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  1. #1
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    Moving from Norcal to Orange County

    Job transfer is taking me to Socal. Will be working near John Wayne airport. Where to live and where to ride are the next questions to be solved. I am in my early forties with a young family.

    Thanks for the help.

    W.

  2. #2
    Over the Hill
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    You may be in for some sticker shock with Orange County housing prices...especially coming from Salinas. That said, if you can swing it, the closer to the coast the better. San Clemente is the only place left that is a little bit reasonable.

    I am a Nor-cal transplant (Gualala) and have lived in Laguna Beach for the last 12 years. I am two blocks from bike riding, El Moro and Laguna Wilderness Parks, and two blocks from the ocean, Crescent Bay. Personally I do not like So-Cal that much but Laguna Beach and the weather is hard to beat. Bike riding is very good down here, especially if you drive to the San Gabriel’s.
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  3. #3
    Young.Brash.Hopeful.
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    transplanted also....

    I recently moved from Chico to SoCal.... i cant really help you out on living details... but some riding....

    Check out everything on the Ortega Hwy really fun stuff, you can get some super epic rides out there....

    Laguna Hills.... I cant remember the name of the place, but its a park/preserve, (i think). either or, riding is le-git, no epic rides here but lots of fun linked loop options...

  4. #4
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    Does your company have a relocation person to help you out? If not, see if you can swing some time off to head down there and talk with some of the folks you'll be working with. They can clue you in on traffic and schools

    I used to live down there, and had family there. Traffic can be nightmarish, and its probably better if you can avoid a big freeway commute. From that perspective, the closer you are to work, the better, so I'd be looking at Irvine, Tustin, Costa Mesa, maybe the nicer parts of Santa Ana. Coming from Salinas, you'll understand there's good parts of town, and not so good parts of town.

    Newport is all pretty expensive, and might not be the best place for kids. That's just my bias; I've got no problems with folks with money, but any beach town has sort of a Party all the time atmosphere, and Newport always seems to be hopping. Laguna is a very cute town, but also pretty expensive.

    Good luck

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input. I will have some time after the new year to spend some more time there. I was there last weekend and got a tour of Tustin Ranch, Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Hills. I was told the toll road can save some time during commute times.
    I was shown a few homes in the Aliso Viejo area that were next to some trail head. Thought that might be nice. My wife wants me to consider a much longer commute and be next to some friends in Coto but I have been told that could be up to an hour commute. I will look to join some weeknight and weekend riding groups once I get there.

    W.

  6. #6
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    I'm also a NorCal transplant

    Quote Originally Posted by washer
    Thanks for the input. I will have some time after the new year to spend some more time there. I was there last weekend and got a tour of Tustin Ranch, Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Hills. I was told the toll road can save some time during commute times.
    I was shown a few homes in the Aliso Viejo area that were next to some trail head. Thought that might be nice. My wife wants me to consider a much longer commute and be next to some friends in Coto but I have been told that could be up to an hour commute. I will look to join some weeknight and weekend riding groups once I get there.

    W.
    Welcome to SoCal! My wife and I said we'd never live in Southern California and, well, here we are. We also have young kids and live in Irvine. Aliso & Wood Canyons Regional Park, Whiting Ranch, and El Moro (in Crystal Cove State Park) are the rides that are easiest to get to. As mentioned in an earlier reply, the Cleveland National Forest has the more epic rides (in particular, the San Juan Trail is a lot of fun) The riding here is decent, but I miss the forested trails of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Franko's Maps (http://www.frankosmaps.com) makes maps of the area. You can buy them at most bike stores in the area. Jax Bicycles in Irvine has them.

    In terms of living far south of Irvine, it is doable (Coto is probably about 40 minutes from your workplace in traffic), but Irvine seems to be a commute destination so traffic into Irvine is far heavier than traffic leaving Irvine in the mornings. It would be far easier to drive from Irvine to Coto de Caza than it would be to commute to Irvine every morning. One thing to consider is that Irvine is very much a planned community with fairly strict homeowner association regulations. The good part of this is that your neighbor won't be painting his front door a bright shade of pink any time soon. The bad news is that you also won't be able to paint your front door a bright shade of pink. However, the schools are excellent & the community seems to be well kept up with adequate provision for neighborhood parks and recreational facilities. My sense of Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills is that there are fewer neighborhood parks around, if that is an important consideration for you.

    If you want to ride or have questions about the area, send me an e-mail (from the link in my profile) With a 6 month old baby and a 3 year old, my fitness isn't so great, but I am looking to get into better shape in the coming months.

  7. #7
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    I'd suggest Aliso Viejo...it is very central for a lot of rides in Orange County and its right on the toll road that will take you to your work location. It's also not far from the beach and summer temps stay moderate. Coto is nice, but very remote and hot as heck in the summer. I'd be happy to show you some trails when you're in town. PM if interested.

