Eager to make the most of the day, we crawled out of the hotel room ten minutes before breakfast stopped at 11 and ate most of the breakfast buffet. Our first ride out on the bikes fortuitously landed us at Santa Monica where we had the traumatic task of locating a decent spot on the lovely white sandy beach…this took about ten seconds. After gently crisping in the sun, a photoshoot for a skateboard mag provided much entertainment as we watched the “gnarly dudes” repeatedly launch themselves down a flight of steps…most excellent! Powered by Gatorade, we traipsed up to Hollywood for the obligatory photo of the Hollywood sign, swept through Bel Air (nice houses!) and got stuck in horrendous traffic on Sunset Boulevard. Hollywood was most underwhelming…”grubby” seems to describe it pretty well, although we may well have been biased by our friendly freight guy repeatedly calling it “HollyWeird” the previous day. An impromptu diversion due to dodgy mapreading on the way back to the hotel took us through some of the dodgiest gangland neighbourhoods in LA (Compton and Inglewood – oops!). Grilles on windows, derelict industrial buildings looking like something out of Grand Theft Auto and police arresting people left right and centre didn’t help the stereotypical image of the less salubrious parts of America…especially when Matt reckons he saw a dead guy in a jeep parked in the road (although he was probably just sleeping 😉 ). Back at the hotel we packed in some “healthy”american food and gallons of coke and sprite – we seem to have miscued the amount of liquid we need to take in and we’ll have to keep an eye on it, especially as we head south.