Rodger State Beach) and Topanga safe to ride? Is there even a shoulder to ride on? What about the same section going South?
  • Maybe there is a good bike route from Temescal ("Pali" High School) to Topanga that does not use PCH?
ChrisAlbertson is offline  
Old 01-30-21, 12:55 AM
  #2  
diphthong
Senior Member
 
diphthong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: insane diego, california
Posts: 7,963

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1526 Post(s)
Liked 2,731 Times in 1,497 Posts
i'm assuming you've ridden the bike path/parking lots north (and south) from chautauqua to temescal so you're familiar with the sheer volume of traffic
on pch north of the santa monica pier to ca hwy 27/topanga cyn. once you get bounced out of the parking lots/bike path heading north, shoulder
vacillates between wide and where did it go. also plenty of erosion materials and stuff you'd want to avoid riding over in said shoulder/edge of
lane for those few miles between chautauqua to topanga canyon heading northbound. southbound, it's more of a surfboards poking out/peds situation.
recommendation? go before 9am on a saturday or sunday and/or take a few fellow riders with blinkers. be aware that you may find it necessary to take
the lane here and there (applies to both sides). i wouldn't categorize it as "safe" by any stretch. that said...actually riding it tomorrow so i'll update here
since it's been two years since i last rode that stretch. i usually drive through this zone and start in point dume since it's less trafficked. regardless which
direction i'm headed, there's invariably at least one impatient speed racer automobile doing an aggressive bob and weave/slalom in that area.

not aware of some magical pch bypass thru that stretch without rerouting along the 405 corridor unless you're getting really dirty on the trails and/or have
access into gated estates/communities.

Last edited by diphthong; 01-30-21 at 01:01 AM.
diphthong is offline  
Likes For diphthong:
Old 01-30-21, 05:38 PM
  #3  
Eric F 
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 5,575

Bikes: 2019 Trek Procliber 9.9 SL, 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2017 Bear Big Rock 1, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3421 Post(s)
Liked 5,474 Times in 2,591 Posts
A buddy and I rode PCH, from Topanga to past the Ventura Co. Line and back, a couple of weeks ago. Other than a lot of cars going by you pretty fast, it was all very rideable. There were few sections where it was best to be single file, but most of the time we were 2-wide. We happened to pick a really windy day, which made it extra-painful, but it was still a pretty good ride.
__________________
"Swedish fish. They're protein shaped." - livedarklions
Eric F is offline  
Likes For Eric F:
Old 01-30-21, 10:17 PM
  #4  
diphthong
Senior Member
 
diphthong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: insane diego, california
Posts: 7,963

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1526 Post(s)
Liked 2,731 Times in 1,497 Posts
rode the pch stretch from tuna canyon to chautauqua today around 12:30pm-12:45pm. had to take the lane a few times due to bad parking jobs and the occasional surfboard
being loaded/unloaded into/from a car. busy traffic but motorists were respectful and we mostly rode the two foot zone of the line and 3/4 of a foot on either side of the line
(staying out of the door zone).

ime, it's easier to ride pch west of point dume (still some spots of bother here and there). if you're not comfortable occasionally taking the lane with traffic nearby,
and looking over your shoulder here and there, i would skip riding the malibu stretch of pch solo altogether.
diphthong is offline  
Likes For diphthong:
Old 01-30-21, 10:23 PM
  #5  
Eric F 
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 5,575

Bikes: 2019 Trek Procliber 9.9 SL, 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2017 Bear Big Rock 1, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3421 Post(s)
Liked 5,474 Times in 2,591 Posts
I definitely agree about riding in/with traffic. If you're not comfortable in that environment, this part of PCH is not for you.
__________________
"Swedish fish. They're protein shaped." - livedarklions
Eric F is offline  
Likes For Eric F:
Old 02-01-21, 03:38 PM
  #6  
Tycho Brahe 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Amateur Coachsurfer
Posts: 953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 240 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 63 Posts
Originally Posted by ooga-booga
rode the pch stretch from tuna canyon to chautauqua today around 12:30pm-12:45pm. had to take the lane a few times due to bad parking jobs and the occasional surfboard
being loaded/unloaded into/from a car. busy traffic but motorists were respectful and we mostly rode the two foot zone of the line and 3/4 of a foot on either side of the line
(staying out of the door zone).

ime, it's easier to ride pch west of point dume (still some spots of bother here and there). if you're not comfortable occasionally taking the lane with traffic nearby,
and looking over your shoulder here and there, i would skip riding the malibu stretch of pch solo altogether.
It was a weekend, but a non-hot Saturday. Surfers were out, but far fewer beach tourists. That stretch is far worse on nice days. Amazed we did not run into more double-parked cars. Plus, we did it southbound, which is better. Northbound with the hill/gravel on your right is far uglier.

