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Route recomendations for Balboa Island area

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Route recomendations for Balboa Island area

Old 07-16-18, 11:43 AM
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Focused1
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Route recomendations for Balboa Island area

I have some friends staying on Balboa Island in a couple of weeks. Can anybody suggest some good routes around there? I'm not at all familiar with the area, traffic, etc. Seems as if there is only one way to get on the island...maybe a loop around the Peninsula, Newport, and then the Island? Something between 30 and 50 miles would be great
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Old 07-16-18, 12:17 PM
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the edges of orange county (pacific coast hwy along the ocean and santiago canyon rd) are pretty sweet. to incorporate both with the most scenic stretches would be just over a 50 mile loop. much of the middle of orange county is suburban torture (the old towne of orange being a welcome respite) but the sprawling town of irvine has a marvelous web of bike paths that are super handy to navigate in all four directions. the smallish mountains that rise up behind laguna beach have some ridiculously difficult climbs and would be a closer ride to balboa island. if you're feeling flats, could always head north towards long beach and either stay on the coast or turn north and take the la river trail (lart), san gabriel river trail (sgrt) or the santa ana river trail (sart). all three river trails have homeless encampment issues well covered in other threads in the so cal regional forum.

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Old 07-16-18, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
all three river trails have homeless encampment issues well covered in other threads in the so cal regional forum.
Camps are really not an issue any more.
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Old 07-16-18, 03:58 PM
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There are some really great rides you can do from there. You can do almost completely flat on MUPs or try some really steep climbs or just rolling hills or any combination. If you come off the island and make a right onto Bayside, you can wiggle over to PCH and down to Laguna Beach. There is some decent climbing (not epic, but a good workout, nice views and really expensive houses) in Newport Coast along the way if you choose to turn off PCH. Otherwise there are steeper (how's 14-17% sound) hills in Laguna you can suffer on if you are so inclined. Or, you can turn left off Balboa onto Bayside, go a mile or two to the marina, and on the other side is the Mountains to Sea bikeway, which is a nice, wide MUP with striping to (sometimes) separate peds from bikes. You can follow that inland, transfer to the Peters Canyon trail, climb Jamboree Road (easy) and make a right onto Santiago Canyon Road, which is probably the best, traffic light free piece of riding road in O.C. A loop from Balboa through Santiago Canyon and back might be close to 60, but it's up on the way out and down on the way back, so it feels easier. Take a look at some rides on Strava or mapmyride, there are hundreds of options from that area. Personally, I don't like PCH north of Balboa because it has sketchy (or no) bike lanes and lots of beach traffic. South is ok at least until downtown Laguna, but then there are other ways to escape the traffic from there.
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Old 07-16-18, 07:00 PM
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You can also get on the island via the Ferry
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Old 07-16-18, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Camps are really not an issue any more.
only a matter of time, my friend, until they are again. unless the various jurisdictions with the trails running through them
reallocate precious resources/money, i fear it will be an ebb and flow thing. i don't ride them frequently...probably ride segments of each twice/thrice
a year and have never had an issue but some of the various posters regarding the three river trails have over the years.
in my experience, mornings are best. the trails are invaluable to cover serious ground quickly and avoid some of the worst la basin traffic,
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Old 07-17-18, 07:44 AM
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Family ride: take the ferry to Balboa Peninsula. ~14 mi bike path northwest all the way to Sunset Beach. Add another 12 mi to Queen Mary (bike lane + path). Most likely they'll get some tailwind on the way back.
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Old 07-18-18, 01:11 AM
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ditch any friends and/or family. if they're at the beach, they'll be exactly where you left 'em.
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Old 07-18-18, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Focused1 View Post
I have some friends staying on Balboa Island in a couple of weeks. Can anybody suggest some good routes around there? I'm not at all familiar with the area, traffic, etc. Seems as if there is only one way to get on the island...maybe a loop around the Peninsula, Newport, and then the Island? Something between 30 and 50 miles would be great
Here's a couple of short local-ish routes from Balboa:

Back Bay

Back Bay & Shady Canyon

In order to get into the 30 to 50 mile range, you have a lot of choices. But on a certain level it would be wrong to be in that area and not take advantage of some of the bicycle infrastructure put in by the taxpayers of Irvine.

