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I have recently moved to California, and this really is motorcycle heaven. You never have to put your bike away and the scenery changes in all directions. You can ride along the shore, through the desert, or up into the mountains all in the same day. This has gotten me to thinking about some of my favorite rides over the years when I want to get away from things and just enjoy the ride.

I know this has potential to be a very broad brush, but I am just interested in learning about other people's memorable rides. So please share where it is and what makes it great. For me, a good day trip involves a scenic curvy road where I get the sights, the smells, and the thrills of being there. What does it mean to you?

When I say Day-long ride, I mean the kind of one you plan out a bit. Start early in the morning and come in with a happy face and a sore butt at the end of the day.

Here are my two favorite rides:

1) Highway 97 in New York State: I grew up on the east coast of the U.S., and learned to ride there. I used to love riding on the windy Appalachian roads of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York in the fall. My favorite was a day-long (6 hours round trip) ride from Port Jervis to Long Eddy. The road runs northward along the Delaware River up past Calicoon. It is a very sparsely populated area and can be absolutely beautiful. A well kept two-lane highway that basically follows the curve of the river. In the fall, the air is crisp and all the trees are very colorful. A very pleasant ride to just escape and enjoy.

2) Neptune's Net to Newcomb's Ranch, Los Angeles: There are many great canyon rides here in Southern California with amazing twists and great vistas. My favorite day-long trip is a combination of several shorter rides. It takes about 4-5 hours total and starts around sea-level on the Pacific Coast highway in Malibu at the famous Neptune's net. The first deviation is onto Mullholland Highway (a well-kept 2-lane highway) eastward all the way to Old Topanga Canyon road, which is a windy little traveled and scenic route. This feeds to Topanga Canyon road and back down to the PCH. Then, I take Sunset Blvd, a generally well maintained four-lane boulevard with smile-inducing curves, through pretty parts of Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, and Beverly Hills. Then, I hop onto Cold Water Canyon Road, which takes me over the Hollywood Hills and into the Valley. At that point, I have to take the big highways a bit to get to Angela's Crest Highway (Cal 2). This provides a wonderfully curvy and scenic route that takes me up to over 5000 ft elevation in about 50 minutes of riding. Gorgeous vistas and a complete change in climate and vegetation. At the top or close to it, I get lunch at Newcomb's ranch and lament the fact that my next leg is to return home.

What ride would your recommend for me when I visit your neck of the woods?

Thanks
 

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Los Angeles is a big place. Los Angeles County is even bigger. I live in Orange County which is right next to Los Angeles County and both are in the Los Angeles Basin which is huuuuuuge. ;)

One of my favorite (all) day rides starts at the junction of the 210 freeway and SR-2 in La Canada Flintridge and follows SR-2 (the Angeles Crest Hwy) east to SR-138. Then 138 to SR-18 (Rim of the World Hwy) and east from there on 18 past Big Bear Lake to SR-38 which winds back down the mountain to Redlands. From there you get home by whatever route works best for you.

You can't even do that ride right now because the Angeles Crest and Rim of the World Hwys are both closed in places due to snow, but it's a great ride once it warms up.

Another good ride is down Coast Hwy and I-5 to SR-76 (at Oceanside), east on 76 past Lake Henshaw to SR-79, north on 79 to Temecula, up I-15 to SR-74 (Ortega Hwy), and west on 74 to San Juan Capistrano. From there we usually ride Antonio Pkwy to Live Oak Canyon Rd to Silverado Canyon Rd to Chapman at the 55.

This Saturday a couple of friends and I are riding up to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. We'll probably go up I-5 to Lake Hughes Rd and go up that way. Then we'll probably come back via San Francisquito or Bouquet Canyon Rd and possibly head over Little Tujunga Canyon Rd back into the valley. The operative words are probably and possibly 'cause we tend to decide on routes on the fly. The only thing I know for sure is we're riding this Saturday. If you're interested in tagging along we could probably meet up somewhere. I should add that we aren't "performance" riders and usually stick pretty close to the speed limit.

Pete (who's lived in the Los Angeles Basin for about 45 of his 68 years)
 

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If we're NOT limited to 1-day rides, my favorite is SR-1 north from Santa Monica all the way up through Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Simeon, Big Sur, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and up to San Francisco. Then across the valley on I-80 to SR-70, SR-70 through the Feather River Canyon to SR-89, SR-89 past Lake Tahoe to 395, and 395 back home. Gorgeous ride which includes coastal, valley, mountain, and high-desert riding.

rePete
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If we're NOT limited to 1-day rides, my favorite is SR-1 north from Santa Monica all the way up through Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Simeon, Big Sur, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and up to San Francisco. Then across the valley on I-80 to SR-70, SR-70 through the Feather River Canyon to SR-89, SR-89 past Lake Tahoe to 395, and 395 back home. Gorgeous ride which includes coastal, valley, mountain, and high-desert riding.

rePete
I live in West L.A., near Santa Monica. I agree up the PCH all the way to the Oregon border is a great ride. I also like the 154 up from Santa Barbara into wine country.

We are very "blessed" to have so many great rides.

