Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bike Ride: Beach and Frozen Yogurt

On Saturday we rode our bikes to Salt Creek Beach from my mom's house in San Juan Capistrano. There's a bike path along Trabuco and San Juan Creeks that goes to PCH from San Juan, and then we took PCH up a few miles to Selva Road, where Salt Creek is. Since there's a bike lane along the length of PCH, and since it was Saturday, the ride was actually pleasant. No SUVs honked at me for being on the road.
When we got to Salt Creek, a really nice beach that one accesses by hiking down a bunch of steps on a cliffside, I noticed several things that struck me as odd.
1. A young woman driving a large black SUV through the parking lot with the windows rolled up, hunched over the steering wheel wearing iPod headphones. What happened to the image of the beach girl in the Volkswagen convertible, top down, hair flowing in the wind? F-ed up. It wasn't even a warm day.
2. This was the first time I'd ever reached this beach outside of a car. There wasn't any bike parking in the parking lot, so we locked up to a sign post.
3. Unfortunately the cliff that overlooks the beach has been finally surrendered to the evil scions of development. What was a plateau that held an abandoned beach club has been graded down to fit more McMansions and will probably degrade the quality of the beach considerably.
Way to go, Dana Point city fathers! Nice to know that your fat pockets matter more than the future of our coastline.
Bitterness and rage aside, we splashed in the beautiful waves for a while and felt very warmed by the sun. There's a phenomenon here where once school starts the beaches empty, even if the weather hasn't turned cool yet. So we had the beach mostly to ourselves, with the usual scattering of preteen surfers and shoreline walkers.
After a good dose of beach, we headed back down PCH to Capistrano Beach. The only frozen yogurt I'll deign to eat is sold at this café there called the Kultured Kitchen. They also serve delicious sandwiches featuring sprouts, avocado, and squaw bread. Plus meats and whatnot. We feasted on a turbocado sandwich and a mix of raspberry and chocolate yogurt! The yogurt there has a texture I've not encountered elsewhere. It isn't creamy, it's chunky and icy, but smooth. The fruit flavors are tangy, and the chocolate's not too sweet.
Then we rode back to San Juan, exploring the neighborhood where I grew up, the Villas, and the bike paths beyond there. We found a bike tunnel under the 5 that was so long your eyes didn't adjust to the darkness at first and that made it spoooky.
Oh yeah, and that night we went to a free concert at the Irvine Great Park with my family. Some development interest or other has apparently decided that a large orange hot air balloon will draw enough people to this fantasy park (almost none of it is built, but there are extensive plans for a bloated sports park) that they can shift the burden of the cost of park development to the public at some point. I'm imagining the measure will say something like, "remember that awesome huge orange hot air balloon? well, if you want more of the fantasy park we promised you, sign off on a 4 billion tax break for us, Whoever the Hell Developers, Inc.!"
Ugh. Orange County makes everything beautiful sordid and dirty with development capitalism.
But at least we had a nice bike ride.