Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ridge Route Ride on Saturday: YOU Are Invited!

Please join me this Saturday for a 67-mile road ride in the mountains north of Los Angeles which features the Ridge Rouge, 3 Points Road, and Lake Hughes Road. It's a clock-wise loop which will start and finish in Castaic. There's a lot of climbing, especially in the first third, with about 8000 feet of total elevation gain. The Ridge Route has been closed to cars for quite some time, but, to the best of my knowledge, it is totally passable. (But if you read this blog, and/or know me, you know that I like a bit of rough stuff on my road bike.)

Pictured, L-R: Paul Sparrow Hawk Byron, Chris Kostman (me), Mike Miller, and Peter Penguin Pop on the Ridge Route in 2001 during a 400km Brevet which I hosted.

Here's snapshot of the map and elevation profile:
(Note that RidewithGPS is known to heavily overstate elevation gain!)

Route Description:
The route heads north along I-5 (not literally), and the climbing begins immediately. We'll head northbound on the appropriately named Ridge Route, climbing higher and higher into ever more beautiful and remote territory up above I-5. After crossing Templin Highway at elev 2960, we'll have an 18 mile "epic adventure" as the Ridge Route becomes an "unmaintained road." Don't freak out, though: based on my experience in 2001, 2002, and 2003, it's easily doable on a standard road bike. (And it's as true here as everywhere else that 19mm tyres are a bad idea.) We'll climb about 500', then roll along through an incredible set of rolling hills that vary between 3400' and 4000'. A few patches are very ripped up, some are gravelly, a few are hard-packed dirt, but 95% of this stretch is perfectly fine. The other 5% is never scary or dangerous. When scouting the route originally back in 2001, I drove this at full speed in my low-to-the-ground Saturn SL2, then rode it on my Kestrel with 28 hole wheels and 23mm tyres. I had no problems, just lots of fun! At the top is the checkpoint and incredible views of California Poppies in the surrounding gone-back-in-time valleys. At this point you'll have done about 4000' of cumulative elevation gain. From here we head east on Pine Canyon Rd and Three Points Rd, then south on Lake Hughes Road back to the start/finish.

Route Directions (approximate):
0.0 Head east on Lake Hughes Road
0.3 Go left / north on Ridge Route, continue 
6.9 Cross Templin Hwy
8.6 "End County Maintained Road"
26.0 Maintain road resumes
26.5 Right / east Pine Canyon Road/N2
34.5 R Three Points Rd. (SS, T-Int) - There at least used to be a bathroom on right around back
44.0 R Lake Hughes Road - There at lease used to be a market on right after turn
67.0 Finish at McDonald's at Lake Huges Road and Castaic Road.
Meet at 730am at the McDonald's at 27701 Lake Hughes Rd, Castaic, CA 91384
Depart at 800am sharp.
Return time? That's up to you. I am planing about a 4 to 5 hour pace with a few stops for photos and to enjoy the view. There are almost NO services along this route, so come prepared!

Please come prepared with food, drink, bike repair needs, money, ID, route sheet, map and/or GPS, etc. NOTE: The ride is unsupported and all are on their own. Further updates will be posted to my Twitter feed: 

More Photos of the Ridge Route, from the 2002 400km Brevet I hosted there:

Pictured above: Ann Crossland, Kerin Huber, Big Ring Dave, and yours truly in '02
See you "out there"! 


Smorg said...

If only I live closer by! Have a great ride. Looks like the weather will be good for it. :o)

DavidH said...

Looking forward to your ride report! The pictures you took look great!