When I first researched on LA, little did I know that it had a beach named Venice ! I called my daughter in Orange and sought suggestions on where to “settle down” for a few days – Santa Monica, downtown LA or….ahem..Venice Beach ! ” Dad” she exclaimed, Santa Monica is niceeee..but Venice..is a bit shady !” I liked the sound of it, with Tareeni , trying to dissuade her dad from something, meant it had to be “checked out” ! So I headed to The Lonely Planet which describes it thus “Life in Venice moves to a different rhythm and nowhere more so than on the famous Venice Boardwalk, officially known as Ocean Front Walk. It’s a freak show, a human zoo and a wacky carnival alive with hoola-hoop magicians, old-timey jazz combos, solo distorted garage rockers and artists (good and bad) – as far as LA experiences go, it’s a must”. Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/los-angeles/sights/beaches-islands-waterfronts/venice-boardwalk#ixzz3iuAdZ8wp. I was hooked and soon enough a few weeks later I was in a lovely Air Bnb house with cosy room to myself, just a few hundred yards away from the infamous beach ! The owners had 3 bicycles. I chose a sturdy mountain bike with full suspension and pedaled off to explore the ecclectical, sunny and vibrant beaches of Venice and Santa Monica. My ride was pelted with funky art, psychedelic garage art, roadside jazz and country musicians jamming together, and marijuana clinics operated by the ” Green Doctors”. The beachside and the boardwalk were arenas for skateboarders, cyclists, runners and skaters and it was a joy to see happy, relaxed and energized people.