New tech meets pedal power for a jazzy boost to your next scenic bike ride with family and friends. Rent an electric bike from family-owned Pedego Irvine Electric Bikes and tour Irvine’s network of paved bikeways. On this 10-mile loop ride, you’ll trace water channels, wind through verdant passages, and enter an open space preserve. Along the way, the bike’s battery-packed saddlebags give you an electrical assist up to 20 mph. Starting from the rental shop in Woodbridge Village Center, head south on a dedicated bikeway over San Diego Creek Channel, cutting through a grassy park and along the east side of South Lake (with a brief detour along Springbrook South) until you hit East Yale Loop. Cross the street to continue south on Yale Ave., where an on-road bike lane bridges the 405 Freeway and connects to University Drive. You’ll enter Sand Canyon Wash across the street and head west.
Stay left at a fork to continue onto Turtle Rock Trail, which snakes wildly through parks and landscaped wooded corridors between Turtle Rock’s tightly packed cul-de-sacs. The bikeway curves onto Ridgeline Drive and at a row of eucalyptus, you’ll gaze out over an enchanting semi-pastoral landscape towards Laguna Coast Wilderness and Bommer Canyon. After a hill, you’ll hit Shady Canyon Trail and head east. This second half of the ride takes you into a more arid, natural landscape. Cactus and oaks line the path as you pass Shady Canyon Golf Club (where OC-native Tiger Woods plays when in town) and cut over hills above Shady Canyon Reservoir. Then the trail sends you hurtling downhill along Shady Canyon Drive towards Quail Hill, an open space preserve that attracts an array of wildlife, including the American kestrel and red-tailed hawk. You have the option to dismount here and hike a 1.8-mile loop trail into the preserve. After partially circling the hill, follow a pedestrian bridge back over the 405 Freeway and shoot northeast up Jeffrey Road to San Diego Creek Channel to return to the bike shop.
To reach family owned and operated Pedego Irvine Electric Bikes, take the I-5 or I-405 Freeway to Irvine and exit Culver Dr. From I-5 head southwest on Culver Dr., or from I-405 head northeast. Go south onto Barranca Pkwy. After half a mile, turn right into Woodbridge Village Center and park in the lot. For info on bike rentals, visit the bike shop’s website or call (949) 274-7944.