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Where to ride in Costa Mesa area?

Old 11-16-11, 01:10 PM
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ilushka
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Where to ride in Costa Mesa area?

Hi everyone,

I'll be visiting my parents in Costa Mesa for Thanksgiving and was thinking about bringing my bike to squeeze in a ride or two. Streets are usually empty during the holiday so I figured it would be a good opportunity to explore the area.

Any suggestions where I can go? Are there any routes that are extra popular with the locals?

I'm from Bay Area and love the variety of climbs around here, I'm a regular on highway 9, Montabello Rd, and Old La Honda Rd., so something between 30-50 miles with a solid 2000-3000+ foot climb would be awesome. Oh, and I'll be staying really close to the Grand Newport Plaza, so hopefully I can just ride from there.

Thanks in advance.

-- ilya
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Old 11-16-11, 01:24 PM
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You would need to go east to the Mountains for 2000-3000' Climbs..that would probably involve hauling your bike there by Car to get there.

Here's an idea: For an awesome scenic ride, take Superior Ave to the PCH, go left and take PCH all the way through Newport, Corona Del Mar, Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach and on down to Dana Point.
Go right onto Golden Lantern, cruise down to the Harbor for a Coffee then head off back home the same way you came. There are lots of Rollers on the way there and back but not much in the way of climbing.

It's a great route for someone who is new to the area because there are only a couple of turns and it's impossible to get lost.

Have fun and welcome to the area

Last edited by Jaguar27; 11-16-11 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 11-16-11, 01:50 PM
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Easy, head up to Santiago Canyon Road and do the Modjeska, Silverado Canyon, Ridgeline, and Live Oak Canyon climbs. They all branch out from Santiago Canyon Road. Should be about 5k of total elevation gain if you head from Costa Mesa.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ilushka View Post
Hi everyone,

I'll be visiting my parents in Costa Mesa for Thanksgiving and was thinking about bringing my bike to squeeze in a ride or two. Streets are usually empty during the holiday so I figured it would be a good opportunity to explore the area.

Any suggestions where I can go? Are there any routes that are extra popular with the locals?

I'm from Bay Area and love the variety of climbs around here, I'm a regular on highway 9, Montabello Rd, and Old La Honda Rd., so something between 30-50 miles with a solid 2000-3000+ foot climb would be awesome. Oh, and I'll be staying really close to the Grand Newport Plaza, so hopefully I can just ride from there.

Thanks in advance.

-- ilya
There's variety for Los Angeles & Orange Counties as well but more spread out. For climbing its the Santa Monica mountains and the San Gabriel mountains. The previous Tour of California went through the San Gabriel's to Mount Baldy. That you would like. But its nowhere near Costa Mesa.

If you want to explore the area, its going to be what Jaguar27 said. That type of exploration is about the "Gold Coast" of Orange County. It's more stop and go. You got to stop by Le Montage resort (where Lance Armstrong sometimes stays) and walk along the public access beach. Laguna beach is nice to walk around. Something close to Sausalito.

If I had a bike tour guide, I would do one day in the San Gabriels like Glendora Mountain Road to Glendora Ridge Road to Mt Baldy Village. And If you're a fit cyclist for climbing, continue up to Manker Flats to what's called the Ski Lifts, a parking lot. That last 3 miles is a killer. Then the second day just relax and goof around Pacific Coast Hwy like what Jaguar27 suggests.

Sometimes I like to ride to a famous local surfing spot called the Newport Wedge(Newport Beach). Ride there only if the surf is unusually high. Lots of spectators.

Last edited by Garfield Cat; 11-16-11 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 11-16-11, 03:10 PM
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Not exactly mountain hills, but Newport Coast should be really close to you... take it from PCH and then when you get to the top take Ridge Park Vista Ridge - it's fairly steep. You can also take San Joaquin Hill from BackBay to the same point. Another fairly scenic ride that's not too far from you would be Shady Canyon.

