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Southern California

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Angeles/San Bernardino National Forests

Angeles Crest Highway - route 2. Twisty and scenic. Medium to high traffic density, fair to good road quality. This road is basically the mecca of SoCal sport riding. It may not be the absolute best road, but you have to ride it at least once. If you've read a magazine test, chances are they've tested the bikes on the Crest. Start near Glendale or from the north by way of Angeles Forest. The road works its way up into the mountains, and then winds through them until it finally lets you out past Wrightwood, onto 138. From there you can turn back or take 138 to the 15. Fairly heavily trafficked on the weekends, but the weekdays are alright. Some rough spots in the pavement as you get into the mountains, so be careful. Also, parts of it are closed in the winter, due to snow. Have fun!

 Sand Canyon Road. Absolutely an awesome road! Very twisty, low traffic density, mostly excellent road quality. From Santa Clarita on the 14 freeway at the north end to the San Fernando Valley. This road is super tight and twisty. From the north, you start out going through some horse ranches. This ends after a couple miles and the fun begins. Head up the mountain then back down, 40-50 mph turns for the most part. Some blind turns, so be careful, but the pavement is generally in great condition. A good road for practicing flicking the bike back and forth, transitioning between turns. This took the place of Angeles Forest as my favorite road.  Picture (Sorry for the bad picture quality, I left the camera in the hot car one too many times.)

 Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road. Fast sweepers, satisfactory road condition, very low traffic density. This road extends from the Angeles Forest Highway southeast to the Angeles Crest. Lots of fast sweepers, and a good shortcut from the Angeles Forest to head up the Angeles Crest. Some areas of extensive tar sealant, which will cause your wheels to squirm around a little, just take it easy in these sections.

 Big Pines Highway - N4. Very twisty, low traffic density, good road quality. From Angeles Crest a couple miles west of Wrightwood, take Big Pines Highway. This road winds itself down the north side of the Angeles mountains. There are lots of VERY tight turns, some where 20 mph seems fast! It will let you out near 138, you can take this east or west or go back up to the Crest.

 Azusa Canyon - 39, Twisty - mildly scenic, low to medium traffic density, excellent road quality. Traffic density varies from low to medium, very rarely to high. Mirror to Angeles Crest Highway as far as road difficulty. Road condition is much better. Goes back about 25 miles and has junctions to East Fork Road and Mount Baldy. Always 1 CHP officer toward the bottom for us speeders to watch for. During the week it is desolate.

 Angeles Forest from the Crest to Hwy 14. Twisty, good road condition, low to medium traffic. From the 14 freeway at the north end to the Angeles Crest highway at the south end. It has everything from tight uphill and downhill turns, to some of the fastest sweepers in So Cal. Some good open stretches as well. Great ride, and not many cops (haven't seen any yet, they're always on the Crest). (Length 24 mi.)

 Glendora Mountain Road, above the 210/57 split. Very, very twisty. Good road for learning how to turn and transition between turns. Very rarely will your bike ever be straight up. Good road quality in most areas. As you get toward the top the road quality decreases a bit. Some incredible views of the Angeles Mountains and Mount Baldy. Joins to Azusa Canyon via East Fork or can be ridden all the way to Mount Baldy for breakfast and a song.

SR 138 east of I-15.  Not very twisty to very twisty, medium traffic density, good road condition.  Depending on the time of day or weekend/weekday/holiday, this road can get fairly busy as people make their way to Silverwood Lake and Lake Arrowhead.  From I-15 at Cajon Junction, it starts out as a four lane highway winding up into the mountains.  Once you get past Silverwood Lake, though, it quickly gets very twisty, with some very slow corners.  If there's no traffic, it's wonderful, but any traffic will really clog things up.  Take it to the town of Crestline, and then go explore the many other scenic and twisty roads in this area.


Northwestern SoCal

Caliente-Bodfish Road, Brekinridge Road. Good road condition, low to medium traffic density, both twisty and scenic. Caliente-Bodfish Road starts at Hwy 58 between Tehachapi and Bakersfield. It's got a fork at the southern end that lets you take the fast valley road [East fork] or the tight and twisty forest road [West fork]. The east road is longer by about 15-20 miles. Both come back together and continue as one to Lake Isabella. From there you can go either west to Bakersfield following the Kern River or east to Hwy 395. For the brave and hardcore winding road lovers there is a cutoff to the West before Lake Isabella [off Caliente-Bodfish] that takes you to Bakersfield. It's called Brekinridge Road. The first half is tight mountain 1-1/2 lane with great views that you won't have time to enjoy while moving. The second half is open range sweepers that will have you in high gear and wishing for one more gear higher. All these roads are subject to closure during the winter due to flooding and snow so the summertime is your best choice to ride them. Always be careful as you are a long way from home and help! Brekinridge is 42 miles long and has no turnouts, or housing, or side roads. Gas up in Lake Isabella as whichever way you go it'll be some distance to the next gas station.

 Bouquet Canyon Road. Twisty, medium traffic density, fair road quality. This road is north of Santa Clarita. From LA, get to the 14, then take the 126 west through Santa Clarita. Follow this road, it will turn into Bouquet Canyon road. From the north, take the exit from Elizabeth Lake road just west of Godde Hill road. Good twisties, some are VERY tight. In some areas, the road condition is less than desirable, but you can generally see these coming. Also some populated areas along the way, so look out for pedestrians.

