In The 1970s & 1980s Balboa, There Was Always Some Kind Of An Annual Event Going On. The Tricycle Grand Prix Was Just One Of  Them.

Many Of The Tricycles Were
Custom Built For The Races.

In the early 1980s, the Tricycle Grand Prix became an annual Fourth-of-July event. Held in the park at the foot of Balboa Pier, the race would start in front of the gazebo, and go round and round the park's circular sidewalk.

For the few years this event took place, it grew by leaps and bounds. Each year, scores of entrants would custom design and build their own trikes.

The race became so popular that one year is was covered by television's "Games People Play," with Arty Johnson narrating the event and handing out prizes.

Television's Arty Johnson
Hams It Up With The Winners.

A Tip Of
The Hat

To Carole Depa for sharing her
wonderful collection of old
Balboa photos with TalesOfBalboa.

Rotating Outages Alert
The Slowest Web In The West.

Time Capsule

Mutt Lynch's Beer Hall
In The Bayview Hotel
Circa 1978

Viewer Email

Dear Jim,
  Just a note to say I love the website.  I saw the photo of the shop that sold rattan and sea shells, I used to go there and buy trinkets and things made of sea shells. I started going to Balboa Island in 1976, my senior year in high school.  A friend of mine took me there and I was hooked. I took all my friends there and we used to just drive down on a Friday nights just to eat pizza at Mione's (which I was sad to see close).  Once my car broke down on the ferry and everyone had to help push me off and get it over to the side. Ah, memories!  Every boyfriend I ever dated had to take a trip to Balboa with me, and my senior prom was at the Balboa Pavilion in May of 1976.  I have a little mirror that I purchased at Ms. Mintz ( a little shop near the ferry) in 1977, and I still carry it in my purse. I have a copy of a watercolor painting of the Pavilion that I bought on the island in 1984 or so and I have it hanging in my apartment in the ! high desert. To me, Balboa Island is the perfect beach town. and I am happy to see that it really hasn't changed much. You can still get frozen bananas and ice cream bars dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts and chocolate sprinkles, you can still take the ferry across the bay and ride the Ferris Wheel and the drug store is still on the corner to buy suntan lotion.   My now 14 year old son and I come down every summer and spend the day on the beach and walk around and ride the Ferris Wheel and eat frozen bananas and walk around and relive my teenage years. I hope years from now, when he is grown up, he brings his kids there and has the same feeling about Balboa that I do.   In fact we will be coming down this Sunday, early to walk around and savor it. It is my favorite spot in California.  Thanks for the website!

Dana Jordan
Hesperia, California

Words Of  Wisdom

In the private sector, it's called a
Pyramid Scheme. On Capitol Hill,
it's called Tuesday.