Ojai was the perfect destination for a cycling getaway. Last weekend, Topher, his parents, and myself travelled to Ojai, California for the first time. It was hot, windy, and there was plenty of climbing. What more could we ask for, for our mini training camp? The food didn’t disappoint our growling tummies either.
Photos by Topher Riley and me
Traveling tips by Jené Shaw (thank you!)
The Ventura Escape
(That’s just what I’m calling it 😛 – Not a real name of the ride ;))
Where to stop to refuel? We stopped at a little market in Ventura on Main St and N. Santa Cruz St.
The Wilderness Climb
(again – not a real name, just what I’m calling it)
This might be the safest ride I’ve ever been on, besides the descent, where one car was an a*hole. There were barely any cars, and the road was perfectly paved for our pretty little bike tires. I haven’t been on a road that smooth in a long time.
This ride, you climb and climb and climb. We climbed for nearly 4hrs before we hit the fire station where you can refill your water, and then turn around and head home. When we reached the fire station, Kris and I were hoping for shirtless men standing outside just waiting to fill our bottles, sadly our fantasy was more like a ghost town fire station that is only used if the forest sets on fire. You get water out of a drinking fountain. You will definitely drink both or your two bottles, and if you have cages for a 3rd bottle go for it. Although, we all managed fine on two bottles, but may have ended the ride a bit dehydrated.
There is some climbing on the way back, but not much, and if you want to challenge yourself even more, you can head up Pike’s Mountain Recreation Area to get to Pike’s Peak, which is 6 miles out and 6 miles back with lots of steep pitchy climbs and will kick your butt. Tackle only if you are feeling like a super hero that day or you want dead legs 😉
These guys are so friendly and have an awesome shop. Knowing where the local bike shop is is the key to having a fun cycling trip, if you ask me. If you need water bottles, some service, tires, etc. It’s best to know where the “cool kids” are. They also give you the “locals only” routes. 😉 Which tend to be the best routes vs. just googling something. But, here you are, after having possibly googled “Where to ride in Ojai”, but fortunately, I already got the best bike routes for you. 😉 But, still, we love to find where the “bike ridaaaas” hang out, and bond with the locals.
Noso Vita (We went here both on Friday morning and Saturday morning. We absolutely loved the vibe and the coffee and food)
Ojai Café Emporium (We ate breakfast here on Saturday. It was delicious. Didn’t get a chance to try the baked goods, as we were stuffed from breakfast, but next time!)
Knead Bakery (One of the Mob Shop owner’s wives owns this place. We didn’t get a chance to try it, but will definitely next time.)
Post-Ride Drink Locale
Suzanne’s (ate here, amazing – More of a “fancy” dining experience)
Ojai Valley Inn and Spa (they have tons of different restaurants)
Ojai Pizza (Every cyclist, trail runner must know where the best pizza is for obvious reasons, we tried it out and it was delicious!)
Farmer & Cook (healthy mexican)
Bart’s Books (largest outdoor bookstore)
We rented an Airbnb, which was delightful. It has a hot tub in the back, and a nice gate at the front, which made our bikes feel very safe. There is a bike path that you can ride or walk on all around Ojai. They are trying to make their town as bike friendly as possible, which is awesome! In fact the “Venture Escape” finishes with the last 10 miles or so on the bike path.