Day 87

The Old Ridge Route to Malibu

The beach at Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, California, USA
The beach at Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, California, USA

Next to gold ledge campground to Paradise Inn


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Day 87 - The Old Ridge Route. I left the sandy banks of the Kern river and said goodbye to my campmates Janes & Bobby. I left them my change to cover the beers. I headed down the 178 to Bakersfield only to find it closed halfway down. It was a double-lane Highway and was deceived by the squiggly line on the map. The alternate route took an extra hour however, it was an excellent little detour. The road was tight and undulating for most of it. It took me by surprise as the road was well suited to the agile DR. I grabbed coffee in Bakersfield. A man reversed into the bike as I sipped. I ran out and as he went to pull off, the bike fell - I caught it. Just in time. “Mate, you hit my bike be careful!”. He apologised and we assessed the damage. Only a mark in the suspension sock. It was fine. I headed out to what I thought was a dirt road towards Los Angeles. I was surprised to find the 1915 ‘Ridge Road’. It was dilapidated. 100 years of neglect showed. It was an amazing stretch of road completely abandoned due to the interstate (or other faster routes). I couldn’t believe I found this gem so close and secluded near L.A. I cruised for 30 miles dodging sand, stone and ruts caused by rain and time. Eventually I hit workers. “Can I get through?”, I asked, “sure, we didn’t see you!”. They laughed. I met more workers. “Can I get out here?”, the man looked at me, “You can but it’s dirt and the gates locked at the bottom, I know because I locked it myself! How’d you get in here?!” He said suspiciously. “I came via the East, no signs not to”. “It must’ve been stolen”, he replied sheepishly. We chatted and I left. They were repairing the road. I headed to a motel near Venice Beach. I threaded through via Malibu and crossed Mulholland Drive. There were some impressive roads North of L.A. They were too residential for serious riding. I passed Barbie houses and hit the beach. I followed it all the way. I checked-in at the motel and collapsed on the couch. I made it 😌

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