Loop Through Irvine

Loop Through Santiago Canyon

Hope that helps
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Old 07-19-18, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
Here's a couple of short local-ish routes from Balboa:

Back Bay

Back Bay & Shady Canyon

In order to get into the 30 to 50 mile range, you have a lot of choices. But on a certain level it would be wrong to be in that area and not take advantage of some of the bicycle infrastructure put in by the taxpayers of Irvine.

Loop Through Irvine

Loop Through Santiago Canyon

Hope that helps
I'm up in that general area about once or twice a year. Those look like some good loops. Thanks.
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Old 07-19-18, 04:37 PM
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Best viewed on YouTube and not embedded, but whatever:


Many other videos can be found; just search for the names in the loop titles above.
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Old 07-20-18, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
Best viewed on YouTube and not embedded, but whatever:

Jeffrey Open Space Trail in Irvine

Many other videos can be found; just search for the names in the loop titles above.
That way is easy way because it's mostly downhill. I've rode opposite way than the video shown - it's bit hard work because you're mostly climbing. Yeah, too many people on that trail. I haven't ride there for long time and if I'm heading back this trail, I would just take street rather than on that trail because of people.

Speaking of Back Bay route - just be careful on HWY 1 and Dover Rd. I have heard many incident involving car and bikes.
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Old 07-24-18, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JMH714 View Post
[...]Yeah, too many people on that trail. [...]
I rode that section of the Jeffrey Trail on Monday morning around 9:00 a.m. and there was hardly a soul on it. Hot weekday morning, so certainly that has something to do with it. I would not want to be out there on a weekend at that hour, but it is light enough to ride at 5:30 a.m. right now, so a person doesn't necessarily have to be dodging pedestrians. Just go early enough.

Usually I am going up Hick's Canyon Trail and down Jeffrey Trail, which I think is the best way. But if you do that in reverse, you can go downhill on Hicks/Peters Canyon trails. However because the ability to see pedestrians at a good distance is better on Jeffrey, I prefer to go the usual way.
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Old 07-24-18, 08:18 PM
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That's cool. I usually come up from Newport Beach to Jefferey Rd and then into Hick's Canyon. I do agree that it goes downhill on Hick's Canyon. I don't think anyone like me riding 25-30 mph on Hick's Canyon. lol
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Old 07-24-18, 11:33 PM
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IME the people who walk along Hicks are not bike-friendly (or maybe just not friendly period). I avoid it. Traffic on Portola is usually not bad.
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Old 07-25-18, 10:48 PM
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I like to get off the island and head left and go through back bay and over past UCI - then turn up Harvard (?) and go all the way up the trail and up Jamboree to Santiago and then ride the canyon and take one of many routes back. I think someone posted a map of this route above. If you're feeling real ambitious you can take PCH to SGRT - then all the way up to Azusa canyon and get some good climbs in - it is huge loop, sea level to the snow (during the winter anyway)
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Old 07-26-18, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
IME the people who walk along Hicks are not bike-friendly (or maybe just not friendly period). I avoid it. Traffic on Portola is usually not bad.
Have I come across "bike-friendly" pedestrians anywhere? Not anywhere I can recall.

Pedestrians the world over are no different from cyclists: both tend to think their activity on a given trail or whatever is the most important activity. Human nature, basically selfish, and I include myself in this. Judging by the way occasional pedestrians go out of their way to say thanks for warning them I'm approaching from behind with a bell or something verbal, that courtesy is not as common as it should be.

That said, I am fortunate in that I seldom ride the trails of Irvine, or other trails, on the weekends. I only ride those on weekdays, usually early in the day. Every time I have made an exception and gone out on a weekend, I have regretted it.
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Old 07-26-18, 10:13 AM
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Even on weekends, the Walnut and Peters Canyon trails are pretty good for bikes in Irvine. The JOST, San Diego Creek and Sand Canyon trails are very busy on weekends, I don't ride them a lot but when I do for the most part non-bike users are pretty good as long as riders are also courteous to them. In Sand Canyon many of the walkers use the adjacent gravel trail, but even though Hicks has the same set-up most of them use the pavement and are rude about anyone else trying to pass them.

Maybe just my bad luck with other users on Hicks but I choose to avoid it just for my own peace.
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