Finding Community and Open Trail in Fullerton, Orange County

A collection of trails and side roads make up a fun way to spend the day in Fullerton, as demonstrated by riders of the OC Brakeless Fixmas Toy Drive Crit on the first week in December. This college town has a classic downtown with numerous food stops and bike shops. The mix of road and trail make for a fun training ground, or even a local grassroots ride.

Thanks to Poseidon Bike for sponsoring DWR. Their support allows us to bring you articles such as these.

For all the miles I’ve ridden and the years I’ve lived in Southern California, I was unfamiliar with Fullerton as a destination for riding bikes. The view through the automotive windshield when passing through has previously depicted a potholed city with few bike lanes. Luckily, Luis Suarez, leader of the social media efforts here at BICYCLIST, did his part to set me right and we’re all better for it.

Named for George Fullerton, one of the original historic towns of early Orange County is home to Cal State Fullerton. The preponderance of college students riding bicycles helps inculcate the local drivers to be aware of people on bikes. The city does have work to due in terms of bike infrastructure. The majority of north to south streets near downtown are too congested and without bike lanes for anxiety-free daily commuting. But a network of protected bike lanes, off-road trails, and sleepy side-streets make Fullerton quite bike-friendly with a little bit of planning.

In terms of recreation, there is fun to be had while perched from the saddle. If you’re not living close enough to ride to, either drive and park at Laguna Lake for free, or take the train to the Fullerton Amtrak station and start pedaling. Spend the morning riding the Panorama Trail and head up the Craig Park Trail for a loop around the local green space. Head back down N Brea Blvd. and head downtown for a snack or a coffee. Alternatively, take the Bud Turner Trail until it intersects W Valencia Mesa Dr., Take N. Richman Knoll and follow it until you hit Malvern, where you make a left. Ride for four blocks and you’re in downtown. Both Fullerton Bikes and East West Bikes are blocks from downtown, and Jax Bicycle Center is down the road a block south of the university.

It is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of setting; you have the guide, we look forward to what you’ll do. Share your explorations, recreation and good times on our Instagram, Luis will be happy to see this Destination Within Reach getting the love it deserves.

Scenes from the OC Brakeless’ Fixmas Criterium

Riders come together for the grass-roots Fixmas Criterium, held at noon on the first Saturday of December. The race is a $10 registration with a new toy to give to kids in need, and a cash prize on the podium at the end. For the Saturday event, the Juanita Cooke Trail and surrounding road becomes a 2.5 mile mixed terrain loop (See map: ‘Fixmas Loop’).

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