Just got back from a new mountainy road ride that was really pretty nice. I took Masi (aka the Purple People Eater) up to Chantry Flats which is one of those old timey camp places up in the San Gabriel’s above Arcadia/Sierra Madre.
I’ve been up there before but not for a long time. I was probably up there as a kid for school hikes or something. The last time I was up there was when Mindful Mule was shiny and new back in maybe about 1995. Me and a couple friends drove our bikes up there and cruised around on some trails.
I’m not sure why I haven’t thought about it for the last 15 years. A few months ago while I was riding Totally 80’s on the Vintage Ride a flash of light caught my eye from up in the mountains. It looked like the reflection off a windshield but I couldn’t think of any roads that would be up there. It was way off in the distance on a hazy day so I couldn’t see very well to confirm.
Later that day, though, I checked out the map and it looked like there was a road heading up in them thar hills and wouldn’t ya know it led right up to Chantry Flats.
Fast forward to this morning. I rode up that road. It was a little steeper and longer than I expected/remembered, but it’s a great little mountain road and even has some fresh pavements sections.
There were tons of people up there. I had no idea it was such a destination. There must have been a hundred cars parked up there. Unbelievable! Great to see people out hiking and biking and picnicking and such, though. I guess Chantry is somewhat rare in that it’s pretty close to town and accessible by car and yet it really feels like you’re deep in the mountains.
The descent was awesome. Narrow road, tight turns, steep, and well paved. A classic, really. I got stuck behind some cars so I couldn’t let it all out but that’s probably better/safer on a first descent anyway.