Blog: Latigo Canyon Road

Burt Ross

Not too long ago, I took some in-laws for a scenic weekend drive, and, as usual, I drove up Kanan Dume Road and “hung a Ralph” at Latigo Canyon Road. For the next 35 or 40 minutes, I drove slowly downhill, often with my foot on the brake, concentrating on the road while my guests took in one panoramic view after another.  

As we carefully made our way to the PCH, what struck me more than the magnificent scenery were the hordes of bike riders, slowly making their way up the hill. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What are these people made of? In my youth, I wouldn’t even dream of taking on a hill like this. Of course, Schwinn bikes in the 1950s were not exactly built for this kind of sport, but neither was I.

These bikers steadily climbed as we descended, and not a one of them seemed to be suffering in the least bit. If you didn’t know any better, you might think they were just taking a Saturday jaunt out in the country, which apparently was precisely what they were doing. 

For those of you who are familiar with Latigo Canyon Road, you know the road, as it climbs from sea level to heights unknown (that means I don’t know the elevation of the highest point), is one almost relentless ride upwards. The bike riders not only did not seem to mind the incline, but rather seemed to enjoy the sheer challenge of the sojourn. I realized I had absolutely nothing in common with these creatures from another planet.

I had always thought women to be a superior, more intelligent species than my fellow man, but, much to my surprise, there were women climbing this steep incline with just as much enthusiasm as their male counterparts. 

And if all of what I have described is not incredible enough, I can honestly say that during my entire trip down the hill, I did not see one single rider coasting down the road. You heard me, when given a choice between going up the hill or down the hill, nobody chose to ride down the hill. What is this younger generation coming to?