11th North County Cruisers

Angeles Crest Highway/ Big Bear Adventure

October 7th-9th, 2016

Writeup by Steve Malott

Pictures by Alan Miller, Roger Perez, Kim Humphreys, Emily Piner, and Kyle Seilheimer

Previous Angeles Crest Rides:

September 24th - 26th, 2015 Angeles Crest / Big Bear Ride

October 10th - 12th, 2014 Angeles Crest / Big Bear Ride

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

We had a record turnout this year with 22 bikes, 1 car, 1 dog, and 33 riders on Saturday. On Sunday, we had 17 bikes, 1 dog, and 24 riders. Our group included a couple (David and Robin Griggs) from Illinois and Chuck Graybeal (from Utah).

A month earlier, our hotel had been surrounded by the Blue Cut Fire but we found that any smoke damage had been cleaned up. The fire had no impact on our enjoyment of the ride. The weather was near perfect with temperatures in the 60's and 70's when we were in the mountains. Temperatures were in the 90's when we were at lower altitudes but we quickly got away from them.

Perhaps due to Columbus Day weekend, we encountered a lot of groups of motorcycles and cars during our weekend ride.

Our Group

Related Links:

Angeles Crest Route Instructions

Big Bear Route Instructions

Friday, October 7th

Riding to our Cajon Pass Hotel

Some of our group decided to ride to the hotel at different times on Friday. Traffic a rather heavy since it was Columbus Day weekend but everyone made it safely. By evening, we had 12 bikes and 19 riders. Following dinner in Wrightwood, we hung out around our hotel pool.

Friday Night

One of our club members, Jeffrey Hall, brought his dog Shadow -- shown below wearing Doggles. A big thanks to Jeff for riding sweep each day.

Jeff and Shadow

Saturday, October 8th

Angeles Crest Highway

Angeles Crest Road Map

On Saturday another group of our members rode up from the San Diego area. This brought us up to 22 bikes. Our group now included Bill Sprouse, Brian Meyers, John Hermesman, Jeffrey Hall, Rob and Shaw Marie Clayburn, Bill and Shelley Green, John and Emily Piner, Kim Humphreys, Kyle Seilheimer and Janet Roberts, David and Robin Griggs, Layla Sisney, Bill and Debbie Jean Gloss, Matt and Laura Lowenstein, Jose and Mariel Campos, Alan Miller, Melissa Lichty, Ara Jenichs, Steve DeRosa and Patty Ashton, Chuck Graybeal, Jack and Melanie R., Roger Perez, Linda and Steve Malott.

Everyone began gathering in front of our hotel. Our paparazzi (Alan and Roger) were busy taking pictures of everyone.

Start Point

Start Point

We rode West on Rt. 138 and were shocked by the damage from the Blue Cut fire. Fortunately, the fire was stopped before reaching Wrightwood. The fire burned 37,000 acres while destroying 105 homes and 213 other buildings.

We turned on Rt. 2 (Angeles Crest Highway) and rode thru Wrightwood. We then rapidly climbed to an altitude of 7,000 feet.


We stopped at a view point and took a group picture along with pictures of the terrific scenery.


We resumed riding West on Angeles Crest Highway climbing up to 7901 feet and then beginning our gradual descent. We stopped at the Jarvi View Point and took more pictures. They had built a new outhouse but it wasn't open yet.


We resumed riding West and immediately rode thru two tunnels. Roger was waiting to take our pictures. Each year we would pull in our clutches and rev our engines to echo in the tunnel. This year my wife and I were riding our Can Am Spyder which has an automatic transmission. There is no clutch so I honked my horn. Everyone honked their horns and it was fun. However, two cars traveling in the other direction slowed almost to a stop thinking that we were warning them of a danger. Oops!


We continued West and stopped at Newcomb Ranch for a restroom break. There were lots of bikes and cars.


