Oh Malibu. Famous for its picturesque sunsets, photo shoot worthy beaches, scantily clad sunbathers and of course Baywatch, Malibu has way more to offer than already meets the eye.
With big plans of being able to bike across some large landmass one day, Drew and I decided it was time we “up our ante” and find out what we’re working with. We started with our favorite Los Angeles biking book, “Where to Bike,” which we highly recommend, and set our sights on the 28 mile Rock Store loop.
This epic ride, full of vistas and historic landmarks, is also known for its 3,300 feet of thigh burning elevation gain!
About 6 miles into our trip, we found ourselves at the highly acclaimed Rock Store, an old stage coach shop from the 1910’s, hewn out of volcanic stone, now turned into a famous watering hole for motorcyclists! This place is open Friday – Sunday and is usually teeming with Ducatis, Harleys, Kawasakis – you name it! Check out Drew on his hot wheels:
Serving milk shakes, hefty breakfast dishes, strong coffee, BBQ and homemade chili, this spot is a long time favorite of Jay Leno, Matt LeBlanc, Tommy Lee and Harrison Ford! It is also important to note that Ed and Vern, the couple who started this place in the 1960’s, are from Pittsburgh, PA – Go Steelers!
Moments after leaving our restful pit stop, we began what is known as the infamous Rock Store Climb:
This 2.5 mile fabled ascent is part of the Tour de California and challenges riders “contra la monte,” or against the watch (www.rockstorett.com) 2 – 3 times every year. Currently the fastest times are in the 11 minute range, we were close… sort of.
With the countless motorcycles and convertibles zooming by, literally inches away, we made sure to ride close to the edge and stay on guard. That, paired with the relentless ascent, made it clear that this ride was not for the faint of heart.
After finally reaching the top, we pulled off the road to enjoy the view and even more so, the fact that we would have 6 miles of downhill bliss before landing in beautiful Malibu.
Our view of the Pacific just beyond the mountains:
We had to remember to not have too much fun as we still had about 8 miles to go before reaching the finish line with just over an hour left of sun to light the way.
The ride back was full of ups and downs, in energy and terrain! But we finally made it and by the end, after a total of 4 hours of riding, we were exhausted and extremely glad we chose this trail. I feel a trans-Europe bike trip idea coming on…