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The next in the series of "Bike Overnights" takes us to lovely Ojai (http://www.ci.ojai.ca.us/), once nicknamed the Shangri-La of Southern California, nestled in the Topa Topa Mountains north of Ventura.
We'll meet at the Oxnard Metrolink Station, less than 2 hours' drive from the OC. Our ride will take us along the coast, through Ventura, and along a beautiful, mostly tree-lined bike trail (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60769-d2559646-Reviews-Ventura_to_Ojai_Paved_Bike_Path-Ventura_California.html) that parallels Highway 33 into Ojai. With an elevation gain of only 1,000 ft over a stretch of 25 miles, it's a fairly easy route.
We'll have lunch at Papa Lennon's (http://papalennons.com/) in the town of Meiners Oaks, after which we will ride a few more miles to the campground at Lake Casitas Recreation Area (http://www.casitaswater.org/department.php?url=lake-casitas-recreation-area). There will be plenty of free time to explore the lake or relax in the afternoon. You can rent a boat (http://casitasboatrentals.com/), go on a hike or enjoy the 3 mile bike trail (http://www.casitaswater.org/lower.php?url=bike-trail) that circles the lake. Please see the recreation area's website link above for more information on what the lake offers.
In the evening, we'll have to be sure to not miss Ojai's famous "pink sunset".
We'll decide what to do for dinner as a group. It would be ideal to have a second vehicle with us so that we could all drive to dinner in town. Volunteers?
Camping: I've reserved sites M48 and M49 which hold 8 people each. The first 14 people to contact me can stay with us at those sites for $8 per person. If you miss out on that, you can make your own reservation here (http://reservations.casitaswater.org/). Try to reserve something near us if you can, and do it as soon as possible. The campsite is reserved beginning Friday afternoon, so if you want to come up and join us then, please let me know.
Hotels: If you prefer a real bed, reservations can be made at a local bed & breakfast or inn. Options in town are the Su Nido Inn, the Lavender Inn, and the Chantico Inn. You can also look for vacation rental options such as on www.airbnb.com. Participants are responsible for making their own overnight arrangements.
Sunday morning we'll explore downtown Ojai. Libbey Park is in the center of town and is a great place to people watch. There are a few cafes nearby for coffee and breakfast. There's a unique outdoor bookstore called Bart's Books; day spas such as the Ojai Oaks where you can get a massage or facial; the Ojai Museum; a farmer's market; or antique shopping at any number of local shops.
After lunch we'll head back the 35 miles to Oxnard, which will be mostly downhill the whole way!
As with the last Bike Overnight, my husband will provide gear transport from Oxnard Metrolink to the campground Saturday and back on Sunday afternoon. Depending on the # of people in attendance, and the amount of gear we'll have, a second vehicle may be necessary.
Carpooling from the OC to Oxnard is highly encouraged. You can also take Amtrak, which will put you in to Oxnard at about 10:38am. But you'll have to carry your camping gear and bike with you. If you've taken Amtrak up, please plan accordingly for your return trip on Sunday so that you can make your train. Ideally we'll all leave Ojai at the same time, but that depends on your departure time.
The Gear List should be the same as last time but I will distribute it again to those who RSVP for this event, sometime in early August. If no one takes Amtrak, we could meet earlier on Saturday than 10:45. That's just when the first train arrives.
This should be a great weekend and I hope you can make it!
Routes (subject to change):
Oxnard to Meiners Oaks (http://ridewithgps.com/routes/560368)
Meiners Oaks to Lake Casitas (http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2722581)
Lake Casitas to Oxnard via Ojai (http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2722610)