This week’s edition of Travel Tuesday takes us down (the?) I-5 to the mountains of Santa Monica. On a recent trip I brought my bike and to be honest, I probably would have just gone out and back on the PCH. But I was lucky to catch resident and Every Man Jack teammate, David Cruz. Local knowledge ftw!
- 6,000 ft
- See the route and stats on my Strava
- Gear: Louis Garneau kit/helmet/shoes, Felt F3 road bike, GU nutrition
David dropped some serious knowledge on this ride, and I thought it would be really cool for anyone visiting or living in the area looking for roads to read his tips firsthand. So, take it away, David!
The riding outside of Santa Monica is very unique to anywhere else in the country. Being next to the Santa Monica Mountains, gives you many different options. If you want great TT efforts, you can simply head out onto the PCH and although its a little dicey in the beginning, the roads open up past Malibu, especially in farm country, with no lights, wide shoulders and an incredible view of the ocean the whole time. And of course, if you are into climbing there are plenty of canyons to venture into: Decker, Encinal, Mulholland, Yerba Buena and a few more which all head into the valley.
We climbed Latigo (home of Laird Hamilton) which is a very long and famous climb into the SaMo mountains. What makes this area great is that you can connect so many different climbs together that an 8k elevation gain is all possible 10 miles from my apartment. From Latigo most people descend on Mulholland down to Rock Store, we stopped a little further down at the “Old Place“. If you are tired, the only downside of climbing into the valley is that you need to climb out of it in order to get back home. We climbed Stunt which is a solid 4 mile climb back over to the top of the SaMo mountains. Piuma is a little longer and the views are nicer. We then descended Tuna Canyon which is pretty famous for skateboarders heading down since its only one way road.
4 hours fly by just bc you are having fun… long rides never feel like a chore here since you have so many people willing to go far and just ride.
I can confirm everything David writes about the canyons, including the epic one way descent of Tuna Canyon. I’ll leave you with this harrowing video of longboarders BOMBING down is insane road! I’ll stick with the bike, thanks much.