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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<table width="700" border="0"><tr><td>Got in a great ride this weekend. Not as far or vertical as the killer one last week, but it was a good one nonetheless.

The plan was to meet my wife at a pool party/BBQ in Simi Valley. So I took PCH to Topanga, took Topanga up and over the SM mountains, and skirted over to Valley Circle via Mulholland. From that point it was mostly unexplored territory for me. Valley Circle to Chatsworth, then the Santa Susana Pass into Simi Valley. Except for having driven most of the Santa Susana Pass (about 5 miles total), I hadn't even seen the majority of roads. I love that.

Turned out to be a great, great route. Not too difficult, and not too hot (until the thermo reached 97-f when I was climbing the Santa Susana Pass). All told, 49 miles, approx. 3500-ft of climbing.

Btw, I've been reading Helter Skelter, hence the Manson reference in the title. Spahn Ranch was on Santa Susana, and he also had spots in Topanga Canyon and Chatsworth.

<hr size="1" width="600">

PCH, approaching Topanga. Cool and cloudy over here, boss.



Crappy pic, but Manson picked up some hippy hitchhiker in Big Sur and brought her down here just before the Tate-LaBiancha murders. They stayed at a hippie commune right next to the Malibu Feed Bin.



Starting up Topanga.



Is that a blue sky popping through the clouds.



The "S Curves," the only really difficult part of Topanga. 7.5% for a mile or so.



Still cruising up Topanga. After those S Curves, it's pretty mellow until two pitches near the top.



There goes the neighborhood.



Couldn’t tell ya.



The last pitch, nearing the summit.



Chillin' at the top of Topanga. All told, about 10 miles, 1500-ft gain.



About to hit a short, steep-ass hill on Valley Circle. Things like this don't really show up on the elevation profile, so they come as a nice surprise. :rolleyes:



Getting near the north end of Valley Circle, near Chatsworth Lake.



And there she is. Don't you just wanna dive in?



This stretch of undulating road, winding around the "lake," was a lot of fun.



Cool-looking terrain around here, too.



Remnant of past fires.



Valley Circle becomes Lake Manor Drive and goes through a pretty country-ish area.



North end of the "lake."</td></tr></table>
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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27,062 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
<table width="700" border="0"><tr><td>

Going through a quiet neighborhood on the way to the Santa Susana Pass.



And heeeeeerrrree we are. (That's the north end of Topanga drifting off to the right.)



Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell from an aerial photo in Helter Skelter where Spahn ranch was exactly. I figured this would suffice.



I could have framed this better. Oh well.



2.5 miles at 5.5%. Would've been great but, after cruising in the upper 80s the whole day, the temps shot up to 97-f for the climb. WTF?



Still climbing.



There's the summit.



Not sure if you can tell from this shot, but the road turned to crap for most the descent.



Refueling after the descent.



A look back at the road from whence I came.



I didn't eat here.



After the Santa Susana Pass, it was 10 perfectly straight miles across Simi Valley.



"Your roll, Walter."



This guy was rad. His dog was radder.



Pool party. Btw, no one saved me any food at the BBQ.



But they did have three cute little puppies to play with.



Google Earth of the route. </td></tr></table>
 

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Devoid of all flim-flam
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Then I suppose you put the bike into the back of the wife's SUV and snoozed as she drove you home? Not that I haven't done the same, though. I love one-way trips. You also traversed some of my usual cycling routes. Solid pics, but you should'a gotten a picture of the railroad tracks snaking beneath the Old Santa Susana.
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mapei said:
Then I suppose you put the bike into the back of the wife's SUV and snoozed as she drove you home? Not that I haven't done the same, though. I love one-way trips. You also traversed some of my usual cycling routes. Solid pics, but you should'a gotten a picture of the railroad tracks snaking beneath the Old Santa Susana.
Oh, you betcha (substitute Camry hybrid for SUV). I especially love one-way trips that end in swimming pools.

Valley Circle was a revelation. That's one of the best roads around.

I saw the tracks just as the climb was starting, but I didn't see them again until I was in Simi. I guess if I'd gone to the other side of the road I would have seen them. Next time ...
 

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In the picture titled "Getting near the north end of Valley Circle, near Chatsworth Lake," I grew up just a few houses to the right of the stop sign sign. Our backyard was the reservoir.

That's not the Spahn ranch, by the way.
 

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Bacon!
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Looks like the waterskiing is great on that lake. Just have to dodge some debris.
 

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Nice post. I spent a lot of time near the Malibu Feed Bin as a yout. I'm sure you could offer that shot of the guy/dog on the Hog to a moto mag or website.

How do you like that Garmin? Do you map your routes on the PC and then download them to the Garmin? You said you were on roads you'd never seen before. So do you map them before you head out, the just follow the Garmin? If so, what happens if the roads turn out to be the suxxor? Can you recalibrate your route using the Garming? I'm interested in one b/c I'm tired of getting lost.
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
team_sheepshead said:
Nice post. I spent a lot of time near the Malibu Feed Bin as a yout. I'm sure you could offer that shot of the guy/dog on the Hog to a moto mag or website.

How do you like that Garmin? Do you map your routes on the PC and then download them to the Garmin? You said you were on roads you'd never seen before. So do you map them before you head out, the just follow the Garmin? If so, what happens if the roads turn out to be the suxxor? Can you recalibrate your route using the Garming? I'm interested in one b/c I'm tired of getting lost.
I have a love/hate relationship with that thing. (I'm on my third one, if that's any indication of its shittiness.)

With this one and the previous one, I've encountered the sudden shutdown syndrome. Apparently there's a design flaw on the unit itself where the leads are really close together or something like that, so if you pinch the edges the leads will hit and it will shut off, or if you press any of the side buttons in a certain way, or if you go over rough terrain. That part is super annoying. I think (or sincerely hope) that they've fixed that with the 705. My current one is also having an issue where it keeps losing/corrupting data, which is particularly nice since one of the things I love about the Garmin is all the data it records.

To answer your other question, yes, I typically map out a route in Topo, turn it into a GPS route, add waypoints at all the turns (Topanga-R, Ventura-L), and use it as my cue sheet. It's mostly reliable but I've gotten screwed before (including once on Sunday) when the waypoint alarm didn't go off. Luckily, I have a good sense of direction and I remember enough from mapping the route that the failures haven't been catastrophic. If I were smart, I'd carry a backup cue sheet.

One of the coolest things I do, as far as waypoints, is on climbs I put a waypoint at the summit, and one at each mile counting down to the bottom of the climb. Especially on long climbs, it's f-ing awesome to know how much farther you have to go.
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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27,062 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
slupo said:
Nice pics as always. Cute dogs.

Is Topanga a pretty safe road to take over the mountains? If not, what do you think is? I want to do a route on the west side. I'm sick of the east side of the Valley.
Thanks. Topanga is probably the busiest of all the canyon roads, but it's not bad. I prefer it to Malibu Canyon/Las Virgenes, because the cars typically aren't going as fast. The only part that's sketchy at all is when you're descending those S Curves toward the ocean. At that point, you just have to take the lane (I usually descend fast enough that I'm not really hold traffic up anyway).


undies said:
But after the 97F climb... did you leave a ring? Ew.

OBTW I heart your pix and captions :thumbsup:
I should have, after they didn't save me any food. :rolleyes:
 
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