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Newport Beach and Irvine/John Wayne Airport

Old 11-29-19, 01:03 PM
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AngeloDolce
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Newport Beach and Irvine/John Wayne Airport

I'll be working in Newport Beach (Newport Beach Center) for two weeks, and staying at a Residence Inn. I currently have a reservation for the John Wayne Airport/Irvine location, but it looks like there is a Costa Mesa Residence nearby. (Company says they can pay for a rental car but that the Marriott Spa in Newport Beach is too expensive).

I'd rather bring a bicycle for the commute than drive - Google suggests the San Diego River trail and then either Jamboree Rd. or MacArthur Blvd.
  1. Does this commute sound reasonable?
  2. Any comments on Jamboree Rd, MacArthur Blvd, or recommended alternatives?
  3. Would driving be easier than I think?
  4. Any other suggestions?
Distance and weather look easy, I'm more concerned if local roads or drivers actively prohibit bicycles. Similarly, my limit driving is very low (I haven't driven much since 2016, rented cars a few times per year), so when the hotel desk spoke about crazy traffic, I'm inclined to stick with the bicycle plan rather than commit to rush hour traffic in a new location.
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Old 11-29-19, 01:23 PM
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I'll let others who have a more intimate knowledge of the area chime in, but... Jamboree and MacArthur are VERY busy streets, especially on week days.
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Old 11-29-19, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
I'll let others who have a more intimate knowledge of the area chime in, but... Jamboree and MacArthur are VERY busy streets, especially on week days.
Good to know. I think Google will recommend anything with a bike lane (in Google photos), regardless of actual usefulness.

Unfortunately, I don't really see much in the way of alternatives, so it's possible driving is bad and bicycling is much worse.
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Old 11-29-19, 03:14 PM
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mac arthur and jamboree are both busy but are both wide. if i'm remembering correctly, it would be about a 4-5 mile, one-way commute.
your best bet may be to take main, michelson or campus southeast to the san diego creek bike path, then head towards the beach.
would add about 1.5-2 miles to your commute but probably worth it to minimize the commute to cars. there are a few low spots along
the san diego creek bike path so if it's been raining substantially during the time you're out here, there's a chance part(s) of the path could be closed.
path's end dumps out onto a wide sidewalk that curves around the upper part of the back bay and follows eastbluff drive until the back bay road.
i'd take the back bay road until the san joaquin hills rd outlet on your left side. head up a short climb, cross jamboree and that newport center area
is on your right. the back bay road is quiet and scenic. even if you don't end up bike-commuting, it'll be nice to have the bike as there are some nice rides in the area
and a good bike path network in neighboring irvine...assuming you have weekends off.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 11-29-19 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 11-29-19, 04:09 PM
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As stated by ooga-booga, it's a pretty short ride. Your exposure on any of those streets will be minimal. If I was in your shoes I would make that commute without even thinking about it. Just be aware and alert when you're on those roads. You also have the advantage of working right up the street from PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).. Grab that going South for a nice day ride. Pick your mileage, cut it in half and turn around when you reach that point.

Don't overthink your commute. It's really nothing.
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Old 11-29-19, 05:40 PM
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I ride these roads all the time, but I do it differently on weekdays v weekends. The Residence Inn airport location is good. Out the driveway, left of Main (wide bike lane) to the San Diego Creek trail. Enter the trial on the right toward the coast and follow it to the end, it will cross under Jamboree and then bear left and merge into a sidepath along Jamboree. Stay on this to Eastbluff drive and turn right staying on the side path. You will then come to back bay drive, turn right down the hill and along the bay. You will come to a stop sign at San Joaquin Hills Rd. Turn R and climb the short steep hill, cross Jamboree again and Newport Center is on the right side of San Joaquin Hills Rd. Figure out where to turn based on where you’re going.

