Friday, June 16th thru Sunday, June 25th, 2017
Southern California! Well known for beautiful people, beaches, and weather. But, little do most people know, SoCal’s mountains and deserts are home to some of the best motorcycle roads in the country. This year’s ride is about twisty roads and breath taking views. So hang on to them hats and glasses, cuz this year they gave the keys to the guy with the sport bike.
What to expect in Southern CA in June? Temperatures will range from mid-50s in places like big bear to high-90s and above in the desert valleys. Layering clothing is highly recommended and you may want to consider ventilated riding gear with removable linings. The temperature in Big Bear drops quickly after sundown so a light jacket or sweatshirt is suggested. There isn’t much rain during this time of year. So bring rain gear if you like, but you may never use it.
Many of the roads this year weave through vast Avocado Orchards. California produces about 90 percent of the nation’s avocado crop and of that, San Diego County produces about half. Many of this year’s roads were built to access the hillsides where this super food grows, so it feels appropriate to honor the noble Avocado in our ride name. You will find that the laid back nature of Southern CA has prevented us from coming up with creative reptilian names for our roads, but make no mistake, some of these roads may put “The Dragon” to shame. From deserts, to mountain peaks, to ocean views, there will be something for everyone as we carve up avocado country.
Full Ride Map: Click Here (Click on the box by each ride day to make the route appear)
Starting Point: Holiday Inn Express & Suites N San Diego-Escondido 1250 West Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92069
Pre-ride Gathering – Friday, June 16th
The riders gather in Escondido, CA for the traditional meet-and-greet. Those renting rides will find Eagleriders near LAX and San Diego Airports. Near the Orange County airport is OC motorcycle rentals. All three airports are within range of the starting point. Additionally, near the starting point, there are Harley’s available to rent from Biggs HD or Temecula HD.
Day 1 – Saturday, June 17th
Escondido to Ramona, the long way: Day 1 begins with a short jaunt on I-15 south to Highland Valley Road. For the next 4 days following, we won’t get on another freeway. We’ll follow Highland Valley to Wildcat Canyon as we make our way through the Barona reservation. After a quick humanitarian break at Barona, we’ll head south until we can nearly spit across the border, where we’ll have lunch at Barrett Junction. After lunch we’ll follow sunrise highway North through Julian and stop at world famous Dudley’s Bakery to load up on delicious breakfast pastries to hold us over at our hotel. Finally, we will end up in Ramona, CA where we will spend the next three nights. 184 Miles for the day.
Day 2 – Sunday, June 18th
Palomar Mountain Loop: Today we visit the Palomar Observatory in the morning and the Avocado Orchards of Fallbrook in the afternoon. The day begins with a choice. Option A: Ascend Palomar Mtn. via the technically challenging switch backs of South Grade Rd or Option B: Ascend Palomar Mtn. via the slightly longer, less technical, but still twisty, East Grade Rd. We will all meet at the top for a walking tour of the Observatory. After our tour, we will follow East Grade Rd down the mountain to Hwy 76 W then cut north at the Pala reservation for a lovely lunch in Temecula. The afternoon offers some more twisty roads as we make our way back to Ramona via De Luz, Lilac, Valley Center, and the perimeter of Escondido. 183 Miles for the day.
Day 3 – Monday, June 19th
Palm Desert Loop: The day begins with a cruise up to Wynola then down Banner Grade on Hwy 78. At Scissors Crossing we’ll break north along S2, then east along S22 and hug the rocks as we drop elevation down into Borrego Springs. After a quick humanitarian break, we’ll stop for a group photo at the desert dragon then continue east for a view of the Salton Sea. We won’t get too close though because of the less than ideal odor. We follow 86 past Salton Sea and the infamous town of Coachella to Palm Desert for lunch. After lunch we’ll jump on some twisties on Hwy 74 and 371 and take a quick loop through Temecula’s wine country. Then follow Hwy 79 back to the hotel for our last night in Ramona. 278 Miles for the day.
Day 4 – Tuesday, June 20th
Ramona to West Covina: For those early risers, the day may start with a run up to Kwaaymii Point to watch the sunrise. Sunrise is at 5:37a so for those who are interested, it will be kick stands up at 4:30a. Don’t worry; we’ll come back for those who value their sleep around breakfast time. Today we ride from San Diego County to Los Angeles without getting on a freeway. We will make our way from Ramona down to Escondido via 78 then head north along old 395 to Fallbrook where we will have our last ride through the Avocado Orchards and up to the Rancho Santa Rosa Mesa. From there we will cross Cleveland National Forest via Ortega Highway then stop for lunch at Cooks Corner, a classic biker bar that has been in business since 1926. Be prepared, it is cash only for food. After lunch, we ride north via Santiago Canyon, through the cities of Orange and Yorba Linda, up Carbon Canyon, and across Diamond Bar to our hotel for the night in West Covina. 170 Miles for the day (Sunrise run not included).
Day 5 – Wednesday, June 21st
West Covina to Big Bear: Today begins with another famous motorcycle road, Glendora Mountain Road. This road twists and turns up to Mount Baldy. We will stop for a short time in the Mt. Baldy town for a stretch break then head south east to Idyllwild, stopping somewhere along this route for lunch. Once we get to Idyllwild, we will spend some time off the bikes exploring the shops, artwork, and small town ambiance. After taking in the sites, we will finish the day by heading north to Big Bear. 226 Miles for the day.
Day 6 – Thursday, June 22nd
Day off in Big Bear: Choose your own adventure day. Optional ride routes will be provided for those who wish to remain saddle sore… Lake Arrowhead is a short run from the hotel and Joshua Tree is also within range for those who prefer a longer route. Other options for the day include hiking, paddle boats, exploring the town, and general laziness.
Day 7 – Friday, June 23rd
Big Bear to Thousand Oaks via Angeles Crest: The run from the hotel to lunch will challenge all of the riders as we tackle world famous Angeles Crest Highway. This spectacular piece of road twists and turns for 60+ miles through Angeles National Forest before finally spitting us out in La Cañada, CA (home of Jet Propulsion Laboratory and our lunch stop for the day). After lunch we will drive down Honolulu Ave in Montrose and Commerce Ave in Tujunga where much of Sons of Anarchy was filmed. From there, we’ll follow Little Tujunga Canyon for 20 miles to our humanitarian break for the afternoon, followed by a 45 mile run westward to our hotel for the night. 201 Miles for the day.
Day 8 – Saturday, June 24th
Malibu Loop: Today is your choice of fun. We will ride together in the morning and have an early seafood lunch at Neptune’s Net. This restaurant is famous for celebrity sightings, fresh seafood, and movies such as The Fast and the Furious, Point Break, and the Iron Man franchise. Those who are interested can play follow the leader as we weave through the Santa Monica Mountains and along Mulholland Hwy. Or simply walk across PCH and park yourself at magnificent County Line Beach in Malibu. Whether you choose to play in the hills or in the sand, we will regroup later in the afternoon and ride together back to our hotel where we started the day. About 130 miles for the day.
Day 9 – Sunday, June 25th
Thousand Oaks to Escondido: We start our final day with a run down Mulholland Dr, through the Hollywood Hills, and toward Griffith Observatory where we will stop to explore. After the observatory, we will follow Hwy 134 and I-210 east to I-605, I-405, and I-5 south along the coast until we reach Cardiff by the Sea. From there we will get off the interstate and rejoin PCH for our last stop at the Torrey Pines Glider port. There we will take a group photo and marvel in California’s coastal beauty one last time before heading back to Escondido to say our goodbyes. 220 miles for the day.
And so ends the 2017 LRLR “Avocado Adventure”