SPRING PREENING : Time to Shape Up and Step Out

April Jackson is a staff writer for The Times Orange County Edition.

A workout is said to be 25% perspiration and 75% determination. Therein lies the problem.

You see, there is absolutely nothing whimsical about sweat. And, the thought of making yourself go outside to play isn't much of a spiritual event either. Let's face it, getting motivated to go bike riding was easier when you were a kid.

But besides the obvious physical benefits, working out provides an opportunity to take charge of your own destiny, a chance for escapism and a method of renewel and rebirth. Isn't that what spring (which officially began yesterday) is all about?

Yes, bicycling through a park can spark ageless memories, not to mention burn off age-old fat. Ego--now, isn't that what spring is all about?

The best way to start a workout program is to choose an activity you enjoy. This is one time when developing a habit will pay off. Maybe the new addiction is a 40-minute walk around a neighborhood park three times a week. Or you might decide to shoot hoops twice a week. Just make the commitment and get going.

With luck, when spring rolls around next year you won't even have to break stride.

Frisbee Golf

Ready for a Type-A kind of walk in the park, and a toss of the Frisbee too? Then try Frisbee golf. Except that disc replaces the ball, it's like regular golf. The courses have tee boxes, fairways and a "disc pole hole basket" to "putt" into. Aside from the cost of a Frisbee (sounds like it's time to retrieve that dusty disc from the garage), this is a cheap way to have some fun and get exercise, too. Orange County has a fair share of Frisbee golf courses:

* Reid Park, 3100 W. Orange Ave., Anaheim.

* Huntington Central Park, Golden West Street west of Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach.

* Mason Regional Park, 18712 University Drive, Irvine.

* Turtle Rock Community Park, 1 Sunnyhill Drive, Irvine.

* University Community Park, Royce Road at Beech Tree Lane, Irvine.

Hiking, Biking and Horseback Riding

Whether you want to wheel around on a mountain bike, climb every mountain, or just horse around, Orange County has plenty of space to do it:

* Yorba Regional Park, 7600 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Lakes and streams set a rural background for hikers, bikers and equestrians on this 165-acre park.

* Carbon Canyon Regional Park, 4422 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea. Hikers and bikers can explore this 124-acre park set among pine and redwood groves and a 4-acre lake.

* Craig Regional Park, 3300 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton. 124 acres of trails climb the terrain of Fullerton; excellent for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

* Laguna Lake Park, 3120 Lakeview Drive, Fullerton. Biking, equestrian and hiking trails wind through this 28-acre park.

* Huntington Central Park, Golden West Street at Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach. Horseback riding and rentals, hiking and biking on 300 landscaped acres.

* William B. Mason Regional Park, 18712 University Drive, Irvine. Plenty of open space on 345 acres. Hike or bike around a freshwater lake.

* Hacienda Heights Park, 1885 N. Hacienda Blvd., La Habra Heights. Ten tree-covered acres of countryside trails. Horses permitted.

* Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel. 135 acres of hiking terrain with a 36-acre stocked lake.

* Irvine Regional Park, 21501 Chapman Ave., Orange. 477 acres of possibilities, including hiking trails, bicycle and horseback rentals and a botanical preserve.

* Santiago Oaks Regional Park, 2145 N. Windes Drive, Orange. 124-acre park with both equestrian and hiking trails.

* Caspers Wilderness Park, 33401 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 7,600-acre wilderness park with challenging trails; tent, RV and equestrian camping available.

* Cleveland National Forest, Ortega Highway east of San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana Mountains. There are plenty of trails in this 420,000-acre area. Also the site of Palomar Observatory. Campsites available.

* Santiago Park, 2535 N. Main St., Santa Ana. A relatively short course (14 acres) for hikers, but to get hiking into a weekly routine, this park fits the bill.

* Silverado Canyon, at the end of Silverado Canyon Road, Santa Ana Mountains. Rough terrain around this 100-year-old former mining town lends itself to the hearty hiker and the strong-legged cyclist. Plenty of room for horses.

* O'Neill Regional Park, 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon. 1,200-acre park with 5 miles of trails. Campsites and equestrian campground, too.

* Featherly Regional Park, 24001 Santa Ana Canyon Road, Yorba Linda. Hike or bike on the nature trails of this 700-acre wilderness park. Campsites available.

Volleyball

If smacking a ball across a net appeals to you, Orange County has plenty of outdoor volleyball nets for pickup games or an organized set with friends:

* Peralta Canyon Park, 115 N. Pinney Drive, Anaheim.

* Tewinkle Park, 970 Arlington Ave., Costa Mesa.

* Doheny Park, Doheny State Beach, Dana Point

* Craig Regional Park, 3300 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton.

