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  • Ansel Adventures

Bicycle Travel Weekend 2023

Updated: Jul 4

The first weekend in June was Adventure Cycling Association’s seventh annual Bicycle Travel Weekend. This year we would head to O’Neill Park in Live Oak Canyon. Our route would take us south to San Juan Capistrano. Before we got to San Juan, we stopped at a Farmer’s Market. Strolling through the booths, we stopped to talk to some of the vendors. They were curious about our trip and the route. We bought a few items to help support the local merchants. Back on route, we rode east up the San Juan Creek Trail. This is a lovely trail that passes by equestrian stables and several of the owners were exercising their horses. After reaching Ortega Highway, we turned onto Antonio Parkway toward Rancho Santa Margarita and our steepest climb of the day. A few drivers gave us a ‘Thumbs Up’. Arriving at O’Neill Park, The Ranger at the gate said, “You’re traveling a little light, aren’t you? Most of the people that come here have their vehicles loaded down with gear or are hauling a trailer”. We did not bring cooking gear on this overnight tour, just a few snacks. Our friends offered to bring us dinner and they arrived with a delicious meal and wood for a post dinner campfire. It was the perfect end to a fun day of touring. The next morning we were awoken by nature’s alarm clock, a flock of wild parrots squawked loudly as they flew over our camp. After breaking down camp, we rode to breakfast at a local bakery. Our egg and cheese bagel gave us enough energy to head back home. Our route was through Santiago Canyon. It just so happened that the Canyon was also the route for our local bicycle club’s Saturday ride. A group of our fellow club members rolled up as we were taking a break. As we rode through the canyon, packs of other riders passed us, several saying, “Bike camping, all right”. Jumping on the Peter’s Canyon Trail, we spotted a lot of wildlife. Besides seeing waterfowl, a large turtle was perched on a rock sunning himself. We enjoy seeing nature in our own backyard and do not take it for granted. Our final stop was at a local coffee shop to sit, relax, and reminisce about our overnight 75-mile tour. Overnight trips like this are refreshing and always rekindle our love and desire for more bicycle touring. Our next trip will be this summer in Alberta, Canada. Until next time…


 


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