Bill Sellin, Bicycle Club of Irvine founder.

Rolling with Irvine’s bike club

by TOM BERG

Bill Sellin founded the Bicycle Club of Irvine in 1983. Today, the recreational club, known as the friendliest bike club around, has more than 300 members of all ages and skill levels. With the recent surge in biking, we asked Sellin about his perspective on the sport and Irvine’s 364 miles of bikeways – considered the best in Orange County.

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. We had a home in Cowan Heights, and I would pass through Irvine to visit friends.

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 wonderful experience completely away from traffic. The Shady Canyon Trail has the best views and scenery. The Mountains to Sea Trail connects Upper Newport Bay to Irvine Regional Park. Most of my rides seem to include at least a taste of this trail.

Can you recommend a nice, easy ride?

Bill Barber Park to Upper Newport Bay. It’s an easy, flat trail with no vehicles and no street crossings – with a beautiful payoff. It’s just 13 miles round-trip and a great introduction to the Mountains to Sea Trail, which runs 22 miles in all.

How would you rate Irvine’s bikeways?

Being a master-planned city with bike paths from its beginning has established Irvine as uniquely “bicycle friendly.” It draws cyclists from all across Southern California, as well as being part of the lifestyle of locals.

Tell us about the Bicycle Club of Irvine.

It is one of the most popular non-racing 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.

To learn more about our club, check out bikeirvine.org.