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what's the riding scene like in irvine?

Old 07-22-19, 12:20 AM
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spectastic
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what's the riding scene like in irvine?

I could be moving there. later this year. I realize LA area tends to be all interconnected. but I'm wondering what people's impressions are about irvine. I've read that the area is a little quiet and very suburban. However, nearby areas like santa ana or laguna beach might have more stuff going on. How's the riding as well? Thanks
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Old 07-22-19, 01:18 AM
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irvine’s got a really nice intracity (apparently not a word) dedicated bike paths network. the network turns to bike lanes once outside of irvine city limits. the city itself has the yale loop which is arguably the best non-bike path jaunt within city limits. irvine tends to be a “pass-through” area enroute to the hotter spots for road cycling in orange county such as: mission viejo, laguna beach, newport beach “back bay” and santiago canyon road. there’s mountain biking in the foothills of and in the santa ana mtns northeast of town and also south of town on the inland side of laguna beach.

irvine itself is super flat. hardest hills will be shortish (half a mile) and super steep 12%+ grades east of pacific coast highway in laguna beach for roadies. for flats/flattish with scenery, you’ll need to bounce over to newport beach and head up the coast towards seal beach.

if you get bored of the area, you can always take the train nw from the irvine station to dtown la and hit mt. wilson, mt. baldy, hwy 39 and gmr/grr for serious mountains. angeles national forest (containing all these rides) is a 30-45 minute drive (without traffic).

and yah, la area tends to be interconnected in the basin as it relates to orange county/irvine, you've got the la habra hills/puente hills areas that divide the eastern part of the greater la basin into orange county to the south and a continuation of la county/intro into riverside county to the north. la habra hills are a fun, smallish (30 miles or so) wiggles & giggles ride with plenty of chutes & ladders and definitely worth checking out at some point.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 07-22-19 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 07-22-19, 08:41 AM
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Irvine is pretty fantastic for cycling. I was ride coordinator for the Bicycle Club of Irvine the last two years. You can do flat rides, beach rides, serious hills or mix it up. Go to BCI -- Bicycle Club of Irvine, we have rides every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, all starting in Irvine. The routes are posted and most have links to the route on RidewithGPS. Routes are 16 - 50+ miles with several hundred feet to 3,000 feet elevation. They will give you a good feel for local riding available.

For our larger group rides we tend not to use the local MUP trails a lot, but there is an extensive network that is great for solo or small groups.

Also from here its a 45 minute drive to epic climbs in the local mountains such as Glendora Mountain Road, Crystal Lake, Onyx Summit, Oak Glen or Forest Falls. Irvine is well served by Metrolink with trains from LA down to Oceanside. A $10 pass for a Saturday or Sunday you can just walk on with your bike, no advance reservation needed, to extend your ride. Just last week we rode 50 miles to Oceanside then grabbed the train back to Irvine.

The weather is wonderful almost all the time. We ride year round. On hot days we can head to the beach where itís usually 20 degrees cooler.

Also check out the Orange County Wheelmen, many (most) of their rides start in Irvine as well. Another great club with good routes. Ocwheelmen.org.
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Old 07-24-19, 06:02 PM
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likely pretentious
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Old 07-25-19, 07:01 AM
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^ride solo
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Old 07-28-19, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
irvine itself is super flat. hardest hills will be shortish (half a mile) and super steep 12%+ grades east of pacific coast highway in laguna beach for roadies. for flats/flattish with scenery, youíll need to bounce over to newport beach and head up the coast towards seal beach.
Irvine is not 100% flat - but most of the area are fairly flat - the hill part are on Shady Canyon/Turtle Rock/UCI area and Portola PKWY.

As everyone said above - Irvine is great place to ride bike and connect to many bike lanes all over places and nearby city neighborhood.
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Old 07-28-19, 06:47 PM
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Irvine Riding

I concur. The riding is nice in Irvine. There's a road from the train station (amtrak), that leads south to Dana Point, etc, which has wide bike lanes, leading to a path that leads all the way to the coast.
Coast riding, though busy, is a way to cool off from the inland higher temps. It's a suburb of the largess of Los Angeles.
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Old 08-01-19, 04:21 AM
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ultimately, it really depends on how you cycle. are you someone that does a (nearly) daily ride before or after work for an hour or two?
a weekend warrior? a combination? grabbing riding time whenever you can w/o a semi-set schedule between work and commitments?
can you get cycling exercise in irvine? yes. it takes the better part of 30 mins to get anywhere scenic tho. neighboring mission viejo
(home of the 1984 olympic road race course that you can duplicate) is filled with challenging rollers. relatively easy matter to ride
the area including irvine and surrounding oc as there are tons of bike lanes and generally good pavement. gravitate to the coast
for any mix of the views, steep short climbs, flats to the north or south. hit the foothills and santiago canyon rd (scr)/live oak canyon/antonio parkway
east/west or vice versa for some longer grades and less traffic. incorporate both the foothills and the coast as a loop ride and you've nearly got a diverse century.
pacific coast highway (pch)/hwy 1/el camino real from seal beach south through san clemente is the real deal. arguably the most essential part of
pacific coast highway in socal to ride and a must-do for any visitor or socal cyclist. some pinch points/take the lane stretches in newport beach
and laguna beach tho. duck the surfers carrying their boards on their heads turning around when they hear your raspy drivetrain and bring the sunscreen/sunblock.
i really think this stretch maintains the idyllic beaches of california dream without the ridiculous traffic better than parts north (malibu).

Last edited by ooga-booga; 08-01-19 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 08-04-19, 05:30 AM
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I see homeless encampments in nearby Newport Beach, here and there, in small groups. But I don't see any encampments in Irvine.
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Old 08-07-19, 10:36 PM
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Santa Ana has a high crime rate and isn't bike friendly. Avoid it like the plague.
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Old 08-08-19, 01:05 AM
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somehow survived a 6am-8am noodling and toodling along with breakfast at norm’s in santa ana a month ago along with a ride-through a week later.
guess i just like to live dangerously. bring out your dead.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 08-08-19 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 08-11-19, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
Santa Ana has a high crime rate and isn't bike friendly. Avoid it like the plague.
Jon
Ehm... depends on where.... If central Santa Ana, yes there's high crime area. but north and south Santa Ana isn't that bad. And yes, I agree that Santa Ana isn't exactly bike friendly except for new Bristol street expansion and north Grand Ave.

When I used to work in Santa Ana near Grand Ave. and Fourth Street, sometimes I saw road cyclists riding through Grand Ave. it's dangerous because of narrow on the street. So, I slowed down and stayed behind cyclists to protect them while they ride through narrow street (between Santa Ana Blvd and Fourth Street). Too bad, I don't work in Santa Ana anymore.
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Old 08-11-19, 09:08 PM
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There are some wonderful old neighborhoods in NE Santa Ana that I enjoy riding through. Old houses, huge lots, canopies of trees. Never had a problem riding around there. Yeah, streets are older so not perfect pavement. And some of the major streets are not bike friendly, but there are multiple routing options. itís definitely not unusually dangerous there.
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Old 08-21-19, 12:03 PM
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Irvine itself is bike friendly. You could ride <20 miles to Laguna Beach or Newport Coast for some really steep climbs, such as Seven Sisters.

No Mountains (>1500 ft) in the vicinity. You'll need to drive (or ride, if you're REALLY good) 30-40 miles, then there are super nice ~6000-8000 ft Mountains (Baldy, San Gabriel, Onyx...)
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