  8. #8
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    Welcome

    Allmost all the fun trails are in the Southern half of the county with the exception of Santiago Oaks so find a place you can afford anywhere in South county and enjoy. The riding is quite different from the little riding I've done in Nor cal but still very fun. Median homes are 630k so bring you're best wallet.
    Last edited by slowrider; 12-06-2005 at 12:21 AM. Reason: Spelling

  9. #9
    Don't be a sheep
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    Quote Originally Posted by washer
    Thanks for the input. I will have some time after the new year to spend some more time there. I was there last weekend and got a tour of Tustin Ranch, Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Hills. I was told the toll road can save some time during commute times.
    I was shown a few homes in the Aliso Viejo area that were next to some trail head. Thought that might be nice. My wife wants me to consider a much longer commute and be next to some friends in Coto but I have been told that could be up to an hour commute. I will look to join some weeknight and weekend riding groups once I get there.

    W.
    I live by Coto and used to commute to where you'll be working and you really don't want to do that. One of the worst commutes in SoCal. I'd stay in the Costa Mesa, Irvine, Tustin area. I really like the older sections of Tustin near old town, been looking at places there recently. Many people dog SoCal, especially transplants, but if you can get past the traffic and cost of living the area is amazing.
    "Do not touch the trim"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowrider
    Allmost all the fun trails are in the Southern half of the county with the exception of Santiago Oaks so find a place you can afford anywhere in South county and enjoy. The riding is quite different from the little riding I've done in Nor cal but still very fun. Median homes are 630k so bring you're best wallet.
    I have been spoiled in that it takes me ten minutes to ride to fort ord and play on the trails of the sea otter classic. I usually ride 5 to 6 days a week. I am also looking forward to not having to drive 6 hours to race in SoCal.

    I currently commute 25 miles into Carmel each day. I try and ride in 3 times per week. When commuting via the two wheel machine, I might add an additional 5 miles to get in a good ride - road ride that is.

    Since my wife will not be working I need to keep home purchase to not much more than 1 million.

    Anybody commute via bike in the areas?

    W.

  11. #11
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    SoCal Info

    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre
    Welcome to SoCal! My wife and I said we'd never live in Southern California and, well, here we are. We also have young kids and live in Irvine. Aliso & Wood Canyons Regional Park, Whiting Ranch, and El Moro (in Crystal Cove State Park) are the rides that are easiest to get to. As mentioned in an earlier reply, the Cleveland National Forest has the more epic rides (in particular, the San Juan Trail is a lot of fun) The riding here is decent, but I miss the forested trails of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Franko's Maps (http://www.frankosmaps.com) makes maps of the area. You can buy them at most bike stores in the area. Jax Bicycles in Irvine has them.

    In terms of living far south of Irvine, it is doable (Coto is probably about 40 minutes from your workplace in traffic), but Irvine seems to be a commute destination so traffic into Irvine is far heavier than traffic leaving Irvine in the mornings. It would be far easier to drive from Irvine to Coto de Caza than it would be to commute to Irvine every morning. One thing to consider is that Irvine is very much a planned community with fairly strict homeowner association regulations. The good part of this is that your neighbor won't be painting his front door a bright shade of pink any time soon. The bad news is that you also won't be able to paint your front door a bright shade of pink. However, the schools are excellent & the community seems to be well kept up with adequate provision for neighborhood parks and recreational facilities. My sense of Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills is that there are fewer neighborhood parks around, if that is an important consideration for you.

    If you want to ride or have questions about the area, send me an e-mail (from the link in my profile) With a 6 month old baby and a 3 year old, my fitness isn't so great, but I am looking to get into better shape in the coming months.
    Thanks for the information. With a 7 and 4 year old and a wife who is an elementary school teacher, schools are probably the most important factor. Neighborhood parks and family atmosphere are on top of the list as well.

    My fitness is not so great at the moment either. Been in physical therapy for the past thre months with a knee issue. It does not seem to be getting much better either. My riding has been limited to hour rides on flat terrain.

    I will be looking for people to ride with when I get there in mid to late January.

    W.

  12. #12
    jrm
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    Lived there to long..

    Quote Originally Posted by washer
    Job transfer is taking me to Socal. Will be working near John Wayne airport. Where to live and where to ride are the next questions to be solved. I am in my early forties with a young family.

    Thanks for the help.

    W.
    If your near the airport and you have small kids id look into the irvine/tustin area. There are areas of irvine like northwoods and around stoneridge that are compatible. The schools are good, shopping and entertainment is near and you can easily ride to and from work by combining the class 1/11 and III cycling facilities throughout the irvine, tustin and costa mesa areas. You also have transit options...

    Honestly i would locate as near your place of work as you can. Driving/Commuting in So. Cal is a real drag in terms of cost (time). If you do live south of the airport the commutes going to get worse because then your slave to 5 and 405 to get north unless you drive the back roads which is a very common practice.

