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  1. #1
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    Good rides in Orange County

    I might be going to Orange County in a couple of weeks and I might bring my bike with me. No idea where I will be, but I might be near Laguna Niguel. Open to suggestions in this respect as well. Doing a 3-4 day vacation.

    Any rides that are picturesque, fun, tough and not busy with cars? I love climbing, but perhaps something along the ocean is more scenic. Anywhere from 2-4 hours total (I am a decent rider, with above average speeds based on Strava, but nowhere near a racer).

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    7 Sisters looks awesome. It might be a bit too long though. Not that I can't make it, but my wife would be upset if I spent all day riding. Is there a sister or two I could skip? Is the road easy to find? I have taken wrong turns on organized rides, riding solo could be worse!

  4. #4
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    go to bikeirvine.org. It's the website for the Bike Club of Irvine. Check rides, route slips. lots of good suggestions there. Tons of nice riding out of Laguna Niguel.. you can go down into Dana Point and then along PCH as far as you like south. You can ride north from Laguna Niguel up into the foothills. The quintessential OC ride is the Santiago Canyon Loop. Google it for information - if you use STRAVA it should be listed. You can also ride up from Laguna Niguel... down down to El Toro south to Laguna Canyon south to PCH and then go left up to Corona Del Mar/Newport and beyond.

    If oyu have time, join one of the many ride groups such as BCI, or OC Rebels etc.

    Have fun... great time to good out and ride... PS no is no such thing as flat in OC... even along the ocean its hilly. I did the Santiago Loop last weekend. One of its shorter variations - 34 miles and 3100' of climbing. If you mountain bike there are also tons of great trails near Laguna Niguel... cars and traffic are an issue although there are tons of bike trails if you know where to look. At least most roads have wide bike lanes...
    Last edited by Pamestique; 11-26-13 at 03:55 PM.
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  5. #5
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    ride down to San Diego and have your wife pick you up. Flat as a pancake and you should have a tail wind the whole time. That's what vacation cycling is all about, amirite?

    A bunch of people did the now-famous "Left Turn Tour of OC" in September; that route encompassed a bunch of iconic roads in OC, including the 1984 Olympic road race course. Trim out the bits you don't want to do if you want to keep the time down. You can find the route in this subforum if you scroll down a few pages.

    Glendora Mountain Road isn't in OC but it's not far either (at the very north terminus of the 57). Your wife can drop you off at the base and pick you up at the baldy village cafe when you get there, 2 hours and 5,000 feet or so later.

  6. #6
    lead on macduff!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    ride down to San Diego and have your wife pick you up. Flat as a pancake and you should have a tail wind the whole time. That's what vacation cycling is all about, amirite?

    A bunch of people did the now-famous "Left Turn Tour of OC" in September; that route encompassed a bunch of iconic roads in OC, including the 1984 Olympic road race course. Trim out the bits you don't want to do if you want to keep the time down. You can find the route in this subforum if you scroll down a few pages.

    Glendora Mountain Road isn't in OC but it's not far either (at the very north terminus of the 57). Your wife can drop you off at the base and pick you up at the baldy village cafe when you get there, 2 hours and 5,000 feet or so later.
    that was a fun ride. santiago canyon rd is to the foothills what pch is to the beaches-both are a must do. we did both =)
    i'd rather be alive wrong than dead right

  7. #7
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Santiago might not be so depressingly brown this time of year too. It certainly won't be as oven-like.

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    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Laguna Niguel is a pretty good starting point for a lot of good rides. Bike lanes everywhere. One downside is that LN has been somewhere I have had a lot of encounters with Beligerents in Beemers. You can hit the coast highway to San Oceanside or San Diego and catch a train back, or take the Aliso Creek Path up to Santiago Canyon. North on PCH through Laguna Beach is a scenic ride, but not for the faint of heart due to about five miles of high traffic with no shoulders.

    You could bybass Laguna Beach by taking Aliso Creek to Muirlands to catch the San Diego Creek Trail to Huntington Beach (This San Diego Creek Trail goes nowhere near San Diego) http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3719369 This ride is almost entirely on bike paths, or wide class II bike lanes.
    Last edited by CommuteCommando; 11-26-13 at 09:47 PM.
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    Thanks for all the tips. It seems like good rides are not hard to find.

    Are the bike paths dedicated or multi-use? I avoid the bike paths around here because there are too many pedestrians. Ocean front rides here tend to be flat, which is another reason why I avoid them. Run to the hills!

