Bill Sellin and the Bicycle Club of Irvine at Deerfield Park in Irvine, Calif. for Irvine Company Dec 2017. Copyright © 2017 Leonard Ortiz.

Enjoying the sun, the breeze, and over 300 miles of Irvine bikeways

Bill Sellin founded the Bicycle Club of Irvine in 1983. He’s bicycled through Germany, Switzerland, Vancouver, the San Juan Islands, Yucatan, Oregon and California. In 2013, he retired from the City of Irvine as a community services supervisor, and now pedals about 300 miles a month.

What was your first bike?

My first bike was a hand-me-down mini beach cruiser with solid-rubber tires that my older brothers had outgrown, with a bent nail holding the crank arm to the spindle (I remember it cutting my ankle a few times). We had a home in Cowan Heights and I would pass through the open fields of Irvine to visit friends in El Toro.

How did the Bicycle Club of Irvine start?

In 1981, I was working at Deerfield Community Park. We formed a snorkeling club, a Frisbee club and the Bicycle Club of Deerfield for the local kids. We had rides after school every week, and 10 overnight trips per year. We drew more adult participants, and a core of cyclists began to form. So in 1983, we expanded it to the “Bicycle Club of Irvine.”

How often do you ride?

My wife, Dev, and I ride with the club every Tuesday and Saturday. I also ride to a breakfast meeting of older cycling friends on Mondays. I ride with other friends on Fridays. Our last vacation was a week with cycling in Lexington, Kentucky.

How many of Irvine’s bikeways have you ridden?

I can confidently say I have ridden almost all of them.

Any favorites?

The Jeffrey Open Space Trail is the gem. Its incredible landscaping makes a wide experience completely outside the rush of traffic. The Shady Canyon Trail has the best views and scenery. The “Mountains to Sea” trail connects Upper Newport Back Bay to Irvine Regional Park. Most of my rides seem to include at least a taste of this trail.

Is Irvine a bike friendly city?

Yes. Even before the city was incorporated, the vision of cycling as a vital part of active transportation and lifestyle ran through its veins. Perhaps it was because James Irvine first visited the property on a bicycle tour from San Francisco, but the importance of cycling is evident in the incredible network of bikeways.

What are non-bikers missing out on?

They are missing the full experience of senses when riding a bicycle — the cool breeze, warm sun, fragrant blooms, the sight and sound of birds, balanced concentration with meditative movement, cardio-respiratory therapy, better sleep, a balanced diet, and caloric regularity. Get out of your rolling motorized box and experience the full measure of movement!

Tell us about the Bicycle Club of Irvine.

It is one of the most popular non-racing, social bicycling clubs in Orange County. We are a gateway to a lifelong recreational activity and friendships rarely found in a secular community. We strive to make riders better — not just with fitness, but by obeying the California Vehicle Code and practicing good etiquette for courtesy and safety.

How can someone join?

Guests are welcome to show up for a ride — sign the guest waiver and try out the group a few times before joining. Or, you can put down $20 and make a commitment to ride. Visit our website www.BikeIrvine.org for more information.