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a group of people riding on the back of a bicycle

One unintended benefit of Covid-19 is that people have returned to the outdoors in a big way, particularly biking. All over the world, bike sales are surging, in fact, bicycle sales in the United States have doubled since the beginning of the pandemic and our electric bike rentals and electric bike tours are now among our most popular offerings.

Of course, part of the surge in bicycle use has been fueled by the closure of gyms and by people searching for safe, self-distanced activities. But in large cities, more people are now opting to commute by bike rather than mass transit. They know being outdoors and exercising is not only better air to breathe, but the exercise is good for the immune system.

While traditional bikes are selling like hotcakes, the sales of electric bikes or eBikes also have grown exponentially, even to the point where it’s often difficult to find any available to buy. These eBikes are lighter, cheaper, faster and have more range than ever before thanks to advances in lithium-ion technology. The eBike also provides people who are moderately-skilled riders a chance to navigate hills effortlessly and keep up with faster riders.

electric biking with La Vida Laguna

Cities are following this trend and converting as many streets as possible from cars to bikes. In New York City, the Regional Plan Association recently released a report laying out a master plan for 425 miles of interconnected, high-capacity, protected bike lanes in the five boroughs. Part of the plan is to build several slender car-free bridges into Manhattan from Queens, Brooklyn and even New Jersey. What a great way this would be to ease congestion, pollution, noise and make people healthier. “Start spreading the news. I wanna be a part of it. New York, New York.”

Here in Laguna Beach we’ve seen a resurgence in biking as well and with good reason. Laguna’s year-round mild climate, amazing coastal vistas and narrow neighborhood streets are a biker’s dream. Laguna also has world-class mountain biking in the protected hills that surround it. A true biking culture has emerged in Laguna, with more people biking for exercise, thrills or just daily communing.

It can be tricky, though, for those new to biking to gain the skills needed to safely navigate the open road. La Vida Laguna is helping locals and visitors alike learn to navigate Laguna safely with electric bike tours and electric bike rentals. While there are a few dedicated bike lanes, there is a complete, north-south bike route along the safer streets that never takes Pacific Coast Highway.

Those in the know highly discourage anyone from riding a bike on Pacific Coast Highway because there are too many distractions for motorists and, for the most part, no shoulder. This bike route consists of signs and “sharrows,” those stenciled silhouettes of bikers on the pavement to indicate to motorists that this is a shared road. The signage, however, doesn’t make it much safer for bikers, thus the creation of this north-south bike route.

Since the implementation of this bike route, there have been far fewer bike accidents and no fatalities. So stay off Coast Highway, but do explore the splendid back roads of Laguna and experience why it is such a unique seaside village. First, there are the abundance of mature trees, planted everywhere, and long before most of Orange County was developed. Then there are the canyons, those meandering deep crevices that stretch between the coastal mountain peaks that give Laguna such heavenly contours. The architecture is equally amazing with so many ocean-view homes engineered into the cliffs. You’ll see them first-hand on a bike, and you’ll smell the earthy vegetation as well.

Laguna also offers many cultural treats that can be seen by bike, like its extensive array of public art scattered throughout the town. You can access it all on bike as well as the many historically significant homes built a century ago as summer homes for artists.

Laguna has eight gorgeous little parks with beautiful gardens. Then, of course, there are the extensive beaches along the seven-mile coastline. Many of the beach access points have bike racks, making it easy for visitors to enjoy a bike ride and our spectacular beaches and local waters, which are a protected preserve for all ocean life.

Finally, there’s our quaint little downtown, so easy to navigate by bike, with historic buildings and the pedestrian-only zone known as the Promenade at Forest Avenue. Park your bike here at one of the many flower-shaped bikes racks and stroll down the Promenade – or relax at the public seating, people watch, have a snack, and remember to shop local. There’s so much to see and do, and it’s always easier and more fun on a bike.

La Vida Laguna offers daily electric bike tours where your guide will regale you with stories of Laguna’s past, present and future. It’s a great diversion from the beach. Most visitors never see more than downtown and Coast Highway. It’s a shame because the real magic is in the back roads of Laguna.

And if you really want to be a trendsetter, consider our electric bike rentals and make that your form of commuting while you stay in town. You never have to worry about traffic or parking and it’s so much fun. La Vida Laguna will even deliver your bike to your Laguna hotel or residence. We make it easy because we want to see more people riding, and the best way to experience the electric biking revolution is to try it.

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