Santa Monica to Palos Verdes Switchbacks and back
62 miles – 2295 ft elevation gain
I’ve been exploring the Santa Monica area on my bike for the last year and a half and felt it was time to share the amazing rides California has to offer. If you want to join Cynergy Cycles on any of these rides or want more information, come see us and we will be happy to help!
The ride from Santa Monica to Palos Verdes offers some of the best ocean views in the area, bike paths almost the entire way and some nice elevation gain. Leaving Santa Monica, you will follow the bike path by the ocean for approximately 20 miles. This is a great time to get warmed up and ready for the climbs ahead. Here you will ride through Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, and all the way to Redondo beach before hitting the hills.
Once in Redondo, it’s always great to take a break, hydrate and eat before continuing… I learned the hard way and “bonked” many times riding along Palos Verdes. It’s not that it’s particularly steep, it’s that you do ride along it for almost 10 miles and it’s ups and downs all the way. The good news is that there are beautiful views along the way and places to fill-up your water so if you skip the break in Redondo, don’t panic!
You will be riding along a bike path all the way to the Palos Verdes Switchbacks so enjoy the ride, take in the beautiful sights and get ready to climb! Make sure to take the turn off or you’ll end up in Long Beach…
The switchbacks are only 5 miles however you are gaining quite a lot of elevation during this time and the temperature can start to increase as you get away from the ocean breeze and make your way inland. The payoff? Spectacular views once again! Strava rates this climb as a category 3 – 4 with an average grade of 4 – 5%. I think the steepest is 8% but it’s really short.
Once you reach the top of the switchbacks, it’s smooth riding all the way back to Santa Monica. Again, you are following bike paths the entire way home and there are no more climbs! As I mentioned before, there are places to refill your water along the way so make sure to stop for water…the temperature can vary by 20F from the oceanside to the mountains.