Most of the streets have bike lanes but weekday traffic there is heavy. The route above is what I would do. On weekends I’d use Harvard, University, Easbluff Rd and Jamboree but I’d still avoid Jamboree between Main and Back Bay. Just not very pleasant compared to Harvard or the creek trail.
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Old 11-29-19, 05:55 PM
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Jimincalif's recommendation is good for getting there. My preference is to just use Jamboree Road when you get to the point where the San Diego Creek trail gets to Jamboree and skip the Back Bay trail when commuting; Jamboree is a long hill, and can be busy, but its w-i-d-e so good clearance from traffic. It'll run into San Jouqiun Hills Road/Newport Center. Commuting back in the evening I'd take the Back Bay Trail for an alternate and interesting side trip, just watch out for the nutty cruiser bikers and oblivious joggers with their earbuds. I'm used to riding in the traffic on the nearby Pacific Coast Hwy, so not bothered by it on other roads, I just keep my eyes open for careless and weaving drivers.
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Old 11-29-19, 07:40 PM
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Yes, skidder’s route is good too, southbound Jamboree is very wide there. And going back on the back bay trail you will be going the same direction as auto traffic (it is one way for them), so you have the wide lane making it easier to maneuver around cruiser bikes and such. Back bay trail speed limit is 15 mph so there is no issue just taking the lane.
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Old 12-03-19, 01:09 AM
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Ooga Booga makes a really good point about the possibility of the San Diego Creek Trail being closed due to rain. You will be coming during winter and it's been raining. If weather permits taking the Back Bay trail (Mountains to the Sea Trail & Bikeway on Google Maps) is a really peaceful and protected ride. I personally would drive because If I were you i'd be packing rain gear for the ride just in case and to pack all that for work would be a drag.
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Old 12-09-19, 03:00 AM
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let us know how it goes...looks like this week should be relatively free and clear of the wet stuff.
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Old 12-10-19, 01:29 AM
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I did get here, and was able to bring a folding bike (Raleigh 20) as checked baggage since American relaxed the size requirement.

I'm basically taking the San Diego trail to Jamboree, the trail hasn't been closed. There is someone else at the office that bikes occasionally. He recommended the Back Bay trail, which I did one morning (and two evenings). It is scenic, but noticeably longer.

I was able to ride a bit more on the PCH bike route this weekend. Some good scenery and some rain. I rode to San Diego, and took the train back. No other bicyclists on the train, although their reservation system indicated some other trains had 1-2 bike spaces reserved.

Ooga-booga, thanks for your comments on the Pacific Surfliner thread. I actually rode from Portland down to LA last year, so continuing further was high on my list. I had seen a post by the BCI Bicycle Club of Irvine about the Camp Pendleton ID requirements (going Mon-Fri morning not feasible, especially to the south gate), but I-5 was manageable. Not ideal, but better than skipping the trip.
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Old 12-10-19, 02:21 AM
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glad you made it. the carlsbad > ucsd stretch along the coast highway is quintessential southern california cycling. enjoy your stay. happy riding. you handled the 5 fwy, you can handle anything out here.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 12-10-19 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 12-10-19, 02:37 AM
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if you're game and have cycling time, i recommend santiago canyon road east of jamboree to cooks corner and then a left on live oak canyon rd. up to rancho santa margarita and mission viejo area.
it would be a roughly 20 min drive (or hour + ride) from the john wayne airport area and as an out and back ride? just under 40 miles with about 3,000 elevation gain.
since it seems like you already headed south along pch, you could head north along pch up to long beach and back. flattish and about 50 miles.
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Old 12-11-19, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
if you're game and have cycling time, i recommend santiago canyon road east of jamboree to cooks corner and then a left on live oak canyon rd. up to rancho santa margarita and mission viejo area.
it would be a roughly 20 min drive (or hour + ride) from the john wayne airport area and as an out and back ride? just under 40 miles with about 3,000 elevation gain.
since it seems like you already headed south along pch, you could head north along pch up to long beach and back. flattish and about 50 miles.
No more recreational cycling time on this trip, my return flight is Friday afternoon. It's possible I'll be out here for another trip, so I'll keep these in mind. The folding Raleigh is convenient on Amtrak, and now American airlines, but to get a low gear on the AW internal 3 speed I lose any high gear - I'm not sure it's ideal for a day ride with 3,000 ft of climbing and descents.

I did get a little more rain than I initially expected Sunday and Saturday, so I'd actually be open to more of the PCH (south or north) if I do get back here with a bicycle.
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