Bill Sellin founded the Irvine Bicycle Club in 1983. Today, known as the friendliest cycling club in the world, the leisure club has more than 300 members of all ages and skill levels. Given the recent surge in cycling, we asked Sellin about his take on the sport and Irvine’s 364 miles of bike trails – considered the best in Orange County.
What was your first bike
My first bike was a handcrafted mini beach cruiser with solid rubber tires that my older brothers had outgrown. A bent nail held the crank arm to the spindle. We had a home in Cowan Heights and I would be driving around Irvine to visit friends.
How many of Irvine’s bike paths have you ridden?
I can confidently say that I drove almost all of them.
The Jeffrey Open Space Trail is the gem. Its incredible landscaping makes it a wonderful experience completely away from traffic. The Shady Canyon Trail offers the best views and scenery. The Mountains to Sea Trail connects Upper Newport Bay with Irvine Regional Park. Most of my rides seem to have at least a taste of this trail.
Can you recommend a nice one-way trip?
Bill Barber Park to Upper Newport Bay. It’s an easy, flat walkway with no vehicles or road junctions – with a nice payoff. It’s only 13 miles round-trip and a great introduction to the Mountains to Sea Trail, which is a total of 22 miles.
How would you rate Irvine’s cycle paths?
Irvine has been a city with bike paths planned by the master from the start and has established itself as a uniquely “bike-friendly” place. It attracts cyclists from all over Southern California and is part of the local lifestyle.
Tell us about the Irvine cycling club.
It’s one of Orange County’s most popular non-racing bike clubs. We are a gateway to a lifelong leisure pursuit and friendships seldom found in a secular community. We strive to make drivers better – not just with fitness, but by adhering to the California Vehicle Code and practicing good etiquette of courtesy and safety.
To learn more about our club, visit bicyirvine.org.