August 12, 2021
Whether you just purchased an electric bike or you've had one for years, finding new places to explore is a great way to use your bike. If you're near the California coast, add Balboa Island and Newport Peninsula to your list of must-ride locations. Here's what you need to know about exploring these beautiful areas on your bike.
If you don't want to drive to Balboa Island, you can begin your biking tour on the mainland on Pacific Coastal Highway, making sure to watch for cars. Then, turn right onto Bayside Drive and continue for two miles. Turn left onto Marine Avenue and use the bridge's bike path to cross over onto Balboa Island. You can bike around this area or take a six-minute ferry, which is friendly to cyclists, to better bike trails.
If you're still on the Peninsula, enjoy three miles of the beach by cruising through on your e-bike. The area is flat, so you won't get tired as you enjoy the view.
Once you're on Balboa Island, jump onto the Newport Balboa Bike Path and enjoy Jetty View Park, which overlooks the harbor. Many bikers also enjoy riding along Palm Avenue, which passes through Balboa Island's festival area, known as Fun Zone.
On Balboa Island, stop into Fun Zone for some ice cream, fries, or other traditional beach food. To get a glimpse of the area's nightlife, try Fly-N-Fish, Sol Grill, Baja Sharkeez, or The Crab Cooker. If you prefer a sit-down feeling, try a formal meal at 21 Oceanfront Restaurant or Il Farro. Don't forget to order some seafood while you're so close to the ocean.
Before leaving the island, try the Fun Zone's Ferris wheel and other amusement park rides. For a quieter atmosphere, watch the Wedge's massive waves or walk through Sherman Library and Gardens. Finish up your break by exploring Balboa Pier, preferably at sunset.
If you want to head back to the Peninsula for dinner, Pelican Grill is your best option for fine dining. For a more relaxed feel, try The Beachcomber, Coliseum Pool & Grill, or Zov's Restaurant Newport. Take advantage of your setting by ordering your food to go and sitting on the beach for dinner.
After you eat, enjoy the water at Newport Beach Municipal Beach, or stroll along the pier. Peninsula Park and Balboa Peninsula Park are also popular places for walking. Before you jump back on your bike, check out the "Pirate's Cove" art exhibit on A Street.
Before finalizing your plans for biking in Newport Beach, familiarize yourself with these laws. Bring your ebike helmet and keep track of it, because you're required to wear one. You can be found guilty of a DUI on an electric bike, so don't drink alcohol when you stop for dinner. You don't need a driver's license, but you must be 16 or older to ride.
You also need to follow the same laws for regular bikes when riding through Newport Beach. Use the provided bike lanes, and ride in the same direction as traffic on your side of the road, not against it. Streets such as East Coast Highway have sharrows, meaning that bikes and cars must share them. Use caution when riding on roads with sharrows because there are no special bike lanes.
Once you've educated yourself about electric bike riding near Newport Beach, plan your first biking excursion to this area.