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    South OC has some great MTB rides, but in my opinion the roads are too busy in most areas near the beach. If you have the time I'd head up to GMR/Mt. Baldy area (about and hour drive from Laguna) or up the coast to Malibu/Santa Monica, where the canyons have ocean views - almost as nice as riding in Santa Rosa area!
    _______

  11. #11
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
    Thanks for all the tips. It seems like good rides are not hard to find.

    Are the bike paths dedicated or multi-use? I avoid the bike paths around here because there are too many pedestrians. Ocean front rides here tend to be flat, which is another reason why I avoid them. Run to the hills!
    The bike paths are multi use, but not a problem as pedestrian are sparse enough that you will be able to be up to speed most of the time. I prefer them because some of the traffic signals they bypass are horribly long.

    I added place marks to the link above to highlight some areas with frequent issues. Of course, keep your head up the entire way.
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

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    Here is a ride I like to call the Orange County Tour of Flanders. It has 12 of the best South OC coastal climbs and takes about 5 hours. It has many of the same climbs as the 7 sisters ride, and it can easily be cut down in length to keeps non-riding spouses happy.
    http://app.strava.com/activities/97908637
    This next one is the Live Oak Canyon Loop, it has some of the last rural roads in the county, usually takes around three hours depending on how many side roads are added. It is my favorite.
    http://app.strava.com/activities/96929025
    BTW, I also rent road bikes, CAAD10-3's. so if you are flying into town and are only riding a few days, check out the link in my signature. The cost is much less than flying with a bike. (Not to mention the lack of worry)
    Last edited by Bikegeek1968; 12-02-13 at 11:08 AM.
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  13. #13
    lead on macduff!
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    ^nice route on the first strava ride
    i'd rather be alive wrong than dead right

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    A bunch of people did the now-famous "Left Turn Tour of OC" in September; that route encompassed a bunch of iconic roads in OC, including the 1984 Olympic road race course. Trim out the bits you don't want to do if you want to keep the time down. You can find the route in this subforum if you scroll down a few pages.
    I only looked at the first page, did not dig deeper. Thanks.

    In the end, looks like I might not make the trip after all. I have never been to OC and I would not know what else to do. I searched for "what to do in orange country", but came up empty (besides Disneyland). Besides biking, can't find a good reason to drive 6 hours each way.

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    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Well, you can rent a Ferrari and speed on PCH until you hit a light pole, that seems to be a popular thing to do.

    Or you can bling up your phone case, get a French manicure and put on some big hoop ear rings and drive your kids around in your gargantuan SUV while talking on your blingy phone. Can't do that in Monterey now can you!

  16. #16
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
    I only looked at the first page, did not dig deeper. Thanks.

    In the end, looks like I might not make the trip after all. I have never been to OC and I would not know what else to do. I searched for "what to do in orange country", but came up empty (besides Disneyland). Besides biking, can't find a good reason to drive 6 hours each way.
    Well too bad... just as well, OC this time of year is filled with tourist, although for the life of me, I don't know why (could be the beaches, shopping, restaurants, outdoor recreation etc) except probably has some of the nicest cycling around - you live in Monterey... no sense traveling to another tourist desination now is there!
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    Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.

  17. #17
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    I want to quickly point out that I am not bashing OC at all! I simply have no idea what to do there and driving 6 hours to potentially be bored does not sound appealing. I am open to suggestions. I love rock music and weird events. Only show I can find is at some DIY venue (https://www.facebook.com/TheeMensWarehouse)

    The bike routes do look excellent however.

  18. #18
    lead on macduff!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
    I want to quickly point out that I am not bashing OC at all! I simply have no idea what to do there and driving 6 hours to potentially be bored does not sound appealing. I am open to suggestions. I love rock music and weird events. Only show I can find is at some DIY venue (https://www.facebook.com/TheeMensWarehouse)

    The bike routes do look excellent however.
    agreed. i think i will poach either Elvo's "7 sisters" ride or Bikegeek1968's "oc-tof" ride...or some combo of the two this week on tues, thurs or fri. been unmotivated lately with this
    cold (for native socals) snap and need some new riding territory to sufficiently break the two-pronged, vicious cycle of drinking beer till the wee hours and sleeping in.
    i'd rather be alive wrong than dead right

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    Quote Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
    agreed. i think i will poach either Elvo's "7 sisters" ride or Bikegeek1968's "oc-tof" ride...or some combo of the two this week on tues, thurs or fri. been unmotivated lately with this
    cold (for native socals) snap and need some new riding territory to sufficiently break the two-pronged, vicious cycle of drinking beer till the wee hours and sleeping in.
    FYI, my GPS started acting up at the end of the ride, it did not follow the road closely enough on the last two climbs to show them as segments. They were Avenida Vista Montana, and the ride finishd wih Presidio/Salvador. The wheels were really coming off the bus on that climb.
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