A San Jacinto Ride

The ride through the San Jacinto Mountains on October 22 started somewhat inauspiciously. Half of us missed the other half at the staring point by seconds, but we gained several other riders who we don’t typically, or never rode with before, and joined up with the missing riders at Arturo’s restaurant in Hemet. Arturo’s is a good joint for breakfast and we took over three tables and ran the waitress ragged with our food orders.

Sated by eggs, hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, and breakfast burritos, we stood outside around the bikes in the parking lot and planned where we’d go: up and over the ridge through Mountain Center to Lake Hemet for beers around a picnic table, and to figure out where we’d go after that.

We had a dozen bikes strung out on the road, which was twice our usual number, and everyone seemed to be quite talkative, even the guys we’d never met before. It was very good company and made for inordinately long stops, but no one seemed to be worried about putting a lot of miles on the odometers.

The next stop was at The Goodtimes Pub in Idylwild. The pub has a half-dozen tables on the patio surrounded by tall pines and an assortment of the best pies around. We stop for the pie whenever we’re riding through. The first time we stopped only one of the waitresses would come out of the pub to serve us. The others were intimidated, apparently. All that black leather and the motorcycles. Now they’re happy to see us because it is always a sudden influx of unexpected dollars. We’re served quickly, and the staff keeps the pitchers of beer flowing in our direction. It is the “pie and beer” stop. Quite a gastronomic combination.

We took Route 243 north from the pub, and made our third stop of the day at an overlook where, on a clear day, you can see the ridges of the Cleveland National forest in the south and the Angeles Mountains in the north. It was a relatively clear day. Both of those cordilleras, series of ridges, are more than fifty miles away. It is impressive if you know what you’re looking at.

I only had 130 miles on my trip meter when I pulled into my driveway in the late afternoon, but because of the “extra” company it was one of the better group rides we’d been on. I hope those guys turn up again.

The photos are from the overlook on Route 243 and Lake Hemet. BTW: it isn’t strictly…ahem… legal to drink beer at Lake Hemet, but we figured the “White Mustache Effect” would keep us covered. And we don’t wear patches and rockers to draw attention to ourselves (“Look at me!, Look at me!). Government officials with uniforms and sidearms rarely want to bother with groups of middle-aged guys, preferring to shift their focus to more erratic lawbreakers, etc.