There are worse stretches of road around, but this part is not my favorite.
Tycho Brahe is offline  
Likes For Tycho Brahe:
Old 02-01-21, 06:08 PM
  #7  
ChrisAlbertson
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Southern California
Posts: 158

Bikes: 70's frame, newer parts

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 37 Times in 26 Posts
Posts are confirming what I suspected. I'll wait until there is a group to ride with to go there.

I'm lucky to live in Redondo Beach. I can ride south to Palos Verdes which is an ideal place to ride, with many good hills, acceptable traffic and excellent smooth pavement.
ChrisAlbertson is offline  
Likes For ChrisAlbertson:
Old 02-01-21, 08:14 PM
  #8  
diphthong
Senior Member
 
diphthong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: insane diego, california
Posts: 7,963

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1526 Post(s)
Liked 2,731 Times in 1,497 Posts
Originally Posted by ChrisAlbertson
Posts are confirming what I suspected. I'll wait until there is a group to ride with to go there.


I'm lucky to live in Redondo Beach. I can ride south to Palos Verdes which is an ideal place to ride, with many good hills, acceptable traffic and excellent smooth pavement.

if you're willing, i'd recommend riding the pch stretch from point dume to just past point mugu and back. i find that the most scenic and less trafficked part anyway.
on the way to point mugu or on the way back, there is the climb of mulholland which is marked by caltrans as "closed" but it isn't and is really low traffic and not that
difficult of a climb. if you can handle the various palos verdes climbs of zurita, colonel, zumaya, hawthorne, via del monte, etc...you can handle mully.
besides the low traffic, the other nice thing about the mully climb is it tops out at the center of the east side of the santa monicas. you can hang a left on
little sycamore and keep climbing for a mile to yerba buena rd and the most scenic area (imho) of the sammos. or you can continue on for a short spell and hit decker rd
and make a right and descend via decker (or encinal canyon rd) back to pch. or keep going on mully...hit the 2nd stop sign...hang a right and continue to kanan dume,
hang another right and then a left on latigo canyon rd. a mile of crunchy ascending but then a glorious (mostly) descent back to pch. hang a right on pch and
you're back at point dume after a mile or two.

peevee is awesome. generally low traffic (except along pv dr north but there's a bike lane) and the traffic doesn't swell on the weekends like it does in the local
mountains/along the beaches. the biggest pinch points for me are along pv dr west from the police station/fire station/four way stop/malaga cove area to
bluff cove and again pv dr west from lunada bay to the city of pv estates border due to the many parked cars on both sides. much of that can be mitigated
by dropping down closer to the coast, the other bugaboo is pv dr east. the switchbacks are generally good...the stretch from marymount college to the
reservoir/pv dr north requires taking the lane frequently if you're descending. otherwise, palos verdes peninsula is pretty good. san pedro isnít too bad except for gaffey and pacific
streets along with the 110 fwy beginning/end area. they are difficult and should be avoided.
western is doable but has a ton of commercial biz driveways once it flattens out by the in-n-out so youíve got to be really on guard rolling through that stretch.

Last edited by diphthong; 02-02-21 at 04:09 PM.
diphthong is offline  
Likes For diphthong:
Old 05-03-21, 02:24 PM
  #9  
ddcheng
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I know I'm late to this, but I had a question about this portion of the ride on a weekday. Any thoughts about whether or not mid-morning on a Friday would be worse than midday on Saturday? I'm not as familiar with this portion of PCH (I've done much more riding from Malibu to Santa Barbara), and I'd like to have an idea of what I'm getting into in this area. Obviously Ventura to Santa Barbara is much easier because you're separated from the road, and I'm not expecting that in the Santa Monica area.
ddcheng is offline  
Old 05-03-21, 06:39 PM
  #10  
diphthong
Senior Member
 
diphthong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: insane diego, california
Posts: 7,963

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1526 Post(s)
Liked 2,731 Times in 1,497 Posts
9am-11am on non-holiday weekdays. not a fan of weekends unless youíre on dawn patrol.
diphthong is offline  
Old 05-03-21, 09:42 PM
  #11  
ddcheng
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ooga-booga
9am-11am on non-holiday weekdays. not a fan of weekends unless youíre on dawn patrol.
Thanks. That makes me feel a little bit better!
ddcheng is offline  
Old 05-06-21, 11:19 PM
  #12  
diphthong
Senior Member
 
diphthong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: insane diego, california
Posts: 7,963

