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Old 08-06-09, 01:35 AM   #1
rallison
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Old Waterman Canyon, CA-18 and CA-138

I did this ride a few weeks ago, but just got around to the ride report today. First off: the whole report with routemaps and pictures.

Old Waterman Canyon is a great climb with almost no traffic and a stout grade. If you do the 18 climb, I would highly recommend replacing the first part of 18 with Waterman.

18 itself is quite scenic and you get some great views:





18, however, carries a lot of traffic at 55mph. Even early on a Sunday morning there was a fair amount of traffic. Lighter and slower traffic and this would be up there with GMR.

138 is an insane piece of road from 18 to Crestline:






Old Waterman and 138 I would definitely recommend. 18 I would avoid at most times - just too much fast traffic and a huge speed differential when ascending. Still glad to have done it though.
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Old 08-06-09, 11:06 PM   #2
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Wow those are some gorgeous views. What is the gradient on that scary looking piece of 138? Also what is the author of the climbing book?

Great report and pics as usual. Really enjoyed it.
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Old 08-06-09, 11:21 PM   #3
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Just drove the 18 this morning because 330 was closed on our way home from Big Bear. Interesting drive and a beautiful view at the top, and we saw a guy riding his road bike towards Arrowhead.
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Old 08-07-09, 06:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by grrlyrida View Post
Wow those are some gorgeous views. What is the gradient on that scary looking piece of 138? Also what is the author of the climbing book?

Great report and pics as usual. Really enjoyed it.
Thanks

The grade on that piece of 138 is 10% for almost exactly 1 mile. The book is written by John Summerson - probably not available locally at most places, but Amazon carries it. Full title is The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike). 72 climbs listed within California. Nice elevation profiles for most of the climbs in the back of the book. Biggest omission I can see is the lack of any Santa Monica climbs. Otherwise, a great list of climbs.
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Old 08-07-09, 10:24 PM   #5
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If you are up on 18 after upper Waterman there is almost no protection on the side of the road when you get to old county yard, the sharp hairpin after the big S turns. And there isn't much shoulder between Panorama Point and the 138 bridge. If you plan to continue on up to Arrowhead it is still a better bet to drive through Crestline than to stay on the narrows because the cars do not give you any room. But the ride down from 138 is one sweet ride, if you trust your tires.
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Old 08-07-09, 11:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Just drove the 18 this morning because 330 was closed on our way home from Big Bear. Interesting drive and a beautiful view at the top, and we saw a guy riding his road bike towards Arrowhead.
maybe it was my team mate, joerg. he works at a kids rock music camp in the summers up there
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Old 08-13-09, 01:26 PM   #7
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I couldn't agree with you more on this. I have a coworker that rides up the 18 every night and I personally think he's crazy. I live about 5 miles from the 18 and usually go up Old Waterman Canyon and turn back; the 18 is just too sketchy for me.

138 seems to be a nice ride, I haven't tried it yet but plan to.
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