* Huntington Beach Pier, Main Street at PCH, Huntington Beach.

* Bolsa Chica State Beach, at Warner Avenue and PCH, Huntington Beach.

* Main Beach, Laguna Canyon Road at Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

* La Veta Park, 3705 E. La Veta Ave., Orange.

Basketball

Getting out to the parks to shoot some hoops is a great way to work up a major sweat and have a lot of fun too. Parks with pick up games:

* Boysen Park, 951 State College Blvd., Anaheim.

* Brea Jr. High School Park, 444 N. Brea Blvd., Brea.

* Lantern Bay Park, Street of the Golden Lantern and Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point.

* Chapman Park, 11852 Knott St., Garden Grove.

* Edison Community Center Park, 21377 Magnolia St., Huntington Beach.

* Murdy Community Center Park, 7000 Norma Drive, Huntington Beach.

* University Community Park, Royce Road at Beach Tree Lane, Irvine.

* La Bonita Park, Idaho Street and Whittier Boulevard, La Habra.

* Main Beach, at Laguna Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

* El Camino Real Park, Main Street at Orangewood Avenue, Orange.

* Portola Park, 1700 E. Santa Clara St., Santa Ana.

* Victor Zaniga Park, Katella Avenue and Date Street, Stanton.

Roller skating and blading

Seems that anywhere you find a paved road, you'll also find skaters and bladers. If you don't have a pair of skates or blades, you can rent them for nominal fees at several pier-side shops in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Balboa.

* Huntington Beach Bike Trail: 10 miles of paved trail, starts at Warner Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway and goes all the way to Brookhurst Street.

* Newport Beach Bike Trail: A wide footbridge over the Santa Ana River connects Huntington Beach with Newport Beach. But, beware, weekend crowds make for hazardous skating.

* Any park with a sidewalk is fair game for a roller skater or beginning blader. And, call your recreation center for any free blading lessons. Many recreation centers have them.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Backpacking

Learn to Backpack (April 13-14, May 11-12, June 29-30): Two evening classes followed by a weekend of guided backpacking. No experience necessary. Rental equipment available. Fee: $75. Adventure 16 Wilderness Outings, Costa Mesa. (714) 650-3301.

Map and Compass Reading (April 20, May 18, June 15): One-day seminar on "staying found" in the wilderness. Fee: $35. Adventure 16 Wilderness Outings, Costa Mesa. (714) 650-3301.

Badminton

Open play, co-ed, Mondays and Thursdays, 7 to 10 p.m. Garden Grove Community Services Dept., Garden Grove. (714) 741-5200

Bicycling

All events require wearing a helmet. Each bike ride will have entry packages with route maps, entry numbers for helmets and bike and sag stop information to pick up, especially the special events (such as the Rosarito-Ensenada Bike Ride and any two-day rides.

Breakfast Club. Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. meet at Deerfield Community Park, 55 Deerwood West, Irvine. 10-mile ride to a restaurant for breakfast. Beginners welcome. Bicycle Club of Irvine. Information hot line: (714) 854-8106.

Good Friday (March 29) Gallop to San Diego. 10O-mile ride. Support and transportation back to Orange County. For more information call the Orange County Wheelmen at (714) 552-6621.

Orange County Spring Fling, April 6 in Irvine Park. Metric and half-metric rides. Entry: $24; tandems, $37 (add $5 on race day). (714) 458-7282.

Tour of Southern California Coast, April 6-7. 200 miles, Torrey Pines to Long Beach. Entry: $30 AYH members; non-members: $35. (619) 239-2644.

Chicken Century, April 7. 100 miles. Mile Square Park, Fountain Valley. Entry: $10. (714) 956-BIKE.

Spring Rosarito Ensenada Fun Bicycle Ride, April 20. Fifth annual 50-mile ride from Rosarito Beach to Ensenada. Begins at Rosarito Beach Hotel, Baja California. Entry: $17; $20 after April 5. (619) 583-3001.

Cruisin' the Coast Bike Ride and Train Tour, May 4-5. Starts at the railroad depot in San Juan Capistrano and ends at the depot in San Diego. Entry: $200 donations. Sponsored by the American Lung Assn. (714) 835-5864.

Triathlons

CSULB Triathlon, April 21. Run 4 miles, bike 11.5 miles, swim 400 meters. Eighth annual event at Cal State Long Beach. Entry: $30. For information, call (213) 985-4051.

Orange County Performing Arts Center Triathlon, June 2. Fifth annual event for the tough course. Swim 1.5 miles, bike 40 kilometers, run 10 kilometers. Entry: $50; Team: $120. (714) 846-0813.

Carlsbad Triathlon, July 14. Swim 1 kilometer, bike 25 kilometers, run 5 kilometers. Carlsbad State Beach. Entry: $75. (619) 434-2835.

