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Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours – REVIEW

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Cycle Through History and Scenery as Joyride Leads Visitors on an Unforgettable Journey Through Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

June 11th, 2024

Strolling along Venice Beach, there’s a vibrant mosaic of culture and history waiting to be explored. With the classic beach cruiser bikes from Joyride, every minute of your journey along this iconic stretch is filled with delight and discovery.

Michelle Greco, the owner and operator of Joyride Santa Monica Tours, started the company in 2016. “It’s been great ever since,” she shared. “We really enjoy meeting people from all over the world. And of course, we love our locals too.”

The area’s appeal is evident in its beautiful scenery and favorable temperatures, enhanced by the refreshing ocean breeze. “Santa Monica, Venice Beach, heading north towards Malibu, there’s so much to see down here,” Michelle explained. “The beach bike path can go south for 18 miles and north for three miles. It’s really safe and very entertaining.”

While our ride began near the Santa Monica Pier, we decided to explore the area at the end of the ride. Navigating along an easy bike path, which happened to be nestled along the famous Venice Beach, our first stop was the thrilling energy of the Venice Beach Skatepark. Opened in 2009, this 16,000-square-foot concrete paradise is a mecca for skateboarders from around the globe. Designed to cater to all levels, from beginners to pros, the skatepark features an array of bowls, ramps, transitions, rails, stairs, and gaps. As you watch, you’ll see skaters executing gravity-defying tricks and surreal displays of balance as they push the limits of what’s possible. The camaraderie is infectious; riders cheer each other on, embodying the supportive and dynamic community that Venice Beach is renowned for.

Neighboring the Skate Park, my colleague and I arrived at another legendary spot, Muscle Beach, a cornerstone of bodybuilding history. This outdoor gym, established in 1934, has sculpted the physiques of some of the biggest names in the industry. Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno, and the incomparable Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others, have all honed their bodies here, turning this spot into a pilgrimage site for fitness enthusiasts worldwide. As you pedal by, you might hear the clinking of weights and catch a glimpse of modern-day athletes striving to reach the lofty heights of their predecessors. Close by you’ll find a towering mural of Arnold Schwarzenegger, a tribute to his unparalleled legacy, right next to a mural of another local legend, singer/songwriter Jim Morrison of The Doors. These murals not only celebrate their contributions to cinema and music, but also symbolize Venice Beach’s eclectic spirit.

Further along, you’ll find the serene Venice Canals. Conceived by developer Abbot Kinney in 1905 as part of his vision to recreate the charm of Venice, Italy, in Southern California, the canals were originally much more extensive. Today, only six of the original canals remain, yet they still offer a picturesque retreat from the bustling beach scene. As you glide past, you’ll see elegant footbridges and luxurious homes lining the waterways, reflecting a quieter, more relaxed side of Venice. The canals are a testament to Kinney’s dream of a cultural and architectural oasis, a legacy that continues to enchant visitors and residents alike.

When planning a trip, Joyride makes it convenient by providing not just bikes but also baskets, locks, and helmets. Michelle emphasized, “Depending on whether you want to do one hour and just ride, get a little fitness in, or if you plan to head over to Venice, grab some beers, grab some food, we do provide the locks because of that. We try to accommodate all different types of trips.”

Weather considerations are always in mind at Joyride. “Rain or shine,” Michelle said. “However, when it does rain, thankfully, Southern California doesn’t rain too much. If it is going to rain in the morning, then we’ll open up a little later to accommodate our customers.”

Maps of Venice and Santa Monica are also provided for those who prefer self-guided tours. “With the self-guided tour, you’re able to grab a bike for a little less. Instead of the $60 per person for the guided tour, you can do $10 for the hour, $20 for two hours, or $30 for the all-day rate. And then since we do provide the locks and we give you the maps, you can really navigate the beach cities down here,” Michelle mentioned.

From there, our journey concluded with a ride to the Santa Monica Pier, the historic terminus of the famous Route 66. This iconic pier, with its dazzling Ferris wheel and vibrant amusement park, marks the end of the “Mother Road,” a route that has symbolized freedom and the spirit of adventure for generations. As you stand at the end of the pier, taking in the sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, you’ll be reminded of the countless stories that have unfolded along this legendary stretch of coast, each adding to the rich tapestry that makes Venice Beach truly unique.

Every corner of Venice Beach tells a story, from the bustling boardwalk to the tranquil canals, and with the perfect cruiser bike, you’re not just seeing it—you’re living it.

Michelle Greco’s passion for biking and meeting new people is evident in her business. A former professional basketball player who played for the 2004 WNBA Championship Seattle Storm team and spent ten seasons in Europe, she started Joyride after retiring from sports. “Part of the reason why I started this business and named it Joy Ride is because I enjoy people, and we love what we do providing fun and activities down here,” she said. Joyride aims to bring a sense of joy and peace to visitors and locals alike, embodying the spirit of its name.

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

  • Joyride Bike Rentals & Tours

Coach is South Florida Insider's Owner, President, Webmaster, as well as a Reporter and Photographer covering events all over the world. Born in West Palm Beach, Coach continues to call the sunny Florida area home. He received his Associate degree from the University of South Florida, then transferred to the University of Florida where he received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism & Communications. During his journalistic career, which has been featured in local newspapers and magazines as well as national publications, Coach has also continued his love of being an educator. It’s through both endeavors that he’s actively got students interested in following in the field of journalism. Coach loves sharing the world of entertainment with others and giving people the opportunity to step out of the everyday life.

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