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I-5 over Grapevine

Old 12-24-09, 01:11 PM
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I-5 over Grapevine

My riding partner and I are considering an overnight trip which will, as part of the return loop, use the I-5 corridor southbound past Lake Pyramid between Templin Hwy and Smokey Bear Rd (I think it's Smokey Bear Rd, it could be Hungry Valley Rd).

Has anyone ridden the shoulder of the hwy along there? I drive it fairly often but I've never seen anyone ride the shoulder.

Our proposed route is Hwy 33 from Ventura to Lockwood Valley Rd to Frazier Park on the outbound leg. South on the frontage roads along I-5 to Pyramid Lake, then along the hwy to Templin Hwy then "the old road" down the hill to Castaic and along to Hwy 126 and back to Ventura.

Looking/thinking on doing this sometime next spring before it gets hot.
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Old 12-24-09, 07:16 PM
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You'd want to do some research--find out if that's even legal. Bikes are only permitted on freeways if there's no alternative route. And, there is an alternative in this case: Rte 138 south to Pine Canyon Rd to Lake Hughes Rd. It's kinda out of the way, so I don't know if it really qualifies as an alternative.

In any event, I wouldn't ride my bike along there. I have no problem with PCH and the brief time on 101, but I would not do the I-5 through that area.
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Old 12-24-09, 07:45 PM
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You know there is a lot of climbing from Ventura to Frazier Park, right? Something like 13,000 feet? Anyway, you might be able to use the old ridge route from Hwy 138 to Castaic. It's closed to cars and I hear it's passable but I haven't been on it in years. I was thinking about trying it sometime soon.
The route mkadam68 describes will add about 40 miles and a lot of climbing, btw.
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Old 12-24-09, 08:55 PM
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check this site out for freeway access info.

https://www.cabobike.org/touring/freeway.htm
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Old 12-25-09, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
You know there is a lot of climbing from Ventura to Frazier Park, right? Something like 13,000 feet? Anyway, you might be able to use the old ridge route from Hwy 138 to Castaic. It's closed to cars and I hear it's passable but I haven't been on it in years. I was thinking about trying it sometime soon.
The route mkadam68 describes will add about 40 miles and a lot of climbing, btw.
We've ridden from Ventura to Pine Mtn (where 33 drops into Cuyama Valley) which is something like half that in climbing over 30 miles without any problems. We know that there's a good climb on Lockwood Valley road as well. It's gonna be a long day with a ton of climbing but we think that it's doable for us.

Our biggest concern is the I-5. I'm in Bakersfield this weekend and I'm going to drive the frontage roads on the way back to Ventura on Tuesday or Wednesday. That'll let me know the exact roads and what's closed off/not closed. I just don't know if the CHP will let us use the shoulder past Pyramid Lake.

I know that the old route between 138 and Templin Hwy isn't useable for road bikes (too busted up) even if they still allow access (I heard that the CHP isn't letting ANYONE use the alignment anymore. Not even hikers.) Which means our route is either 138 to Bouquet canyon (a 3 day ride) or the shoulder of I-5.


Guess I'll have to drop into the CHP office in Ft Tejon on the way home and ask.
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Old 12-25-09, 08:00 PM
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We were on a ride up there in early December and we thought about trying the old ridge route, but didn't. We thought we might go back and check it out soon and if we do, I'll post about it here.
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Old 12-26-09, 01:32 AM
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The Ridge Route is CLOSED to all by forest order. It will be closed until the pipeline companies are done with their work and the roadway is rehabilitated (meaning the landslides are stabilized). It has been closed since January 2005. Hopefully, it will reopen sometime in 2010. I'm a part of the group that is heavily involved with the Ridge Route. I-5 is open to bicycles, though I don't recommend it. Lake Hughes Road to SR-138 via Three Points is a better alternate.
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Old 12-26-09, 07:49 AM
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Is there anyone there to stop you? Is there a chance of getting a ticket?
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Old 12-26-09, 03:07 PM
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That's a pretty treacherous stretch with all the trucks and everything, plus all the breakdowns from the hills...I'd avoid it at all costs. Wish I had an alternate suggestion for you.
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Old 12-26-09, 11:59 PM
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Old 12-29-09, 10:12 AM
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There is a route that does not require freeway riding. It is a portion of the route we rode on this years Tour of Two Forests double century on 5/2/09. Taken off the route sheet from the decent down to the Flying J (intersection of 5-FWY and Frazier Mountain Road):

(R) on Peace Valley Road (just before I-5) go 2.9 miles
(C) on Peace Valley
(L) on Gorman School Road (passes under the I-5), go 0.2 miles
(R) on Gorman Post Road, go 4.9 miles
(L) on Lancaster Road (Hwy 138) (SS, T-int) go 2.5 miles
(R) on Old Ridge Route (DO NOT MISS), go 2.2 miles
(L) on N2/Pine Canyon, go 7.9 miles
(R) on Three Points/Pine Canyon Rd (SS, T-int), go 12.4 miles
(C) becomes Elizabeth Lake Road, go 2.1 miles
(R) to continue on Elizabeth Lake Rd (DO NOT MISS), go 7.4 miles
(C) pass San Francisquito Cyn Rd (DO NOT TURN)
(R) Bouquet Cyn. Sign says "Saugus 24" (DO NOT MISS), go 19.9 miles - this is downhill
(R) David St (TL), go 0.1 miles
(L) Copperhill Dr (SS) - becomes Rye Canyon, go 7.7
You will see signs for the Hwy 126 to Ventura along here.

The above is about 4000 feet of climbing in about 65 miles, is scenic (to the extent that this is what one is thinking for the last third of a double century. But the traffic is minimal only passes under the I-5. Afternoons can have some very nice tailwinds beginning on the descent down Frazier Mountain Road. We rode in the dark beginning around the Elizabeth Lake area, therefor the reference to not missing turns.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-29-09, 10:40 AM
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The I-5 shoulder is bike-legal all the way from Tracy (east of SF Bay area) down to near Santa Clarita. It's a reasonable way to go by bike, but is of course rather noisy with all the truck traffic and boring since you're so far away from most scenery. The only problem we found along the shoulder is that it was littered with pieces of truck tires. As these degrade they leave behind the steel wires from the tire cords and these tend to cause bike flats. So be prepared to have more than the usual number of punctures. The highway patrol stopped by a couple times just to see how we were doing, but they had no problems with us riding on the shoulder.
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