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Old 02-10-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
AsaadB OP
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Santa Monica, CA....on da beach mon...
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200+ Miles through SoCal Canyons - Sorry all pavement

City Slickers...

asaadbhamla | February 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm | URL:
When I bought my first motorcycle, I was living in South Boston. Many of my first rides were on cobblestone streets or the congested intersections of city traffic. Once my confidence was up to par, I hit the highway out of town to explore the back country roads. Away from city traffic, I found rambling country roads, winding from one quaint town to another along the Massachusett’s coastline. It was a wonderful way to rediscover a landscape I had known since childhood.


Despite the fact that Boston is currently buried in snow and its 70 degrees in LA, this weekend revealed that there are indeed parallels on each coast. Saturday morning came along, and I was determined to escape the brutal grind of Santa Monica. The 10 minute commute, the plethora of good food and beach living had worn me out, so I headed to the hills to find respite. I planned a route with a few other two-wheeled enthusiasts; 200 miles of curvy canyon roads is a great solution to any problem.

The route started at Moorpark, at the Cactus Patch Restaurant (incidentally also the jumping off point for So Cal Norton Owner’s Club the first Sunday of each month). To get there Torrey and I bundled up and headed up PCH from Santa Monica, cut through a frigid Malibu canyon and made our way up the 23. Winter in Southern California may be mild, but at 730 am it is still only 50 degrees out. 50 degrees at 70 mph is damn cold, even for the leather-clad and iron hearted. Thankfully the Cactus Patch has hot coffee and serves biscuits with gravy, eggs and sausage. Perfect for regaining feeling in frozen fingertips.

We met up with Mike, Marc and Mark (referred to collectively as 3M from here on out). Marc was local to the area and knew the route well. Mark and Mike had taken the slab out from the eastside of LA. The mix of motorcycles was eclectic; a retro-café Thruxton, a 70’s CB550 and a 748 Ducati. And of course my own 900SS, Duchess.
Taking off from Moorpark, the road immediately winds through some hills, down towards the flats of the orchards. 3M are fast and capable riders. All have years of riding experience, Mark placed at the top of his classes in WSMC last season, Marc race the Catalina GP and Mike has a small motorcycle museum starting in his house and extending to his porch. Between that, and my riding two up, I found myself twisting the throttle and digging into turns to keep up. They kept a comfortable but quick pace, always letting me catch up after a set of nice twisties.
Out of the hills, we crossed the orchards on the way to Ojai. It’s a quite a sight to look over groves, out over emerald green fields and then see the mountains climbing out in the distance. The road consisted of long sweepers blending into straightaways, where the road seemed to sweep over the horizon. After about 45 minutes we hit Ojai.

This was only the second time I’ve seen Ojai (both times by motorbike). It’s got that old town feel, like a pioneer town grown up, just prosperous enough to enjoy good food and a slow pace. It’s not uncommon to see 30’s Fords and Mercury’s rumbling down main street. And it’s stuck in the middle of some amazing riding routes – so everything from Harley’s to 1098’s can be found passing through the small main street.

"Wait, you have how many bikes Yaz?"
Rte. 33 continues past town and into National Forest area. The road becomes tight and twisty, uninterrupted by intersections or traffic. By this time the sun was out and our tires warmed up. The road consisted of third gear sweepers, fast requiring a decent lean angle, but without any nasty surprises like decreasing radii or dirty corners. Needless to say, the speed of my fellow riders showed immediately – they easily walked away from after the first couple of turns. Impressed as I was, I was equally grateful when I found them waiting for me at opportune breaks in the route. A new route, my own pace and good company – it’s hard to ask for much more!
The highlight of the day….. The fire road wound its way down to a secluded lake, engulfed by the mountain roads. There we dismounted, to stretch our legs and BS motorcycle stories. BS-ing is by far the best part of motorcycling; if you can’t sit around telling the story about how you almost parked your bike in a gully during a botched bridge crossing – well what’s the point of the ride?

Thanks to Marc, Mark and Mike for the great ride! Stay tuned when we ride the same route with So Cal Norton Owner's Club Feb 13th....
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:47 PM   #2
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Looks good.. pavement rides are most welcome too... pics could stand to be a bit larger
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:44 AM   #3
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this is one reason why is cool. Usually the admins want your photos to be smaller, they want BIGGER!
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy View Post
Looks good.. pavement rides are most welcome too... pics could stand to be a bit larger
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:11 AM   #4
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From Boston to LA...

I too am a former Southie resident, (E 7th between M and N) who moved out here in 2007. I've done the ride you've mapped out a few times and it is a gorgeous one.

I've done a bunch of rides since coming out here, so if you want some cool suggestions let me know.

PS - Rumor has it that within the next couple of months the Crest should be reopened all the way through.
Big Trip to Washington, Vancouver Island and British Columbia
So Cal Day Trips
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2007 Suzuki GS500f - Don't underestimate (and don't take it in loose rocks!)
2004 Suzuki LS650 "Savage" - Either stolen or ran away from home.
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