McGrath
Polemics & Exchanges

Along for the Ride

I thoroughly enjoyed Roger D. McGrath’s account of the Southern California Norton Owners Club journey along Old Route 66 (Correspondence, September).  He mentions that his home is near the Rock Store, which immediately brought up memories of my old stomping grounds.  I grew up in the west end of the San Fernando Valley, in Woodland Hills, and put thousands of miles on all the back roads of the Santa Monica-Malibu mountains, on two wheels and four, from Topanga Canyon to Deckert Canyon, from Ventura Boulevard (U.S. 101) to the Pacific Coast Highway.  Destinations included an occasional stop at the Rock Store, and Malibu Lake, Hidden Valley, and wherever the road went.  I usually rode solo and roamed the hills from 1963 to 1968 on my old ’56 Matchless 500 single (once owned by Bud Ekins), then my new ’64 Ducati 250 Scrambler (knobbies and all).  I moved away for a few years, then returned in 1976 and resumed roaming the mountains on my new ’83 (or ’84) Kawasaki 550 LTD with my homemade custom saddle.  I also rode up the coast highway to Grants Pass, then back down the I-5 and over to Reno, then back to L.A. through Sacramento, and on several rides to Hollister, Frazier Park, the back way to Ojai, and the Carrizo Plain.  I moved away from the Valley permanently in 1988 and sold my Kawa shortly thereafter.

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