You can't go wrong with Santiago Canyon. If you're over there doing all those hills I would treat your self to Trabuca Canyon -> Like Oak Canyon. Live oak is a very nice long twisty descent with a canopy of very old oak trees. It's beautiful. And after that you go up a fairly steep hill with 180 degree switch back in the middle of it - kind of neat. Depending on when/where you want to ride, I might be able to go/guide but it sounds like you may be much more fit than I.
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Old 11-17-11, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaguar27 View Post
Here's an idea: For an awesome scenic ride, take Superior Ave to the PCH, go left and take PCH all the way through Newport, Corona Del Mar, Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach and on down to Dana Point.
Go right onto Golden Lantern, cruise down to the Harbor for a Coffee then head off back home the same way you came. There are lots of Rollers on the way there and back but not much in the way of climbing.
That looks like a chill ride. I walked around Balboa Island before, so I know that area a little bit. I think I'll save it for the day I'll head back on, like Garfield suggests. I want to squeeze in "epic" ride as well
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Old 11-17-11, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
If I had a bike tour guide, I would do one day in the San Gabriels like Glendora Mountain Road to Glendora Ridge Road to Mt Baldy Village. And If you're a fit cyclist for climbing, continue up to Manker Flats to what's called the Ski Lifts, a parking lot. That last 3 miles is a killer. Then the second day just relax and goof around Pacific Coast Hwy like what Jaguar27 suggests.
This route looks intriguing, how safe are these roads? Glendora Ridge Road looks like a one way road with no shoulder, how is the traffic? Do people keep it slow or am I going to run into some rally racer wannabees on it?
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Old 11-17-11, 02:37 AM
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I would suggest a place called backbay drive and all the associated trails with it. It is incredibly scenic and absolutely perfect for cycling. however it is mostly flat with some very steep rolls every now and then.
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Old 11-17-11, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ilushka View Post
This route looks intriguing, how safe are these roads? Glendora Ridge Road looks like a one way road with no shoulder, how is the traffic? Do people keep it slow or am I going to run into some rally racer wannabees on it?
Thanksgiving holiday weekend: Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I would imagine there would be many bike riders on these days and also motorcycle riders later on the day with a few cars. Mr. Beanz in this forum has a blog and you would get a good idea from his YouTube clips as to the road terrain and conditions. Its a very good ride. Good enough for the Tour of California up to the ski lifts. Or just use the search feature of this forum at the upper right and type in Glendora Mountain Road.
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Old 11-17-11, 10:37 AM
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Glendora Ridge Rd on a week day is sweet. I think I have past 3 cars tops. Don't know about weekends. It has no shoulder and it is two way, but pretty narrow! But it is so quiet out there that you are able to hear cars moving.
If you do plan to drive to ride, you should also look into the Palos Verdes peninsula. Great views, bike lane for most of the rides too. Rolling hills on Palos Verdes Drive South. Long grinds up Crenshaw/Hawthorne. Moderate climbing up Via Del Monte.

Mapmyride and garmin connect should have some route options.
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Old 11-17-11, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
Easy, head up to Santiago Canyon Road and do the Modjeska, Silverado Canyon, Ridgeline, and Live Oak Canyon climbs. They all branch out from Santiago Canyon Road. Should be about 5k of total elevation gain if you head from Costa Mesa.
Do this. As mentioned before, "real" mountain climbing will require driving to LA County or the Inland Empire. From Costa Mesa, hop on the "Mountains to the Sea" MUP. When it ends are Portola - take Jamboree north to Santiago Canyon and turn right. (Or you can park near that intersection - but not in the shopping center. They'll tow you.)
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Old 11-17-11, 09:40 PM
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Another option would be to do the Orange County Rebel group rides. They will be riding every day over the holidays. They start in Irvine which is very close to Costa Mesa. Here's there website link https://ocrebels.com/
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Old 11-18-11, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by allroy71 View Post
Glendora Ridge Rd on a week day is sweet. I think I have past 3 cars tops. Don't know about weekends. It has no shoulder and it is two way, but pretty narrow! But it is so quiet out there that you are able to hear cars moving.
If you do plan to drive to ride, you should also look into the Palos Verdes peninsula. Great views, bike lane for most of the rides too. Rolling hills on Palos Verdes Drive South. Long grinds up Crenshaw/Hawthorne. Moderate climbing up Via Del Monte.

Mapmyride and garmin connect should have some route options.
Thanks for the route you sent me, I can't reply since I have less than 50 posts. I was actually plotting a very similar route and was trying to figure out what streets to take to Santiago Canyon. Thanks again.

-- ilya
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Old 11-18-11, 12:11 PM
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Well, thanks again to everyone for the input, I now have plenty of options. I just need to carve out some time for the family and I'll be set

-- ilya
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Old 11-18-11, 03:48 PM
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Just a little way south of Costa Mesa down PCH is Laguna Beach where the seven sisters hang out. 5000 feet of climb over 30 miles. Here is the route. Be careful, I think one of the sisters took out a local cyclist just recently. He didn't make the switch back on the decent and hit the wall.

https://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Cour...?course=184876

Have fun.

You can expect some very scenic views of the ocean.

Last edited by lpolliard; 11-18-11 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 11-19-11, 01:00 PM
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All great suggestions, one thing is for certain, we have loads of great rides here and one of the best Cycling climates in the world.

We're really lucky!!
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