Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Long Beach Hydrobikes...because sometimes you need to get away from wheels.

10.15.2014

Long Beach Hydrobikes...because sometimes you need to get away from wheels.

As part of a week-long celebration of the triumphs over my struggles throughout this past year, I treated myself to a hydrobike ride in Long Beach at the Alamitos Bay. From where I live, it's a very quick drive across the Vincent Thomas Bridge, through Downtown Long Beach, and right past Belmont Shore before hitting Pacific Coast Highway.

Just head all the way to the end of the bay and follow the signs. You can't miss.

The hydrobikes are right at the end of a dock. I got there for the first appointment at 11AM so they were all still parked.
Riding a hydrobike is quite easy. If you can't ride an actual bicycle, you'll still be okay...no balancing of the unit is needed. Just pedal away and point the bike toward your destination. You'll get there eventually.

The route that patrons are given will lead you across the bay and into the Naples neighborhood of Long Beach. Naples is modeled after the same part of Italy and is known for its romantic canals (yes, there are gondola rides too for you boyfriends looking for ideas). We rode in a counter-clockwise direction, and with no wakes or fast boats in the way, it was more of a pleasure cruise with a little bit of cardio involved.


What you see is me having fun. What you don't feel is that it was nearing 95°F on the water with a heat advisory and the sun blazing down on me at noon. I'm wearing a UPF 50 wicking shirt from REI. No burns here.



Naples holds onto its namesake quite well with actual gondola rides along the canals. The city of Venice (near Santa Monica) had the same thing for a while but the area is no longer as well-maintained as this place.
Pedaling for a straight hour is definitely a great workout! I was glad that I didn't bring my giant Nikon DSLR camera, holding my cell phone to take all these shots was enough of a challenge. Fortunately every hydrobike has cupholders and a cubby compartment for a small bag and your refreshments and personal items. I took the rehydration bit one step further and wore a my Camelbak, the same one I use on my motorcycle rides. It was hot, and I was drinking out of it a lot.

The name of this boat took the words right out of my mouth.
Tip: Wear athletic shoes, unless you want to try to fish your flip-flops out of the water. If you follow instructions, there's no real way you can fall off the bike.

After that fun excursion, I headed up the road to have lunch at nearby Joe's Crab Shack. I had wanted to try this national chain at least once while I still lived in Ohio so it made my personal victory even sweeter as I was making a mess of myself cracking crab legs and munching on hushpuppies. I even topped it off with a root beer float! For an escape of a Friday before heading off to courier work, this was definitely one of my more memorable adventures.

Joe's Crab Shack offered a wonderful view of the Alamitos Bay Marina. Why the hell did I leave California? Anyway, the reason no longer exists, and I'm a better person for it.
Steps for enjoyment. 1. Take a nice photo. 2. Destroy it efficiently.
For more information about Long Beach Hydrobikes, visit http://www.lbhydrobikes.com/. Bring your friends or go by yourself! It's all good either way...and go eat some crabs too. Because crabs are awesome.