    Being in Irvine you have the cleveland national forest at your back door. IMO its the best riding in OC. Its kinda isolated, exposed and vast. But if you hook up with the someone like the warriors society they will be happy to show you the good stuff out there. Theres also aliso, el moro, whiting and laguna wilderness. Of the 3 laguna wilderness has the best stuff IMO. Theres also some relative connectivity between El Moro, Aliso and Laguna canyon via trails and roads. But again cleveland is the shlt.

  13. #13
    I speak for the trees
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    How much house can you afford is the key question

    You should also check out Corona del Mar, a low-key bedroom community on the south side of Newport Beach. It's not cheap, but it would still be worth your while to check out. Schools are very good, I live a mile from the beach, 2 miles from trails into Laguna Wilderness & El Moro, 5 miles from John Wayne Airport, have good freeway access for points elsewhere, and cdm has a small town feel.

    I second the comment above about the commute from Coto - it wouldn't be fun. And for me, Coto is pretty far from everything else, although it is close to trails in the Santa Anas. Good luck!

  14. #14
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    My lady grew up in Irvine, her folks settled in Woodbridge. She turned out pretty ok, her sister however has lined up with the drug users and is having issues. Be careful of the suburbs, it can really be difficult for a child to grow up in them. It seems like kids that grow up in suburbs, especially new ones like Irvine (this is only 31 years old) have a lot of issues with personal identity and finding themselves because there is no concrete personality to their community.
    That said, the schools there are good and it seems like a good place. There is quite a bit of ethnic diversity in Irvine, however, not much economic diversity.
    I would really consider bike commuting if it's viable. The bike lanes and bike trails in Orange County are amazing and usually free of cyclists, so you have plenty of room. The weather there is so mild that bike commuting all year should be easy too. Bike commuting is also a great way to get in your excercise AND get to work.
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  15. #15
    Don't be a sheep
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    Quote Originally Posted by voodoovegan
    My lady grew up in Irvine, her folks settled in Woodbridge. She turned out pretty ok, her sister however has lined up with the drug users and is having issues. Be careful of the suburbs, it can really be difficult for a child to grow up in them. It seems like kids that grow up in suburbs, especially new ones like Irvine (this is only 31 years old) have a lot of issues with personal identity and finding themselves because there is no concrete personality to their community.
    Wow, blaming a community.......a highly ranked quality of life one no less for someones failures, that's a new one. Liberal psycho-babble at it's zenith. If you have never lived in Irvine I suggest you refrain from knee jerk observations.

    Ah, the Liberal mantra, It's not my fault, it's not my fault, it's not my fault.
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  16. #16
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    Tustin Rides

    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    If your near the airport and you have small kids id look into the irvine/tustin area. There are areas of irvine like northwoods and around stoneridge that are compatible. The schools are good, shopping and entertainment is near and you can easily ride to and from work by combining the class 1/11 and III cycling facilities throughout the irvine, tustin and costa mesa areas. You also have transit options...

    Honestly i would locate as near your place of work as you can. Driving/Commuting in So. Cal is a real drag in terms of cost (time). If you do live south of the airport the commutes going to get worse because then your slave to 5 and 405 to get north unless you drive the back roads which is a very common practice.

    Being in Irvine you have the cleveland national forest at your back door. IMO its the best riding in OC. Its kinda isolated, exposed and vast. But if you hook up with the someone like the warriors society they will be happy to show you the good stuff out there. Theres also aliso, el moro, whiting and laguna wilderness. Of the 3 laguna wilderness has the best stuff IMO. Theres also some relative connectivity between El Moro, Aliso and Laguna canyon via trails and roads. But again cleveland is the shlt.
    Greatr input. Several people have mentioned Tustin. Is Tustin different from Tustin Ranch? How close are some of the trails? My wife has researched Peters Canyon Elementary School and found it be to satisfactory.

    W

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by washer
    Greatr input. Several people have mentioned Tustin. Is Tustin different from Tustin Ranch? How close are some of the trails? My wife has researched Peters Canyon Elementary School and found it be to satisfactory.

    W
    Tustin Ranch is part of the city of Tustin, but its a newer area and is a planned community. Lots of stucco homes with red tile roofs. Very similar to Irvine in a lot of respects. Its a nice area but it does get hot in the summer and your main traffic artery is the I-5 and its very backed up in that area. There is a small wilderness park in Peters Canyon (right near the school) that is good for a quick ride, but nothing too exciting, but a few miles north is Santiago Oaks which is a great riding area.

  18. #18
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    a couple more thoughts

    I wouldn't worry so much about being near the friends in Coto, especially with everything else you wrote. It won't take that long to drop by and see them when it is not commute time, so there's no great advantage to moving nearby unless your wives wanted to hang out or you all wanted to have worknight dinners together.

    A couple more thoughts on Irvine that make it sound good, aside from its proximity to your new job are the fact it is built around a UC campus and the planned community nature of it. Yeah, you'll want to avoid moving next door to a frat house, but there will also be a solid core of educated professional families who value education and community involvement. And, now that I think about it, Irvine has greenbelts and bike paths, which are nice neighborhood amenities and good for getting out with the family for a ride.

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