New Developments in South OC

While coming down Antonio towards Ortega the following scenes took my breath away. Welcome to progress! Those “little trucks” in the distance all lined up are actually huge earth-movers, and they are moving a lot of it!

 Movin' Mountains
 Bridge  Add a Lane

What you are looking at is phase1 of  The Ranch Plan being built on land owned by the Rancho Mission Viejo Company, and the start of construction of what will be 14,000 additional homes in the area. This particular area will be known as Sendero*, a mix of 940 homes, 200 apartments, and a 10-acre retail plaza that’s all scheduled to open next summer (2013).

Welcome Home

Will a bike lane go through it?

Please note there is a new traffic light right at the “sweet spot” on the downhill that will serve as an entrance to this new community.

The Ranch Plan will consist of:

  • Nine separate areas of development, called “villages,” stretching from the border of Camp Pendleton Marine Base to the 241 Toll Road.
  • 23,000 acres of land, 17,000 acres undeveloped and dedicated to species protection, cattle-grazing and citrus farming.
  • 14,000 homes meant for a variety of residents, including senior communities.

On the other side of Ortega, a 10 acre development proposal by Shea Homes is being wrangled through the system. With the requested doubling of homes at the Great Park, the proposed development in Santiago Canyon, Rancho Capistrano, the new developments in Lake Forest and San Clemente, enjoy the “back county” rides while you can.

Even though the Ortega highway has been “widened” (except for bikes), one wonders if it’s enough to support the anticipated traffic load, and if not, how soon will the toll road happily take all these paying customers to the beach? Since the toll road is creeping south to end (for now) at Cow Camp Road at Ortega, pressure to complete and connect the toll road to the 5 will build as new residents make their voices heard. La Pata will also get attention (and probably pavement) to fill the open space gap between San Clemente and San Juan.

We suggest improving and extending the San Juan Creek Bike Trail to La Pata to provide a means for all the new residents to ride their bikes to the beach, and when La Pata is completed (with buffered bike lanes?), a direct means to travel to and from San Clemente. With these last build outs, and knowing that 40% of urban travel is 2 miles or less, and  90% of those trips are by car, it just makes sense to incorporate cycling facilities and infrastructure as these new communities are literally built out “from the ground up”.

*sendero: 1) a trodden path, (2) evidence pointing to a possible solution

Improved Cycling Infrastructure in the OC

On 8/13/12 the OCTA issued a press release approving money to improve bike connections throughout the county. Yay!  By our calculation, with matching funds, the amount comes in just under $12.5 million.

23 projects were approved ranging from signage, to serious infrastructure improvements. Here’s a quote from the press release:

“Bicycles are an ideal way to get around Orange County and OCTA believes strongly in improving this mode of transportation,” said OCTA Chairman Paul Glaab, also the mayor of Laguna Niguel. “This is a collaborative effort with cities throughout Orange County and we look forward to providing a better ride for all cyclists.”

We will have more on the details as they become available but here’s a sneak:

  1. Anaheim -Multi-Class Facility – Bikeway
  2. Brea – Class 1 Facility – The Tracks
  3. Costa Mesa – Outreach / Education
  4. Costa Mesa – Bike Racks
  5. Costa Mesa – Class 1 Facility – Fairview Park
  6. Costa Mesa – Safety Improvement – Placentia Ave.
  7. County of Orange – Class 1 Facility – Coyote Creek
  8. County of Orange – Class 1 Bridge – Antonio Pkway
  9. Huntington Beach – Bike Racks and Parking
  10. Irvine – Safety Improvement – Peter’s Cyn
  11. Irvine – Safety Improvement – Freeway Trail
  12. La Habra – Pre-construction – UP Bikeway
  13. Newport Beach – Class2 Facility – SJ Hills
  14. Newport Beach – Class2 Facility – Spy Glass
  15. Newport Beach – Class2 Facility – Eastbluff
  16. Newport Beach – Class2 Facility – Jamboree
  17. San Clemente – Class1 Facility – bike trail (dirt)
  18. San Clemente – PaCoast signs / parking
  19. Santa Ana – Class 2 Facility – 1st Street
  20. Santa Ana – Class 2 Facility – Chestnut Avenue
  21. Santa Ana – Safety – Maple Bike Trail
  22. Santa Ana – Class 2 Facility – Newhope Street
  23. Seal Beach – Class 2 Facility – Westminster Avenue

Will these projects be completed in time for next spring? Stay tuned to find out!

