9th North County Cruisers

Angeles Crest Highway/ Big Bear Adventure

October 10th-12th, 2014

Writeup by Steve Malott

Pictures by Alan Miller, John Piner, Roger Perez, Steve Schneider, and Kim Humphreys

Previous Angeles Crest Rides:

October 4th - 6th, 2013 Angeles Crest / Big Bear Ride

October 5th - 7th, 2012 Angeles Crest / Big Bear Ride

September 23rd - 25th, 2011 Angeles Crest / Big Bear Ride

October 1st-3rd, 2010 Angeles Crest / Big Bear Ride

October 15-17, 2004 Angeles Crest / Big Bear Ride

Our Group

As usual, we set up several options for our riders. You could arrive on Friday night and check into the Cajon Pass Best Western or you could ride up on Saturday morning. A third option was to ride up on Sunday morning in order to ride Big Bear.

Related Links:

Angeles Crest Route Instructions

Big Bear Route Instructions


Friday, October 10th

Riding to our Cajon Pass Hotel

Many of us chose to ride up to our Best Western Hotel at Cajon Pass on Friday. We were fortunate to have warm weather for this trip when it can snow as early as mid-October. We also did not have the high winds that we had fought the previous year. We had 12 bikes and a car travel to our Best Western Hotel located at Rt. 138 and I-15. We traveled in separate groups with the main group departing at 11 A.M. from our usual Park and Ride lot. I drove up at 1 P.M. while Gary & Tracy while Rob & Shaw Marie rode up around 3 P.M. Roger drove his Datsun sports car later in the afternoon.

By the end of the day, our group included Rob & Shaw Marie Clayburn, Mike Darrach & Audre, Mike Warner, J.P. & Emily, Kim Humphreys, Doug Bonhaus, Roger & Trina Perez, Mike Buys, Stuart Cook, Constant de Calonne, and Steve Malott.

Evergreen Cafe

We rode to Wrightwood and had dinner at the Evergreen Cafe. We then returned to the hotel and enjoyed snacks along with various forms of alcohol. We had a moment of silence as we thought of Doug Bonhaus riding up I-5 in Friday night in Columbus Day weekend traffic. Doug was very patient and did not lane split. He arrived safely and joined us next to the hotel pool.

Poolside


Saturday, October 11th

Angeles Crest Highway

Angeles Crest Road Map

Following a continental breakfast, we started getting ready for the day's ride. On Saturday morning, Paul Garren led a group including Steve Schneider, and Melissa L. who rode up from San Diego North County. We were also joined by Alan Miller and Jack & Melanie R. who rode separately. This brought us to a total of 16 bikes, a car, and 21 people for our Angeles Crest Ride.

We departed from our hotel at 9 A.M. and took Rt. 138 West. We turned on Rt. 2 (Angeles Crest Highway) and climbed as we approached the town of Wrightwood. Our hotel is located at 4000 feet and Wrightwood is at 6000 feet. As we left Wrightwood, we continued to climb until we reached our favorite viewpoint at 7000 feet. We took a break and took a group picture.

Viewpoint

We had plenty of photographers in our group.

Pictures

In past years, we have encountered some problems on our Angeles Crest Highway rides. One year we rode on Saturday and it snowed on Sunday. That year we rode home in the rain on Sunday. Another year it rained everywhere but where we were. We were always on wet pavement but didn't get rained on. Last year, high winds caused lots of rocks to roll down onto the road. This year the weather was great and the road surface was generally clear. We did see some road kill but easily dodged them.

View

We continued enjoying the sweeping turns and we took another break at the Jarvi Viewpoint. Some of us had a little too much alcohol the previous night and needed the break to recover.

Relaxing

Since Wrightwood is at 6,000 feet, it didn't take long to ascend to around 7200 feet where we stopped at the view point for a group picture. It was cold (45 degrees) and windy so we soon resumed riding.

View

We then rode thru the tunnels and took our third break at Newcomb Ranch. We watched as a helicopter passed overhead with what appeared to be a concrete pouring container suspended below. I guess that is the best way to transport concrete to a remote location.

Newcomb Ranch

We next took a side trip up to the Mt. Wilson antennas. We took yet another break to enjoy the view although it was a bit hazy. However, I can't remember ever having a completely clear sky when looking down from Mt. Wilson.

Antennas

We stopped for lunch and gas in Sunland. Most of the group went to a Mexican restaurant. We resumed riding on Big Tijunga Road and stopped at the view point over the dam. The water level is still down very low.

Big Tijunga Dam

We resumed riding and took Upper Big Tijunga Canyon road back to Angeles Crest Highway. At this point, I sent everyone ahead individually to ride as fast as they wished. We regrouped at the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center. This is always a popular part of the ride and everyone enjoyed the ride.

Many of our bikes chose to split off in order to ride home, go shopping, or return to the hotel. We still had a group of 9 bikes as we took our side trip to the Devil's Punch Bowl. Alan was once again able to get a picture of one of the grey foxes that live in the area.

Grey Fox

We decided to ride directly to Wrightwood where we stopped for dinner. Most of the group stopped for pizza at a bar / burger restaurant. We then returned to our hotel pool area for another evening of snacks and drinks. It was a good day.


Sunday, October 12th

Big Bear and Home

We had a number of our bikes head for home on Saturday night and Sunday morning. However, we were joined by Charles & Doris Harmon (in their sports car) and Dennis Frampton for the Big Bear Ride. This brought us to a total of 11 bikes and a car or 15 people.

We once again departed at 9 A.M. and this time took Rt. 138 East. The first 20 miles are especially twisty.

Eastbound on Rt. 178

We took our first break at Silverwood Lake where we took another group picture.

Big Bear Group

We resumed riding and climbed the steep switchback section of Rt. 138. We stopped momentarily a couple times to make sure everyone was still with the group.

Eastbound on Rt. 178

We then switched to Rt. 18 which took us along the "Rim of the World Drive". There is a great view looking South as if we were indeed at the rim of the world.

Rim of the World

Rim of the World

Rim of the World

We were running early so I led our group thru Fawnskin and along the shoreline opposite from Big Bear City.

Big Bear Lake

Some of our group chose to split off at this point for sightseeing. I led the remaining group East where we picked up Rt. 38 and took it over San Gorgonio. The highest point was 8443 feet. We then descended gradually until we reached the expressway. We then split up to take the freeway home.

It was a great weekend. Thanks to everyone for joining us.