On October 23, I took a nice day ride through the Angeles National Forest. I had intended to ride the Angeles Crest Highway but my plans changed when I stopped for gas in La Cañada Flintridge. After filling the Versys up with gas, I pulled off to the side next to some other bikes and went into the store to get a drink.
I started chatting with the other riders and found out that they were locals who had taken the day off of work to go out for a ride. It was an interesting group of bikes these guys were riding. There was a Suzuki DRZ400SM, a Yamaha R6, a Yamaha V-Max, a BMW S1000RR, and a BMW Scooter. After talking to these guys for a little while, they invited me to tag a long with them for the day. I had intended to go over the Angeles Crest Highway as I’ve done in the past but my new found friends were going to take some me om some less traveled back roads to Wrightwood.
We started out by going up Rt. 2 but quickly turned off on to a road towards a place they called the “Big Tree”. After about 30 minutes, we pulled over and stopped. I found out that the Big Tree tree had been cut down years ago but this is where it used to be. After a nice 15 minute break, we took off towards some nice twisty roads.
We continued through the mountains where there was virtually no traffic at all. The roads were typical CA canyon roads – smooth, twisty, and fun to ride. Looking at a map now, I think we took Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road to highway N3 but I’m not really sure exactly what route we actually took. I just know that we really weren’t on Rt. 3 for more than a few miles before stopping for lunch at the Grizzly Cafe in Wrightwood. I got to know my new friends a bit better and discovered that they’re all self employed and every so often, they take a day off and go out for a ride.
After lunch, we headed out onto Rt 138 and then Rt 18 past Lake Arrowhead and into Big Bear. In Big Bear, we stopped at a coffee shop for a nice hot beverage. By this time it was around 4:30 so I decided that it was time to head back home. I said goodbye to my new found friends and headed back down Rt 18 and then on to Rt 330 to Loma Linda. From here I just took freeways back home.
What a great ride. The weather was great and riding with locals allowed me to follow along on roads that I never would have ridden if I were out on my own for the day.