RV Bucket List: Biking from Malibu to Newport Beach
I biked A LOT as a kid. As I “grew up” I stopped biking for YEARS until I moved to Newport Beach, CA. In Newport, it was really difficult to find parking on the Peninsula (Danielle always got the garage spot) and biking was something “everyone did” in this area. It made sense that we got Beach Cruisers and cruised all around. We’d even go Grocery Shopping on our bikes.
Once we hit the Road RVing we made sure to bring our bikes along with on the journey. We purchased a Rear RV Bike Rack and hauled them everywhere. Keep in mind these are beach cruisers, so when we would go to areas like Moab, Utah I would get jealous of everyone who would be hitting these amazing trails on their mountain bike… I wanted one!
About a year in a half into this wild adventure I decided it was time to finally pull the trigger on a new set of wheels. I had been keeping my eye out for what type of bike I wanted and being that it would be my first mountain bike since I was a kid I was looking for an entry market type bike (aka the Walmart Special). That way if I got into the sport it would be easy to justify upgrading to a better bike but if I never really got into it there wasn’t much loss on the investment.
After a few months of keeping my eye out the first bike that I looked at when I began thinking about picking up the sport went on sale for just over $100 and I was the owner of a new bike.
It’s funny, as an adult who’s had a lot of toys, I still got that “I just got a new bike” feeling that we use to get as kids over things like this.
I couldn’t wait to get home and start riding. It was a blast and I knew that if I didn’t set a goal, the odds are that this excitement will simmer down and I’ll probably let my bike collect dust. I thought about the awesome boardwalk that follows most of the coastline from Malibu to Newport Beach where we were staying at the Newport Dunes RV Resort. I wasn’t sure if anyone had done that but decided it was a good goal and I’d be doing it before we left So-Cal.
It turns out not only have others done it, but many consider it one of the best bike rides in the world as you head through so many incredible beaches on the 74-mile ride. I picked a date as my goal and started a training schedule. It was fun!
Mountain Bike Training Strategy
I bought my bike near Downtown San Diego while we were RVing at the Pio Pico RV Resort in Jamul, CA. It’s pretty much the perfect place to start Mountain Biking with countless scenic trails to ride of all different difficulties. I had a strategy that made the learning curve of Mountain Bike Riding very fast:
- I learned from some of the best riders in the world!
- I practiced every day!
Learning from the Best in the World
You might have a physical or mental limitation that won’t allow you to become one of the best, but you can pretty much get decent/good at just about anything you put your mind to.
There is no excuse to be bad at something you want to be good at.
I wasn’t about to go through the long process of trial and error to figure out how to ride like a pro (not saying I ride like a pro), I was going to learn from pros how to ride… on YouTube!
So I spent a few hours one evening hanging out with Danielle while she watched a chick flick, looking for “How to Ride a Mountain Bike” type videos from the best riders. I created a big list of videos and then over the next few weeks, I watched them all while I was outside on my bike so that I could try the moves they were teaching me.
It’s easy to find the motivation to practice when you’re in such scenic locations. I had just over a month to train. 3 weeks down near San Diego and 2 weeks up in Orange County.
Down at the Pio Pico Campground, I had 3 main trails that I’d ride on:
- The Otay Mountain Truck Trail – This is one of the best trails in the San Diego area with views of Mexico and Downtown San Diego.
- The Jamul Kiln Trail – These ancient ruins are a secret gem of the San Diego area.
- The Border Patrol’s Trails – This area is one of the hottest spots in the country for illegal aliens to cross the border into the United States. So it made sense that the border patrol was constantly patrolling the campground and catching people in the surrounding mountains. This mountain range is large and very tough terrain so they’ve made quite a few roads when they have to drive to catch a group of people that the helicopter or sensors picked up on. I took these trails often and even saw a few people who had recently crossed the border.
In Orange County I practiced on 2 main trails:
- The Newport Beach Boardwalk – What a great place to ride on the Balboa Peninsula. Miles of beautiful beachfront riding.
- The Back Bay Loop Trail – This trail goes around the entire Newport Back Bay.
The Big Ride
On the day of the bike ride, I drove with Danielle and Ella to Malibu for sunrise. They dropped me off and I headed off on my journey. Santa Monica was the first beach after Malibu.
Venice Beach is such a trip. I love people watching here. I hung out for around 30 min and watched the skaters do tricks.
Muscle Beach is always fun to check out. This is where Arnold use to work out in his heydays and where they filmed most of “Pumping Iron”.
In Marina Del Ray there was a pod of Dolphins that went along next to me as I biked. I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful this spot was with wildflowers and views of the water on both sides of the trail.
There were a few RV Parks that were right on the ocean along the way.
I saw 4 movies or tv shows being filmed along the path, mainly near LA.
Manhattan Beach has a cool pier and a lot of Beach Volleyball Courts.
Hermosa Beach had a neat farmer’s market.
I linked up with some new friends that were heading along the same route. We stopped to get a photo of them in Long Beach!
Heading into Huntington Beach we enjoyed seeing all the dogs playing down on Dog Beach.
The Huntington Beach Pier is always a hot spot.
It was so nice to be able to sit and have a burger after biking 74 miles.
And of course the day wouldn’t be complete without a spectacular California Sunset at the Balboa Pier before heading back to the Newport Dunes RV Park.