Doheny Surf Festival This Weekend

Wondering where to ride this weekend?

Doheny Surf Festival

We suggest a coastal route to beat the heat, perhaps to the Dana Point Doheny Surf Festival.  Admission to the event is free except for the concert area; which requires the purchase of a ticket.  Since the stage will be facing the ocean (no doubt to keep “noise” levels down to a dull roar), it might be tempting to paddle out and play with Flipper or dance with a whale while grooving to the tunes.

The two day event is a fundraiser to support local State Parks and beaches, and discount tickets are still available . Since the money raised will stay here in SoCal, it’s almost like paying yourself to have fun! If you have the time, 120 camp sites are available on the southern part of the 62 acre state park , and two day festival passes are available.

Planning a fall tour? This would be a great way to test your gear selection and mad camping skilz before actually heading out.


25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
Corner of Pacific Coast Hwy & Dana Pt Harbor Dr.

For tickets click here.

Saturday there’s also a farmers market to stock up on picnic items located in front of Hennesy’s between Bike Religion and Cyclelogical. If your bike needs attention, stop by one of these shops and tell  John or Bill we said “hi”.

Sunday’s market happens a short ride away in San Clemente at the 200 block of Seville and Avenida Del Mar (map) from 9am – 1pm.

How to get there:
By bike of course!
Here’s some ideas:

Coastal:  PCH South to Dana Point

Mid County: Irvine Center / Moulton to Crown Valley. Right to PCH, Left to Dana Point.

Inland: Antonio or Marguerite to San Juan Creek Bike Path into Doheny State Park.

For the coastal route you may choose our alternate routes through Newport and Laguna Beach.

If you have a suggested route, let us know and we’ll update with the info.

And finally, please sign the petition started by Dana Pointer Julie to create safe bike lanes in Laguna Beach. With your support we will work with both the city and CalTrans (who control different parts of the road) to find a needed balance for all road users. Thanks!

Parking: There is a very long bike rack next to the festival entrance towers.

Regular coastal riders should expect and respect the additional traffic and distractions in the area.

Metrolink / OCTA Commuter Changes

Here are some new changes coming to the OC commute scene as soon as this weekend.


New Weekday service – Effective July 2, 2012

Two weekday round-trips will be added on the Orange County Line between Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo and Fullerton.

Train 633 and train 635 will operate from Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo to Fullerton at 8:50 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. respectively. Train 632 and 634 will operate from Fullerton to Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo at 10:00 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. respectively.

One round-trip will be added on the Inland Empire-Orange County Line  between Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo and Downtown Riverside.

Train 815 will originate out of Riverside-Downtown to Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo at 7:00 a.m. and train 812 will originate out of Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo to Riverside-Downtown at 3:30 p.m.

New Weekend Service – Effective July 7, 2012

Metrolink will operate two round-trips to Los Angeles and two round-trips to Oceanside on weekends.

The following trains will connect with Coaster trains at Oceanside on both Saturday and Sunday:
Train 660 with Coaster train 684, train 662 with Coaster train 688, train 666 with Coaster train 692. Train 665 with Coaster train 681, train 663 with Coaster train 685.

One round-trip will be added on the Inland Empire-Orange County Line between San Bernardino and Oceanside. There will be a new round-trip (857/858) from San Bernardino to Oceanside in addition to the existing 859/860 trains.

The new weekend service will operate year-round. See the new service schedules here.

There will be a Metrolink fare increase  effective Sunday, July 1, 2012, but the Weekend Pass and OCLink Pass are not  affected. Exact increases unknown at post time, but you may check their site for current rates.

Amtrak 10-trip tickets will no longer be accepted on Metrolink trains as part of the Rail 2 Rail program effective Sunday, July 1, 2012, so if you have some use them up tomorrow. Rail Trip!

There will be no Metrolink service in Orange County on Wednesday, July 4, 2012.


OCTA stopped selling 15-day regular and 15-day senior/disabled passes in January 2012.
If you have a 15-day bus pass, please use it before the end of the year.

OCTA will stop accepting the 15-day bus passes on December 31, 2012.