New to Orange County - Irvine - school me on the area!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New to Orange County - Irvine - school me on the area!

    I just moved from Phoenix to Irvine/Orange County. I will be in Irvine, living on UC Irvine campus for the summer til September, and not sure where I'll live after that yet. I had a few questions I was hoping I could get help with!

    1 - Are there good trails close to me? What about within 15/30/60 minutes? Driving is not an issue as I have a 4Runner

    2 - What kind of bike would be best out here? AM? XC? Something in between? (I'm not asking which bike...I can figure that out myself...just what type of bike works the best around the area that will let me take it anywhere around and have fun).

    3 - Any groups around here I should know about so I can learn about the trails/meet friends in the area?

    Thanks for any info! Can't wait to get another bike and start hitting trails again!

    DJ

  2. #2
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    Welcome DJ
    1) you can ride from UCI campus to some good trails, Quail Hill trails up to El Moro state park, adjacent Laguna Coast County Park and across Laguna Canyon, Aliso Woods County Park. It will take you awhile to see all the trails in those three areas, but after that there's Whiting Ranch/Luge 20 minutes away, and some bigger elevation rides in the Santa Ana Mountains ~30 minutes away.
    2) depends on what kind of riding you want to do. trails near you go from XC friendly to AM would be better. IMO a bigger (5-6") bike won't limit you as long as you aren't in too big of rush to get up the hills
    3) there is a UCI bike club, and was a mtbike faction, but not sure if those guys are around any more. You can post up ride request here on MTBR Socal and you might get nibbles. There's a once popular forum called socaltrailriders.org but it's been slow lately. Another is imtbtrails.com but is not OC centric, but some of us use that to find rides both here and elsewhere. Either one you can join and introduce yourself and get in on some rides most likely. Oh yeah, AMTR on Facebook is a local ride meetup site. I can surely show you around some too, lmk

    Dave

  3. #3
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    You've got good stuff all around you! The O.C. locals will guide you to the spots. I only ride there...

  4. #4
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    Agree with all of that posted above. Some people like to comment that my 6" travel Pivot Mach 6 is "too much bike" for SoCal but I appreciate the plush travel spectrum wherever I ride. I grew up in Irvine and went to all those riding areas mentioned above though some of the stuff in Laguna didn't exist at that time. South OC has San Clemente Singletracks (technically in SD County I hear?) and the best ride in OC, the San Juan Trail.

    As far as riding groups, check out meet-up dot com and enter mountain biking in the search field. You join what groups you want and will then get emails when rides are planned....and there are several every week.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Agree with all of that posted above. Some people like to comment that my 6" travel Pivot Mach 6 is "too much bike" for SoCal but I appreciate the plush travel spectrum wherever I ride. I grew up in Irvine and went to all those riding areas mentioned above though some of the stuff in Laguna didn't exist at that time. South OC has San Clemente Singletracks (technically in SD County I hear?) and the best ride in OC, the San Juan Trail.

    As far as riding groups, check out meet-up dot com and enter mountain biking in the search field. You join what groups you want and will then get emails when rides are planned....and there are several every week.
    Any bike that romps through whatever you point it down AND climbs well is not too much bike for anywhere. It's the PERFECT bike, period.

  6. #6
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    DJ - As mentioned, UCI is right next to great coastal riding (El Morro, Laguna and Aliso) which is good for the summer heat. The rides in the Santa Ana mountains will be better suited for early starts to beat the heat. I recently moved from the beach where I rode the coastal parks regularly to an area 20 minutes inland that is next to Santiago Oaks which is another fun park to ride in here in OC. Since I can ride to those trails from my house they are what I hit most these days.

    Since you drive a 4Runner (so do I) you can drive out to Holy Jim Trail in Trabuco Canyon which is another fun singletrack in the Santa Ana's. You need a vehicle with decent clearance to get to the trailhead or you can park at the end of the 4 mile dirt road and make the trek on your bike (I don't like doing that because the road has off roaders who kick up dust and some drive like idiots on it).

    Lots of climbing to do here but also a lot of fun rough stuff so many people ride trail/AM rigs. It's all preference though, obviously.

    Check out geoladders.com and mountainbikebill.com for routes etc. Also feel free to PM me with any questions. When you are heading to a particular spot, like Aliso for example, you can usually search this forum for posts on routes or check out geoladders.. even Google will find you plenty of info.

  7. #7
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    Ummm DJ?
    How about DJK to minimize identity theft.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Ummm DJ?
    How about DJK to minimize identity theft.
    Got it, so from now on you will be going by DJK... I will make note of that and remind others. Lol

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Ochmonek View Post
    Got it, so from now on you will be going by DJK... I will make note of that and remind others. Lol
    The K is silent in this usage.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  10. #10
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    Haha thanks for all the info! I've been looking at bikes and trying to figure out what I want to pick up. I've ridden a 2010 Specialized Stumpjumer FSR Comp and loved it, but I've always dreamed of owning a SC Heckler, and most recently found Breezer Repack.