I will do the first route you list the second the weather allows. I have wanted to venture out beyond Newcomb's ranch, just haven't done it yet.

Thanks for your contribution.
 

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Okay, it's not CA but I thought I'd go ahead and pipe in to this thread. There are SO many great roads in the U.S. Here in the central part of the lower 48 states, things are a bit more sparse. Fortunately, I live in the Ozarks and have access to some fantastic roads. Here is one of my favorite rides to go and then turn around and go back via the same roads which include 125, 14, and Push Mountain Road. :motorbike
Trip.jpg

edit: Okay, now that I think about it, this is just as good of a ride and there's a GREAT restaurant in Jasper, AR (FB page: The Ozark Cafe). Highway 125 is also in this ride along with the locally famous highway 123 which is a superb road with some nice scenery.
trip2.jpg
 

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I agree up the PCH all the way to the Oregon border is a great ride.
Why stop at the Oregon border? When I was a lot younger, 2 friends and I rode from the Mexican border at San Diego all the way up the West Coast through British Columbia and the Yukon and ended up in Anchorage Alaska. I'll add that we rode that route up and back and I was riding a Honda XR600 thumper.

I'm usually a bit disappointed when a ride is over, but I have to say that I was GLAD when we got back home and I wasn't real interested in pleasure-riding for awhile afterwards.

Pete (who ate more bugs per mile riding through parts of Alaska than most riders eat in a lifetime)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks for sharing

Okay, it's not CA but I thought I'd go ahead and pipe in to this thread. There are SO many great roads in the U.S. Here in the central part of the lower 48 states, things are a bit more sparse. Fortunately, I live in the Ozarks and have access to some fantastic roads. Here is one of my favorite rides to go and then turn around and go back via the same roads which include 125, 14, and Push Mountain Road. :motorbike
View attachment 636274

edit: Okay, now that I think about it, this is just as good of a ride and there's a GREAT restaurant in Jasper, AR (FB page: The Ozark Cafe). Highway 125 is also in this ride along with the locally famous highway 123 which is a superb road with some nice scenery.
View attachment 636276
If I ever get your way, I'll be sure to try one of those out. Thanks for posting the map images and the links. Looks like lots of twisties.

I went to Little Rock once, when I was in the military. The mountains surrounding it are really beautiful, and there are some nice country roads. I bet you get to enjoy them most of the year as well. Thanks again for sharing.

Ride Safe
 

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I live in West L.A., near Santa Monica. I agree up the PCH all the way to the Oregon border is a great ride. I also like the 154 up from Santa Barbara into wine country.

We are very "blessed" to have so many great rides.

I will do the first route you list the second the weather allows. I have wanted to venture out beyond Newcomb's ranch, just haven't done it yet.

Thanks for your contribution.
By the way, Ranger, you don't want to ride Angeles Crest Hwy without stopping at Mount Wilson. It's a quick 4.2 mile detour off the Hwy and I can pretty much guarantee you that it will blow your mind.

Pete
 

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The four-corners region would be good then. Lots of long dusty deserted roads and beautiful scenery to boot.
Sounds good to me, roads in the south east of the UK are frequently crammed to the max.

I have a vague plan to drive a (hired) Corvette along various obscure roads in the US (with a passenger), no reason why that couldn't be extended to something with two wheels, just need to retire from full time wage-earning first.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sounds good to me, roads in the south east of the UK are frequently crammed to the max.

I have a vague plan to drive a (hired) Corvette along various obscure roads in the US (with a passenger), no reason why that couldn't be extended to something with two wheels, just need to retire from full time wage-earning first.
There are some seriously open beautiful roads in the four-corners region and just beyond. Even the highways can be wonderful. I70 from Denver to Southern Utah is an amazing road, no matter what vehicle you take.
 

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Another good ride is down Coast Hwy and I-5 to SR-76 (at Oceanside), east on 76 past Lake Henshaw to SR-79, north on 79 to Temecula, up I-15 to SR-74 (Ortega Hwy), and west on 74 to San Juan Capistrano.
I did this last Saturday and got stopped for road work on SR-74 near the top of the hill south of Lake Elsinore. The people looking at the wildflowers have been thicker than the butterflies, so be advised you might encounter unusually congested traffic on your planned wildflower ride.

BTW, I live in Irvine, CA.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I did this last Saturday and got stopped for road work on SR-74 near the top of the hill south of Lake Elsinore. The people looking at the wildflowers have been thicker than the butterflies, so be advised you might encounter unusually congested traffic on your planned wildflower ride.

BTW, I live in Irvine, CA.
I read about the flower selfie thing. Apparently, it's so bad that they have been calling it flowergedden. I think that's a bit over the top, but I'd probably hate the extra traffic if I lived there.
 

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Two friends and I rode up to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve last Saturday. Only got about a mile away from the entrance to the reserve before we decided to turn around due to traffic that wasn't going anywhere. Saw plenty of poppies, though, because the landscape around the reserve is covered with 'em too.

But the ride was good. Went up via Lake Hughes Road and came back via Bouquet Canyon & Little Tujunga Canyon Roads. Round trip from home was about 250 miles.

Pete
 

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