Kayaking

First Strokes Sea Kayaking Lessons, March 23. Introduction to kayaking skills. Fee: $55, Newport Beach. (714) 730-4820.

Intensive Sea Kayaking, March 23, 24. 18-hour weekend of basic boat handling skills, surf techniques. Fee: $170 (includes equipment). Newport Beach and San Onofre State Beach. (714) 730-4820.

Fun-and-Free Paddle Days, April 14. Try out kayaks, canoes and surf skis. North Star Beach, west side of Upper Newport Bay, Newport Bay. Free, 9 am. to noon. (714) 730-4820.

Lacrosse

Sunday Scrimmages, UC Irvine. Free, all ages welcome. Held at the UCI Athletic Field. (714) 856-5346, ask for Rick O'Braitis.

Rock Climbing

Climbing Skills Weekend, March 23-24. Must have basic rock climbing skills. Fee: $130, includes climbing gear, helmets and dinner. (714) 650-3301, Adventure 16.

Rowing

Introductory Rowing Clinic. Meets every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fee: $5; Newport Beach. (714) 646-7725, Newport Aquatic Center.

Rugby

Fountain Valley Touch Rugby. Meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings until dusk. Fountain Valley Recreation Center, Mile Square Park. (714) 586-3089, Unicorn Rugby Club.

Run/Walk

With the number of sponsors jumping on the weekend running events bandwagon, it's now possible to get your exercise and eat well afterward for free; you might even get a free massage. What better way to start the weekend?

Walk 'N Ride for Clean Air, March 23. Sponsored by the American Lung Assn. Run/Walk/Rollerskates and blades 1, 5 or 10 miles; bike 5, 10, 25 or 50 miles. Start at GTE parking lot at Slater Avenue and Gothard Street in Huntington Beach. Entry: $20 & $25 (includes lunch); pledges optional. Call (714) 835-5864 for registration information.

Golden City 5K Run/Walk & Half Marathon, March 23. Starts in Centennial Park, 1800 S. Fairview St., Santa Ana. Entry: $13, includes T-shirt; $8 without shirt. (714) 647-6561.

Orange County Stride, March 24 in Irvine. 7K race-walk or a 2-mile guided nature walk and children's "riddle" course in Irvine. Race starts at corner of Concordia and Ridgeline Drive. Entry: $15. $5 breakfast offered from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (714) 963-1430.

Seal Beach 10K, April 6. Seventeenth Annual 10K run and 1-mile Children's Fun Run, 1st and Marina streets, Seal Beach. Entry: $13; $15 after March 30. (213) 494-2664.

Super Cities Walk for Multiple Sclerosis, April 7. Three 15K courses: Fullerton Arboretum, Upper Newport Bay and a South County mystery course. Entry: No fee to walk. A minimum of $50 in pledges or donation gets you a T-shirt and lunch. (714) 752-1680.

Toyota of Orange 10K 'Round Orange Race, April 7. Sixth annual event also offers a 5K and 1- mile fun run. 1400 N. Tustin Ave., Orange. Entry: $15; $18 race day. Kids: $8; $10 race day. (714) 385-8110.

Laguna Beach Schoolpower 10K and 2K Fun Run, April 21. Laguna Canyon Road at the Sawdust Festival. Entry: $15; $18 after April 12. (714) 548-4897.

Long Beach Marathon, May 5. Long Beach Convention Center. Entry: $30; $35 after April 21. (213) 494-2664.

Where to Call for Recreation Programs

For a listing of city-run recreational programs, from tennis lessons or leagues to golf, aerobics and yoga instruction, contact these offices:

Anaheim, (714) 999-5191.

Brea, (714) 990-7735.

Buena Park, (714) 821-1010.

Costa Mesa, (714) 642-0646.

Cypress, (714) 229-6780.

Fountain Valley, (714) 839-8611.

Fullerton, (714) 738-6575.

Garden Grove, (714) 741-5000.

Huntington Beach, (714) 536-5486.

Irvine, (714) 724-6000.

Laguna Beach, (714) 497-3311.

La Habra, (213) 905-9708.

La Mirada, (213) 943-7277.

La Palma, (714) 522-6740.

Los Alamitos, (714) 827-8670.

Newport Beach, (714) 644-3151.

Orange, (714) 532-0380.

Placentia, (714) 993-8232.

San Juan Capistrano, (714) 493-5911.

Santa Ana, (714) 647-5301.

Seal Beach, (213) 431-2527.

Stanton, (714) 220-2220.

Tustin, (714) 544-8890.

Villa Park, (714) 998-1500.

Westminster, (714) 895-2860.

Yorba Linda, (714) 961-7160.

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