Touring LA County with LACBC & Where to Bike LA: Señor Vasquez

January 21, 2013
Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 8:30am

When: Saturday February 16; Meet at 8:30 AM, ride at 9:00 AM
Where: Via Princessa Metrolink Station - 19201 Via Princessa, Santa Clarita. Meet in Metrolink’s public parking near the train platform (map)

Join us for a tour of the eastern Santa Clarita Valley. We’ll head out on Soledad Canyon Road for several miles of low-traffic riding along rock-strewn arroyos, sagebrush-flecked hillsides and distant, snow-capped mountains. We may even spot a coyote or two. Near our halfway point, we’ll blow through the Old West gold-mining town of Acton, with its 49er Bar and Grill  — open since 1889. (Out front, there’s still a “hitching post,” now a bike rack.) Our real destination is Vasquez Rocks, an iconic, canted formation of red and yellow sandstone that has provided the scenic location for countless TV shows and movies, from The Flintstones to Star Trek and Planet of the Apes. More infamously (and in real life), it was the 1870s hideout of the notorious bandito Tiburcio Vasquez, a dashing, guitar-playing, bank-robbing rogue  — the classic character of any Western movie. After bidding Señor Vasquez’s rocks adios, we’ll ride back along the Santa Clara River to our trailhead.

Ride Length: 44 miles

Ride Duration: About 4-5 hours, including stops.

Difficulty:  Recommended for intermediate-level riders, age 16 and up. The total elevation gain is roughly 2,000 feet over the course of the entire ride, with almost all of the climbing before Vasquez Rocks (mile 24). On the return, there’s a gradual downhill back to Santa Clarita and possible headwinds. The route includes small amount of city riding at the start and finish and through the old gold-mining town of Acton.

Rain Policy: Torrential rains, snow or fierce winds cancels. Otherwise, we ride.

What to bring: A road-worthy bike, extra inner tubes, a patch kit and pump, drinking water, a pocket snack (such as an energy bar, banana or trail mix), a bicycling helmet, and money for refueling stops and post-ride refreshments.

RSVP: Strongly encouraged via, so that we can send you last-minute weather advisories.

About Touring LA County Rides: Touring Los Angeles County with LACBC and Where To Bike Los Angeles is a series of rides that are free and open to every LACBC member, plus one guest. Interested in becoming a member? Sign up for membership online or join the LACBC at a discounted rate at the ride’s start. These rides are co-hosted by Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles, a guide to bicycling in Los Angeles County, published by BA Press. Copies are available at REI stores, local book and bike shops, and from LACBC — online, at its offices, or at the end of these group rides.