We resumed riding from Newcomb Ranch ...



and took a side trip up to Mt. Wilson to look at all of the antennas and the view of the Los Angeles suburbs. As usual it was hazy.



We rode down from Mt. Wilson and continued riding down to I-210. We rode 7 miles West and stopped for lunch in the town of Sunland. The temperature was in the 90's and we stayed inside the Jack-In-The-Box in air conditioning until we were ready to start the afternoon ride.

Following lunch, we took Big Tijunga Road towards the Big Tijunga Dam. Alan was waiting for us and took a great picture of us crossing a bridge.


We then stopped at the Dam View Point to take another group picture.



We resumed riding and took Angeles Forest Highway to Upper Tijunga Road. This brought us back to Angeles Crest Highway. Since we had already ridden Angeles Crest Highway from the other direction, I sent everyone ahead to ride individually to the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center (30 miles down the road) where we could regroup. This allowed everyone to ride as fast or slow as they likes including stopping to take pictures.

Once we had regrouped, we had a rider's meeting where everyone had the option of continuing thru Wrightwood and returning to our hotel or taking a side trip to the Devil's Punch Bowl County Park. Most of our rider's chose to ride to the Punch Bowl. We took Big Pine Highway which is a fun ride with lots of twisties and switchbacks.

We stopped at a sign marking the San Andreas Fault where we took individual pictures.


We resumed riding and worked our way over to the Devil's Punch Bowl. We went thru the Visitor Center, looked at the Punch Bowl, and looked at the owls that had been resued. Alan was able to take a picture of one of the grey foxes that live near the punch bowl.

Punch Bowl


We split into two groups. Alan led a group to Rt. 138 where they could get gas and return to our hotel. Our main group backtracked all the way to Angeles Crest Highway where we rode into Wrightwood for dinner.

Everyone met once again at the hotel pool to share beverages, snacks, and stories from the day. We were all quite tired from the long day but also smiling.

Sunday, October 9th

Big Bear and Home

On Sunday our group included Brian Meyers, John Hermesman, Jeffrey Hall, Rob and Shaw Marie Clayburn, Bill and Shelley Green, Kim Humphreys, Kyle Seilheimer and Janet Roberts, Layla Sisney, Bill and Debbie Gloss, Matt and Laura Lowenstein, Jose and Mariel Campos, Alan Miller, Ara Jenichs, Steve DeRosa and Patty Ashton, Chuck Graybeal, Linda and Steve Malott.

Big Bear Road Map

We headed east on SR138 and were surprised how much of the surrounding area had been burnt by the Blue Cut fire. The road was very twisty and fun to ride.


We stopped at the Silverwood Lake lookout and enjoyed the view.

Silverwood Lake

Our Group

We continued East on Rt. 138 and climbed thru a set of steep switchbacks. Once again, Alan was waiting to take our pictures.


We rode thru the town of Crestline and then picked up SR18 eastbound (which is also known as "Rim of the World Highway"). We stopped to admire the view looking down into the San Bernardino Valley.


We stopped at a view point to check out the scenery.


We continued East on Rt. 18 and followed the Northern shore of Big Bear Lake. Alan was waiting to take pictures of us as we rode by. The lake was a beautiful back drop.


Traffic was light and we got into the Big Bear area around lunchtime. We stopped in our normal public parking lot and agreed on taking 90 minutes for lunch. We were not rushed compared to the mileage we covered on Saturday. We split up into smaller groups and spread out among many of the Big Bear restaurants. The temperature was 70 degrees with a gentle breeze. The leaves were turning colors with a lot of bright red leaves. Breath taking!

Following lunch we rode East on Rt. 38 and enjoyed the sweeping turns. We climbed up to a peak altitude of 8443 feet and descended to the freeways. We were fortunate to not be trapped behind a slow moving car. The temperature climbed as we descended and we found ourselves in 90 degree heat. The ride home was very hot and we stopped for several breaks. Once we got home, we could forget the heat and have great memories of a fun weekend.