    DJ(silent K).

  11. #11
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    A friend of mine, who has never owned a "real" mountain bike demo'd the Repack in Fruita in April. It was a little heavy for my tastes but he enjoyed it a great deal...until he rode the Ibis Mojo HD3 the next day which he proclaimed "the best bike he's ever ridden".

  12. #12
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    Don't let Klure's work go to waste:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/california-so...op-938703.html


    The Path Bike Shop runs weekend rides out of the Tustin and Live Oak shops. We ride regularly in the Santa Anas, including in summer. Holler if you want to tag on with us.

    Phoenix area riding will make everything out here seems pretty smooth and bushy, but some still complain about our blown out, loose, dusty, rutted, overgrown forest trails. The bike doesn't really matter, everything gets ridden on everything, usually 6" travel and below. Choose what you like.

  13. #13
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    Phoenix to Irvine just as summer starts, now that is a smart move! You will probably be cold for a few months

    A good reference is a local trail map, The Path bike shop, or REI sell an Orange County mountain bike book and map, also check the online trail info. Most of the popular trails are covered in the prior posts.

    I ride a 160mm travel bike and love it, So Cal riding means lots of climbing so if the geometry is spot on the longer travel will not hinder.

  14. #14
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    OP I will be curious to see how the move works out for you. After 32 years in Phoenix I'm packing my bags and moving to ether Irvine, Fullerton, or a small chance at Santa Barbara. It'll be nice to be done with this 115 degree crap


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    But it's a dry heat.....

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    I did my two decades in the valley of the sun. Happy to visit in winter.

    If you think you are escaping uncomfortable heat is SoCal, you will be disappointed. It gets hot at times, and many living situations near the beach have no AC. But sure, no more eight months of sweating balls is great. More like four inconsistent ones if you live slightly inland. You can be at 8000' in local mountains with a ~2-hr drive, and the Sierra is 4-5. Both have great riding.

  17. #17
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    1) There are a lot of really good trails. Rock-it, missing link/fence line, luge, lizard, and more.

    2) Anything can be ridden on an XC bike but by far most people around here go for full suspension trail/am bikes. Most of the riding around here requires a good amount of pedaling so getting something that has some go is a big help. A good 140-160mm bike is great fun.

  18. #18
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    Thanks everybody, I will for sure check out all this new info! And yeah, it was hot in the Phoenix area, but can still ride early in the morning (5am). Did a little mountain biking, and even some triathlon training in summers. Just gotta bring a Camelback and make sure there's gas stations with ice/water on the route.

    As far as a bike is concerned, I'm more focusing on 5"-6" travel. I've always dreamed of Santa Cruz Hecklers, but also looking at the Butcher/Nickel, Giant Trance, Stumpjumpers, and even Intense Tracer 275 if I can find one cheap enough (I've seen them pretty close). And Breezer Repack.

  19. #19
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    I used to run in Whiting Ranch where that mountain biker was killed by a mtn lion and supposedly the same lion attacked another mtn biker 24 hrs later (watch Human Prey episode on Netflix for details).

    Once I saw the bench dedicated to that dead biker, I never went back in there again. That being said, I've seen a mtn lion in my neighborhood in Glendale a couple yrs ago and kept running there but finally quit that trail as well.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by asookazian View Post
    I used to run in Whiting Ranch where that mountain biker was killed by a mtn lion and supposedly the same lion attacked another mtn biker 24 hrs later (watch Human Prey episode on Netflix for details).

    Once I saw the bench dedicated to that dead biker, I never went back in there again. That being said, I've seen a mtn lion in my neighborhood in Glendale a couple yrs ago and kept running there but finally quit that trail as well.
    Do you also avoid street intersections where people have been killed in car accidents? Kidding aside, I'd worry more about having a heart attack on the trail than getting attacked by a big kitty. Don't get me wrong though, I've had my moments of thinking something is watching me while riding in the Santa Ana Mtns alone.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by asookazian View Post
    I used to run in Whiting Ranch where that mountain biker was killed by a mtn lion and supposedly the same lion attacked another mtn biker 24 hrs later (watch Human Prey episode on Netflix for details).

    Once I saw the bench dedicated to that dead biker, I never went back in there again. That being said, I've seen a mtn lion in my neighborhood in Glendale a couple yrs ago and kept running there but finally quit that trail as well.
    Tough believing anyone could be so obtuse as to disregard all the unseen lions while overreacting to known activity. Maybe someone watching too much drama toob would...

    As stated, other dangers are far more likely, like dying in a car crash en route.

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