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1526 Post(s)
Liked 2,731 Times in 1,497 Posts
Originally Posted by ddcheng
Thanks. That makes me feel a little bit better!
heavy traffic. mostly a decent shoulder that will occasionally be taken (partially or otherwise) by a ped, slower cyclist, road debris, gardening truck
or guy pulled over in an suv on a cell phone. be prepared to continually look 50-100 yards ahead (and 100 yards back) and plan on having to jump out of the shoulder
into the actual lane as necessary when a lull in traffic presents itself. traffic thins out a little once west of topanga canyon rd (ca hwy 27) and then a little bit
more once past pepperdine hill/malibu canyon rd. the ubiquitous gardening trucks and beach parkers continue on the westbound side tho until past point
dume/zuma beach area where you finally get some blessed relief. if you tend to ride in the "door zone" occasionally, this is not the route for you as it could be
fatal. eastbound back into santa monica isn't much easier. plenty of surfers/water sports enthusiasts poking their surfboard/paddle/kayak out into your projected
path. add in horrible, abrupt attempts at parallel parking and plenty of driveways and you've got the makings of a cycling nightmare. frankly, venice blvd from dtown la to the
405 seems like a dedicated bike path in comparison. if you're not comfy with riding la stretches of busy east/west roads like hwood blvd, sunset, little santa monica, washington
and venice, i cannot recommend doing the santa monica>point dume>santa monica stretch of pch. the stretch of pch from point dume to port hueneme area and from
santa monica to point dume are two different jekyll and hyde animals entirely. if it sounds/seems like i'm trying to dissuade you and others from riding that stretch of pch, i am.
safety-wise...i'd rather ride the pch stretch between newport beach through laguna beach and monarch bay on either direction any day and that's no stranger to danger either.

Last edited by diphthong; 05-07-21 at 03:46 AM.
diphthong is offline  
Old 05-16-21, 07:31 PM
  #13  
ddcheng
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ooga-booga
heavy traffic. mostly a decent shoulder that will occasionally be taken (partially or otherwise) by a ped, slower cyclist, road debris, gardening truck
or guy pulled over in an suv on a cell phone...if it sounds/seems like i'm trying to dissuade you and others from riding that stretch of pch, i am.
safety-wise...i'd rather ride the pch stretch between newport beach through laguna beach and monarch bay on either direction any day and that's no stranger to danger either.
I can see where ooga-booga is coming from in terms of safety. I did not feel like the northbound stretch from Will Rogers to Topanga was that bad, but traffic was heavier than I expected. For the most part, there is a shoulder for you to ride on. There were maybe a couple areas where the shoulder narrowed, and I think there were an additional two places where the k-rails came into the shoulder and forced you into the traffic lane. While traffic was heavier than I expected, drivers mostly gave enough room. A few larger trucks and construction vehicles were present, but nothing too bad.

After Topanga and up to Oxnard where you exit the 1 was pretty sane. I enjoyed this stretch, mostly because you get more views of the ocean that aren't blocked by houses. I only say this because I don't have one of those houses...

I went on a Friday morning, so I can't speak to what it would be like on a weekend, and I am not sure what southbound would be like. In some ways, southbound appeared that it might be worse because there seemed to be driveways and parking like ooga-booga mentioned.
ddcheng is offline  
Old 08-05-22, 01:30 PM
  #14  
bikeme
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sunny so. cal.
Posts: 899
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 134 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by ooga-booga
if you're willing, i'd recommend riding the pch stretch from point dume to just past point mugu and back. i find that the most scenic and less trafficked part anyway.
on the way to point mugu or on the way back, there is the climb of mulholland which is marked by caltrans as "closed" but it isn't and is really low traffic and not that
difficult of a climb. if you can handle the various palos verdes climbs of zurita, colonel, zumaya, hawthorne, via del monte, etc...you can handle mully.
besides the low traffic, the other nice thing about the mully climb is it tops out at the center of the east side of the santa monicas. you can hang a left on
little sycamore and keep climbing for a mile to yerba buena rd and the most scenic area (imho) of the sammos. or you can continue on for a short spell and hit decker rd
and make a right and descend via decker (or encinal canyon rd) back to pch. or keep going on mully...hit the 2nd stop sign...hang a right and continue to kanan dume,
hang another right and then a left on latigo canyon rd. a mile of crunchy ascending but then a glorious (mostly) descent back to pch. hang a right on pch and
you're back at point dume after a mile or two.

peevee is awesome. generally low traffic (except along pv dr north but there's a bike lane) and the traffic doesn't swell on the weekends like it does in the local
mountains/along the beaches. the biggest pinch points for me are along pv dr west from the police station/fire station/four way stop/malaga cove area to
bluff cove and again pv dr west from lunada bay to the city of pv estates border due to the many parked cars on both sides. much of that can be mitigated
by dropping down closer to the coast, the other bugaboo is pv dr east. the switchbacks are generally good...the stretch from marymount college to the
reservoir/pv dr north requires taking the lane frequently if you're descending. otherwise, palos verdes peninsula is pretty good. san pedro isnít too bad except for gaffey and pacific
streets along with the 110 fwy beginning/end area. they are difficult and should be avoided.
western is doable but has a ton of commercial biz driveways once it flattens out by the in-n-out so youíve got to be really on guard rolling through that stretch.
Now reading this, I was also considering PV in the back of my mind--I've always wanted to ride there (never have) and riding there will get me back to OC earlier and avoid traffic across LA. FYI, I'm dropping off someone by UCLA, so that's why will be up there.
bikeme is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.