 San Francisquito Canyon, Lake Hughes roads. Both are in the Angeles Forest north of Santa Clarita. San F. Canyon road has a lot of fast sweepers, some tighter stuff, but not much. Good ride though. Also you can take Spunky Canyon road near the north end. This road is VERY tight, unfortunately the pavement isn't in that great condition. Lots of tar sealant. But it is still a good ride. This road will take you over to Bouquet Canyon road (see above). Lake Hughes road is twisty and scenic. It starts from the second Castaic exit off the 5, a few miles north of Santa Clarita, and lets you out near Lancaster. Great road, great scenery, great twisties!

Route 58. Both scenic and twisty. Low traffic density, Good road quality. From just north of San Luis Obispo on the 101 inland to the 5. This road is almost like twisties grad school--starts with uphill medium twisties, opening up, straightening out a bit for a rest and some scenery, then after you are rested more medium tight twisties. Ending in desert high-speed, un-patrolled blast to the 5. The interesting alternative to the 46, which is over-patrolled these days. If I was to design a theme park ride road, this would be it!

 State Hwy 33. Both scenic and twisty, low traffic density, excellent road quality. Ventura county 101 north of LA past the city of Ventura. Hang a left on Hwy 33 and take it until the freeway stops. Ride on past Ojai and keep on going. Make sure you have a full tank of gas before you leave Ojai. After Matilija hot springs Hwy 33 is one of the best roads in So Cal to ride on. Ride it on a weekday and you will be lost in paradise. For a real fun tight twisty road take a Left on Lockwood Valley road and don't stop until you are in Fraizer Park. Just watch for the water across the roads...It's the algae slime on the roads that will get you.

 Lockwood Valley Rd. Twisty, Low density, Good road quality. From Hwy 33 you want to make a right turn on to Lockwood Valley Rd. It starts off as a high speed sweeper sort of road, but there are two streams that cross the road. It is more of a concrete creek bottom than a road. It is always covered with algae, so there are two ways of going thru it, either on the gas or going slow. Normal riding speeds will have you slipping and sliding. After that it gets real tight and twisty. Look out for the hairpin turns and where the dry creeks wash sand on the roads. About halfway to Fraizer Park there is a real big downhill/uphill dip in the road. You can get some serious air coming off of it if you are going above the speed limit. There is a Ventura County Sherriff that lives out here. He drives a 4 wheeler Bronco but I have never seen him bother anyone on bikes.. yet. When you get to the end of Lockwood Vally Rd, turn right and go into Fraizer Park for gas and food. You can then turn back and go back the way you came, or head home on I-5. For an added little fun road, go up Mt Pinos. It's the tallest mountain in SoCal. (Yea I know, Mt Whitney is taller, but thats central Ca.) It's better to do Mt. Pinos during the week.


Southern SoCal

Palomar Mtn run. Twisty and scenic, low to medium traffic density, excellent road quality. This road starts on the I15 exit north of San Diego. Take Highway 76 E(about 30 miles north of San Diego) from I 15 and you are in for a nice scenic ride through SoCal canyons. About 25 miles of medium twisties and then the real fun starts at the base of Mount Palomar. There are two routes on Palomar, the west face and the east face. The west face is an extremely twisty 7.5 mile run to the summit and the east face is a 10 mile very twisty run with a high speed section towards the base. The traffic is moderate during the weekend and light during the week. The roads are usually excellent but due to poor weather lately (Dec-Mar) there is some debris on the roads. Mount Palomar offers fantastic views and there is usually less than 40 riders on the mountain at any one time. If you have extreme mods then please consider that the mountain goes from 520ft to 5,400ft in about 7 miles. There is no gas station on the mountain or at the base the closest station is on the Indian reservation 15 miles away. There are only two places to eat on the mountain(one is a vegetarian joint called the mother earth the other place is the Lodge). For EXUP brothers I have a summer house on the summit if you want to schedule rides with a place to stay.


Los Angeles area

Decker Rd.  Twisty, low traffic density, good road condition.  This road connects PCH to the 101 west of Malibu (at the north end it's known as Westlake Blvd).  Wonderfully twisty, with good elevation changes thrown in there too.  A lot of 1st and 2nd gear corners, followed by a quick run through 3rd, followed by hard braking into another slow corner, so lots of fun!

Grimes Canyon Road/SR 23.  Twisty, medium traffic density, good road condition.  This road connects SR 118 and SR 126, with Fillmore at the north end.  A good road that would be even better if there was less traffic.  Early on weekend morning would be best if you can't go during the week.

Latigo Canyon. Twisty and scenic, low density, good quality. It is a canyon road that goes from PCH to Kanan Dume Rd. For sportbike riding it is by far THE TWISTIEST road I've ever ridden. I've explored roads from one end of California to the other, from San Diego to Oregon, and by car or bike this road will test your limits. It is NOT a fast road like Angeles Crest. It is a DANGEROUSLY twisty road. The number of skid marks attest to its nasty nature. A friend of mine lives on this road and even he went off the road on a off-camber corner. If you think you need a challenge, this road will give you all you can handle.  There are several very scenic locations where you can see all the way to Catalina Island.

 Carbon Canyon from Lambert to Chino Hills . This road is more famous as the route to La Vida Hot Springs, but a few hairpins will keep you on your toes (length 14 mi).

 Old Topanga Canyon from Topanga to Mulholland. The scenery is great, the switchbacks are a good mild challenge and the road tends to be less traveled. (length 7 mi.)

 Mulholland through Malibu State Park. This short stretch right before the Rock Store is one of the more challenging pieces of road. The uphill, decreasing radius turns still give me trouble from time to time (length 3 mi.)

 Pacific Coast Highway from Jamboree south to Laguna Beach. If you watch out for the speed traps, you will see some beautiful scenery (length 6 mi.)


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