SoCal Car-Lite Trip, Day 2: Work in Goleta and Car-free Trip to LA

Started the day a bit early on a quest to mail a postcard.  I found the giant post office center in Goleta was too early to buy a stamp.  With the car gone and checkout time looming, I converted the bike into travel mode: rolled up the B-bag, carefully packed the packing cubes into the touring bag, and bungeed the rolled bag to the top of the touring bag .

I’d tested the setup and I’d biked around the town but I was still a little bit nervous since it was a real moment of truth–no more “home base” and no rental car to return to.  Gingerly set off and made it to my first destination with minimal trouble, though the load took some getting used to.

Put in a day’s work and then set my sights on the Goleta Amtrak station.  Trip was fairly easy, and only took a few minutes on the platform to bag up the bike.  I have an old blanket in the B-bag for padding and it’s easy (but not required) to take off the saddle so the whole package is a bit smaller.  I hauled the whole thing onto Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner–since I was sitting upstairs and going all the way to LA, I hauled the bike to one of the upstairs luggage racks.

You can look down the whole length of the train

Since I was Mr. fancy Businessman, I got a business-class seat.  I got a free box of snacks (though a bunch of it was carbs I skipped in favor of other carbs, like cookies) and a free drink (mostly sodas, no sparkling water).  I ended up going to the cafe car for a pizza (and a TAP card for LA metro).

It’s not fine dining but it did the job

The WiFi was a bit slow but serviceable so I was able to crank out some work.

The scenery was beautiful and I was grateful to not be driving.

The “coast line” is literally along the coast
I’d never considered RV camping before.

We got into LA around dusk, following the typical (to me) pattern of the train creeping at excruciatingly low speed into its urban destination.

I even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp…and it said….. the answer to life, the universe, and everything.
Downtown LA visible in the distance

I arrived at Union Station but my ultimate destination was Venice.

Reminds me of the platforms at San Jose’s Diridon station

I didn’t do the math on whether it would have made more sense to get on LA Metro earlier but I ended up taking a brief ride on the Red Line (of Volcano fame) and connecting to the Expo Line all the way to Santa Monica.

I really like this picture

It wasn’t sketchy but it was like any other big-city transit in the later part of the night–I kept my head up and quickly put the bike in travel mode.  I had a quick ride down some decent bike infrastructure to the beachfront path.

Just your typical physically-separated bike path with dedicated bike signals…in LA…whaaa?
More car-friendly piers. Still awesome.
No workouts Monday night but did find some fitness time later in the week.

Santa Monica at night was really cool. I crossed into Venice and the path lighting got a bit worse and then I diverted off the path and randomly worked my way through the grid of streets to my destination, the Hotel Erwin.  Hotel was really cool–I liked the room, staff was really helpful, and it was definitely close to everything Venice.

Carry the bike and the bag alllllllll the way to the end. Then turn the corner.

No more exploration for me–it was a long day so I got checked in and then checked out for the night.

On to day 3!