BICYCLISTS PLANNING treks or just hoping to find time for an occasional spin will be happy to hear that several area bike paths have undergone improvements. For example, the terrors of pedaling busy Pacific Coast Highway are now but a memory for bikers. A new section of the South Bay Bicycle Trail, an extension of 1.2 miles in Santa Monica, opened in May, creating an all-beach, 21.6-mile-stretch from the lifeguard station at Torrance State Beach to the south end of Pacific Palisades below Palisades Park. The extension was a long time coming, due to a decade-plus battle between beach dwellers and city and state agencies.
About 4 miles have been added to the Aliso Creek Bicycle Trail, a pleasant ride that takes cyclers along the creek through wooded areas for 15 miles. Given its scenic values and its few uphill grades, this trail is a favorite with riders. Located between Laguna Beach and Dana Point Harbor, the trail now ends in newly opened Aliso-Wood Canyon Regional Park with only the Aliso Creek Golf Course standing between biker and beach. Negotiations are under way to take the path the last mile.
The Bay Bike Route can take you part-way or all the way around beautiful San Diego Bay. One method of making the loop is to get on the bike path at Seaport Village. The trail takes you south through San Diego, then through National City and on to the south end of the bay, which is the city of Imperial Beach. At that point you are within a couple of miles of the Mexican border. Follow the Bay Bike Route signs, and the path will curve west as it hugs the bay and then turn north as it starts back up the other side. That will put you on the paved Silver Strand bike path that runs all the way to the city of Coronado. At the end--the Coronado Bay Bridge--you will have ridden about 30 miles. If you wish, Regional Transit buses with bike racks will transport you and your wheels across the autos-only bridge and deposit same within a mile of your Seaport Village starting point. Telephone Regional Transit for schedule information: (619) 233-3004.