Just did this with my g/f last week, as part of a camping trip to Wheeler Gorge up in Ojai. It is a tiny bit tricky to find the trail's starting point in Ojai. There is a clearly-market location, on the east side of the street. But this is NOT the right place...that is where you would go for a 2-mile (level) ride east, continuing into Ojai.
The correct place is in the Von's parking lot, towards the south, near a breakfast restaurant. Literally just a foot or three from the 33.
From Ojai down to Ventura is about 14-15 miles. Most of it on a very slight downhill, with a few level places along the way, and the final few miles all level. So, a fit 6 year old could do this ride easily, allowing for a few rest stops along the way. For part of the trip, you're next to the highway (but this path is separate, so it's very very safe), for part you're maybe 30-60 metres away, so you can't see the 33 but can hear traffic, and for other parts, you're far enough away that you can't even hear the cars go by.
Lots of dappled sunlight, lots of parts with no shade (don't forget your sunscreen!!!)...a few nice bridges, one or two parks where one can stop for a picnic/rest.
It was *really* pleasant, even with the temperatures being well north of 90F that day. Note that, during the summer, Ojai is at least 15 degrees hotter than coastal Ventura.
The ride took us a bit over 2 hours, but that was with a lunch break, and several stops for me to indulge my photography passion.
We found out in advance that you can ride down into Ventura, and take a bus back. The number 16, I think. $1.50 per person, there is a 3-bike rack on each bus (no extra charge) and it takes you right back to the start of the trailhead. Since we had decided to use the bus, we could burn our extra energy riding around the bike path that hugs the ocean down in Ventura. Note that this bus runs at all times only once per hour. But there is a text number where you can find out when the next bus will arrive at your particular bus stop...a nice feature, if you remember to bring a smart phone.
Since the ride Ojai-to-Ventura was, essentially, all gentle downhill, this (obviously) means that the Ventura-to-Ojai return would be all uphill. For a fit rider, this would be a fantastic workout. But for casual riders, it would be a really really really long slog. Maybe on a nice road bike. But on my heavy hybrid? Would have been unpleasant for me. (Although I am a dedicated and regular casual rider, and not a bike die-hard, so your mileage may vary.)
Highly highly recommended. I am so happy that we decided to bring out bikes on this particular Ojai camping trip.
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