Running, Walking & Biking Path Is The Heart& Soul Of The South Bay
When The Strand was closed due as part of California’s #stayhome” orders during the coronavirus pandemic, it ripped the heart and soul right out of the South Bay Beach Cities.
The running, walking and bike path that runs parallel to the sand is essential to the Southern California lifestyle in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. It is how the South Bay rolls – quite literally – when it comes to exercise and entertainment.
The running part is obvious. The scenery is spectacular, with the wide tanned color of the sand, the piers and views of the Pacific Ocean. Yes, there is a beach but the sand is thick and difficult to traverse; The Strand provides a path of solid footing and the mile markers in Manhattan Beach help you keep track of your mileage (it’s two miles from one end of Manhattan Beach to the other and a mile and a half between the Hermosa and Manhattan piers.)
Walking is much the same and on any given morning, several of the well-heeled mothers can be seen in small groups chatting while pushing baby carriages.
Yet it is the biking that truly defines this area of Los Angeles a few miles south of the airport. One that tourists rarely see because they head to the more recognized places from a thousand movies and TV shows: Beverly Hills with its Rodeo Drive, Hollywood with its giant sign and Walk of Fame, Santa Monica with its big pier and Venice Beach with its street entertainers and cheap t-shirt shops.
Bicycles on The Strand define the South Bay. It’s how we get around, how we transport ourselves to the big events such as Smackfest and the AVP, to go meet up with friends even to get to the bars and house parties.
It is where we go to watch the area’s spectacular sunsets.
In other words, it is an important and essential part of living here.
Taking away The Strand was like taking away a kid’s favorite video game and being sent to his or her room. Except nobody did anything wrong. It was punishment for committing no crime.
Opening it up – and the bike path runs for more than a dozen miles through Venice Beach and beyond the Santa Monica Pier – returns a major part of the culture to the residents of the South Bay.