I have bicycled from Santa Barbara to San Diego about 20 times (every Memorial Day weekend). It is definitely an urban bike ride, but very doable. There is a 24-mile bike path along the beach (it is on the ACA map) in the LA area. It's a fun ride with the Pacific Ocean always just a few yards away. It's a slow ride, with joggers, Sunday cyclists, skateboarders, etc. on the path. The path takes you as far as Redondo Beach. (BTW, if are camping, there is no campground between Leo Carillo State Park and a commercial campground in Newport Beach. However, on this stretch, I always stay at the Redondo Pier Inn in Redondo Beach. It's clean and about the cheapest lodging I can find in the area. Be sure to reserver ahead). I find the most harrowing part of this ride to be the Pacific Coast Highway from Redondo Beach to Long Beach. Lots of traffic, stop signs, etc. However, if you schedule it early on a Sunday morning, the traffic is very light. (The ACA map used to bypass part of this by taking you up and over Pales Verdes, but I think the new map puts you on the PCH). Good luck. Let me know if you have any questions.