Saturday, May 21, 2011

Biking the Santa Ana Trail

It is fair to say I am not a serious "workout person". It is true that sometimes I sit on my couch watching movies for a week straight and I do not run or do anything other than eat and maybe take a shower so people don't think I am disgusting. However, if I get something in my head that I want to do it is pretty difficult to talk me out of it. This week it was bike from Brea to Newport Beach. I am not really a biker but I want to start cross training and I like to bike so I figured I should try it out. :)

The bike ride is pretty short, about 23 miles, so I figured it would be really easy to get there in 2 hours going 10 miles an hour.

Plan A
I had a 9:30am appointment in Newport that I really needed to get to on time. As I am terrible at following geographic directions and I had to go through a lot of different streets and turns to get to the trail I thought it would be best if I left at 6am to make sure I got there on time - and maybe even have a little time to get a banana and coffee from Bucks.
It was so pretty as the sun rose.. :)
In the beginning I was great! Felt good - happy riding along. Then the sun came out in full force and with it all these insects started flying around and then a crap ton of pollen was in the air.. little seeds blowing about. My eyes seemed to become magnets for all small particles in the air. I totally forgot my sunglasses! Ugh.  
In the beginning it all looked rosy!

About 4 miles into the trail I decided things were looking "wrong" somehow... I couldn't place exactly what was "wrong" but I just felt like something was not right. I had never been on the trail and I am not exactly the person you would ask directions from even on a good day. 

Knowing I suck at directions, I decided to utilize my iPhone GPS tracker. I put in the coordinates I wanted to reach and it spat out the mileage and time (15 miles to get to the park where I leave the trail and return to the road) which seemed correct so I kept riding. About 3 miles later (when I saw Weir Canyon Road from the trail) I realized that I was way, way off the mark. This was reconfirmed when I rechecked my GPS tracker and it read 18 miles to go. 18 MILES?!?! Then I re-reconfirmed it with a nearby runner who concurred with my iPhone. "Newport Beach is really, really, really far that way" he said, pointing behind us. "Really, really, really" huh?

How did this happen? I turned around and started pedaling as fast as I could go on a mountain bike that I had already been riding for and hour and a half. I was going to be late for my appointment if I didn't haul butt. 

I looked again.. I think I got confused when it said "turn left onto Santa Ana River Trail"when I should have gone right.. "right toward Santa Ana River Trail" who says toward and not onto if you are not on it yet?? Anyway, should have turned right apparently. Did you know that the ability to tell North, South, East, and West is genetic? Damn my genes!

At this point I didn't take pictures.. I just pedaled as hard and as fast as I could go for the rest of the trip. There were interesting things that I wanted to photograph but I had to get there fast.. I was so lost! Here are some pictures I took before I turned around though.. so pretty!!

Lots of trees on this trail!

I got there in the end. 10 minutes late but the person I was meeting was exactly 12 minutes late so it worked out perfectly.. except I was really looking forward to that banana. I got someone to pick me up and drive me home because I didn't rub some glide on my bootie and it got chafed by my padded pants.

Plan B
I ended up doing 37 miles instead of 23. If ever I want to do that much mileage again - I am bringing my sunglasses, glide, and a banana.. a new road bike might help the knees too! :D


  1. Wow, what a really pretty area, I am so jealous ...I LOVE the beach!! Great job on the bike ride and extra mileage even....grab a banana and see if you can go even further next time! :)

  2. Well, that's one way to discover a new area! I have a friend with dyslexia that just always goes left when you tell her right, etc. GPS doesn't seem to help her, either.

    And did you "kick butt" on that bike ride, right?!

  3. Thanks!! Even with the right and left issues it was really fun. :) Next time, when I have brought a banana and sunglasses the plan is to go further!!

  4. Hey, that's where I was today!

    I'm so glad you made it pretty much on time after all that. Whew.