A perfect afternoon
Over my years and thousands of miles of riding, I have made friends all across the U.S, Canada and India too. Most of them have a ‘riding season’ and that season is all too short. This time of year I get e-mails from the friends bemoaning their weather and wanting to come visit. I wish they would.
One of my favorite loops starts not too far north of Los Angeles up near Castaic Lake. Starting in the LA area head north on Interstate 5…a few miles past Magic Mountain amusement park will be the turn off for Castaic Lake, Lake Hughes Road. You have a couple of choices here depending on what time of day it is and how hungry you are. A side note here, I am a card carrying member of the ‘Ride to Eat…Eat to Ride Society’ and every
trip has to have good food stops. If it’s breakfast time, Cafe Mike is as good as it gets along this stretch of road. Classic truck stop diner fare and good service. When you get off the freeway, take your first right turn and Mike’s is about 1/4 mile down the road…you won’t be disappointed. However, if you’re not hungry yet and it’s getting closer to lunch time…ride on.
Lake Hughes Road is one of the great unknown roads…well, I guess I just spoiled it. It’s a good fifteen plus miles of smooth flowing turns, blind deceasing radius turns, great scenery and good fun. The road takes you through a beautiful canyon of California chapparral, creeks, campgrounds and church retreats. Oh, and there is a ‘correctional’ facility thrown just for good measure, visiting day is Sunday.
At the end of Lake Hughes road is a ‘T’ intersection and you have a choice. A left turn takes you down to Hwy 138 and the Antelope Valley…if you want to head north it’s a good choice and in spring it will take you down to the California Poppy Reserve. But, if you want an entertaining loop and a good lunch, turn right onto Elizabeth Lake Road.
In Lake Hughes is a fine lunch stop, The Rock Inn (www.historicrockinn.com), a classic place with sports on big screen TV’s, live music occasionally, good food and a fine beer selection. The Rock Inn is also a real Inn…they have rooms upstairs…get your mind out the old Western movie gutter here. It’s a great stop. A side note here…the first date with my now wife was this ride, and it’s also where I proposed to her( well, not on our first date a couple years later)…in the parking lot amidst a bunch of motorcycles, how romantic huh???…she was foolish enough to say yes.
After a good lunch you have a couple of choices, head back the same route, this side of the road can get a little iffy so be careful. Or…you can continue on the loop. If you have decided to continue on ‘the loop’ good for you, you’re going to love it. Continue east on Elizabeth Lake Road (N2 ) for a few miles…5 or 6 maybe, to the turn off for Green Valley / San Francisquito Canyon Road. About a mile down will be the left turn for Bouquet Canyon Road. Once on Bouquet Canyon just have fun.The road goes past the Bouquet Reservoir, into the canyon with creeks, California oak trees, houses perched up on the hillsides and rock walls that would hurt if you’re not paying attention to your riding. There is generally not much traffic but people do live in this canyon so you have to keep an eye out for drivers coming out of nowhere. A popular stopping point part way down the canyon is The Big Oaks. Good pizza, cold beverages and on Sundays a good crowd of motorcyclists up from the local area. Mostly the cruiser group with a few sportbikes here and there. It’s well worth the stop, just to enjoy the canyon.
Twelve miles or so down Bouquet Canyon Rd. is the turn off to Vasquez Canyon Rd., hang a left. Three and a half fun miles brings you to Soledad Canyon Rd, a right turn will take you over to Hwy 14 and from there you can head back to wherever you started from easily.
There are many more fun roads in this area and how many of them you would like to ride depends on how much time you have and how far your fanny will go. If you would like to know about more about the roads in this area, grab yourself a Los Angeles and vicinity map from your local AAA office or feel free to e-mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a great way to spend a morning and afternoon with your motorcycle. My wish for you all is that the New Year brings you all that you want and mostly a lot of wonderful rides. Thank you for sharing this one with me.