Saturday, December 5, 2009
California to myself for a day
Joe and Sam and I rode the Old Ridge Route today from Castaic toward Gorman. The Ridge Route is the very old highway that was the original (1915, and maybe a wagon route before that) route north out of LA. It was replaced by the Interstate 5 in 1970. It’s paved (poorly) with lots of patches of dirt and gravel. And pretty steep (44 miles in 6.5 hours – sounds more like a run!). I rode the Metamorphosis mountain bike (today I decided she should be called Speed Mule!) but the route could be ridden on a hefty touring or cyclocross bike like Joe’s. Lots of ups and downs as you travel along the ridges. But best of all it’s totally empty. Great views all around you of Angeles National Forest with mountains and rolling hills and hardly a sign of civilization in sight (except for that quickly deteriorating road surface under your tires.) I practically expected to see Laura Ingalls as I rounded a corner. It was a little chilly up there (I wore Hilary’s purple Xanadu leg warmers – sweet!) with gusty winds and we were a little concerned about getting back to the start before sundown but we made it which always feels good after a bit of an epic.