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Ride up the Coast

Most days I sit at my desk for too many hours. Sound familiar? But his week was different; I was ahead of schedule on my projects. That gave me time to ride.

It's a beautiful morning at the Balboa Is ferry

My goal would be to ride 100 miles this week. Most people would add a little variety to their rides, but lately I keep heading in the same direction — across the ferry to the peninsula, the pier and on to Huntington and Sunset Beach. I’m not stuck in a rut; it’s just so beautiful. And it’s fun to ride off-road where there’s lots of people.

Then, here it comes — I love to see the ferry sans autos!

The ferry without cars

Soon I’m on the peninsula where I notice a new facade to Back Alley Bicycles; I go closer. The peninsula has the highest mode-share, which means more people ride bikes here than anywhere else in Newport Beach. There are many bike rental stores here, so the competition keeps prices low. The flat terrain is ideal for riding a beach cruiser.

The beach boardwalk is my route today; this time of year it can be quiet.

Did I say 'lots of people'?

As I approach Newport Elementary School I’m hoping to see lots of bikes, and sure enough I do. Years ago, we all rode our bikes to school; today few kids do. Here on the peninsula lots of kids still do, but the experience is bittersweet because the House just voted to eliminate funding for Safe Routes to School — how heartless! These kids are fortunate; they have a safe route to school, but without funding few other children will be so lucky.

Kids ride their bikes to Newport El

Pressing on, I pass by the Santa Ana River trail; Orange County’s bicycle freeway. I’ve pedaled to Anaheim Stadium and the Honda Center along this route, but today I continue west along the Huntington Beach board walk.

The off-ramp from the Santa Ana River Trail,
bicycling's highway to Central Orange County

As I approach the HB pier I know to look for the concessions. Wahoo’s is here somewhere. They’re smart; they’re closed in the off-season, like any concession at Big Corona should be if they want to survive more than a season or two. There just aren’t enough beach-goers in the winter months to sustain a restaurant.

Wahoo's isn't stupid - they're closed in the off season

This way to Bolsa Chica

lunch on Main Street,
Huntington Beach

I call up Matt O’Toole — yes, he’ll join me for lunch in Huntington Beach at Sushi on Fire. I hadn’t been for awhile, so I forgot that when I bring a new friend, out comes the complimentary saki. “It’ll be a fun ride back! Chin-chin!”

Matt’s suggests a multi-modal ending to our ride, “Want me to drop you across the bay in the Duffy?” Today would be the perfect day for it; besides, I can’t remember ever being in a Duffy.

So that’s my story of a not-so-typical ride up the coast. I’ve been away from my desk for about 4 hours — that’s a lot of recreation wrapped around a lunch ride.

We’re privileged living in such a beautiful locale. You should try a ride up the coast yourself.

My first Duffy ride?

Duffy Captain, Matt O'Toole

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