This might very well be the longest post on the Lady Hump to date.
INFORMATION ON THE RISE ABOVE RIDE ~ APRIL 7th 2012 @ 2:00 PM
Start at the Gasser Lounge, 1500 Aviation Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA.
Google that address if you already don't know where it is. By now, you should'nt even have to ask.
The first 30 miles are (freeway) easy. Aviation Blvd. To the 105 East, 110 North, 5 North, 2 North, to the 210 East...
But, the first EXIT off the 210 East is The Angeles Crest Hwy, which is really a two lane road. The only gas station (without getting off the freeway) along the route. The Angeles Crest Hwy is a very well maintained as it's one of the "few" alternate routes into and out of Los Angeles to Palmdale.
(All the way up and back down to the gas station is about 73 miles, if you can handle that, then no problems. Otherwise, fill up here.)
Approx. 20 more miles, the next 15 are great along new and maintained roads, with plenty of scenic variety and wide twisty turns.
I gotta expect, that there's those of us who like to "ride fast" and those of us who travel at a more liesurely "wuss" speed. If you get ahead of the pack, or behind it, this'll pretty much ensure you make it to the top and back again...
There's very little chance of you getting lost if you're able to follow simple signs. We're always going to go toward "Mt. Wilson."
FYI, there's at least three bathrooms stops available along the 20 miles of mountian stretch. Just in case you've got your girlfriend on the back who makes the whole pack stop at a KFC to run in to use a bathroom that isn't there... old story. Pleny of pee stops for ladies (and plenty of tree's for us dudes!)
At Red Box Canyon (can you guess why it's called that? Try harder) we turn off onto a service road and follow it up an additional 5 miles to the top of Mt. Wilson. This road is NOT well maintained, there's no potholes but there is plenty of cracks and LOOSE GRAVEL. BE CAREFUL, the turns are much tighter along these narrow roads. I think each lane is only 6 feet wide? felt like it.
Answer: There's a RED BOX there, and NO you can't rent movies from it...
Super scenic and even has some snow (although it's NOT cold) along the shadow side of the road (no sun ever hits this area). Very rustic, think Evil Dead (without the Demonic elements)
This is an old road. I'll be riding at "Wuss Speed" along it since it's got enough loose gravel and tight turns I don't want to end up flypaper on some teenagers "Too Fast Too Furious" Honda Civic.
Before you know it you'll be amongst the tallest transmitters in the Los Angeles basin (or above it).
The road turns into a One-Way lane, follow it. Go THROUGH what looks like a large black gate (below), follow the road about 100 yards (5 mph) to the PARKING LOT (half paved, half loose gravel). There's one picnic bench there, if it's free grab it. If not, just pick a spot with enough room to park a bunch of bikes.
The gates open in this picture, I assume it's open on Saturday's and I'll bet there'll be a lot of "weekend warrior" traffic there too. Expect to see a zillion Rice Rockets and Sushi Torpedo's along the road up.
This is a building visible form the Parking Lot. It says you need a pass to park there, but we're not really staying. Just a couple brews and pictures, that's all.
And guess what, it was (today) Wednesday that I rode up here to check the route in under 2 and a half hours (lickity split) and there was enough smog above Los Angeles to block my view (I could barely make it out). I doubt that'll be the case on Saturday. I expect very little freeway traffic and some congestion along the Angeles Crest Hwy. (weekend warriors again...) The ride home is the same, only in reverse and onto the Welcome Back Jesus and PIZZA provided by Wuss Army, General Obi One'Kit'nobi, once we get back to the Gasser Lounge.