Feel like going for a motorcycle ride? Blue skies, moderate temperatures, twisting canyon roads… one of the most famous and scenic destinations for motorcycle riders in California is Mulholland Highway. It is an amazing road that meanders about 50 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains, from the Ventura Freeway in Calabasas to the Pacific Coast Highway. The road connects “the valley”, a large suburban area to the north, with the beach area just north of rich and famous Malibu. Mulholland Highway is the western rural portion and with the eastern Mulholland Drive portion, is a scenic route named after William Mulholland and built throughout the 1920s “to take Angelenos from the city to the ocean.”
Home to many of the best roads in Southern California; let us take you to three of the most popular spots on the highway –
First Stop: The Rock Store
Where: 30354 Mulholland Highway, Cornell, California 91301. From Los Angeles – take Hwy 101 North for 38 miles. Turn left on Kanan Road and follow it for just over 3 miles, then make a quick left on Sierra Creek Road, and a quick right on Mulholland Highway. You can’t miss it!
Nestled in the hills overlooking Malibu, the Rock Store on Mulholland Highway offers great weather, amazing scenery, good food and a ton of toys-for-the-big-boys for the entire automotive enthusiast to see. Show up on Sunday morning and there’s a good chance you’ll be sharing breakfast with Jay Leno, Arnold Schwarzenegger and other celebrities. The major attraction isn’t the stars, although they make for a good story to tell your buddies. The real reason enthusiast come here is the fantastic motorcycle riding to be found on California’s coastal range roads (Mulholland Highway, Kanan Dume Road, the nearby Pacific Coast Highway, and others). And with California’s climate, the roads and the weather are nice year-round.
The Rock Store just emanates excitement. Owners Ed and Verne (her real name is Veronica) have been running the place since 1961 until Ed sadly passed away in 2012. They have been serving great food since, and right off the menu they offer the Biker’s Breakfast which consists of pancakes, eggs, sausage or bacon. If you’re watching your cholesterol level, ask nicely and they’ll make a wonderful egg-whites-only mushroom omelet. Visit the store upstairs for refreshingly reasonably priced T-shirts and other kinds of Rock Store gifts.
The real action, however, is outside. You will find plenty of Ducatis and Moto Guzzis in the parking lot along with Beemers, Beezers, Triumphs, Harleys, Vincents, classic bikes, new bikes, cruisers, dual sports, crotch rockets, and sometimes even Leno’s Y2K jet-powered bike. Everyone is friendly and busy looking at the great bikes, socializing and taking lots of pictures.
Second Stop: The Snake
Where: Directly above The Rock Store, The Snake is a short two-mile stretch on Mulholland Highway. This is a favorite place for local motorcyclists, drivers, and cyclists to test their skills against the road.
This road is overrun by drivers and motorcyclists. They’ve been hitting this spot 30 miles northwest of Hollywood for decades, but it became a hot destination in the 1960s when Steve McQueen started blasting through Mulholland on his Triumph. The road’s popularity grew over the years, and even an aggressive crackdown on speeding did little to slow The Snake’s popularity. These days it isn’t uncommon to see celebrities like Jay Leno motoring through in seven-figure cars after or before he stops at The Rock Store. But it’s the motorcyclists you’ll see most often. “Riders treat The Snake like a skate park for motorcycles,” says Ken Snyder, a frequent rider who shoots video at Edwards Corner on Sundays during the summer.
Third Stop: Edward’s Corner
Where: The final turn heading up The Snake.
Edward’s was affectionately named after the Rock Store’s owner Ed Savko, who passed away in April 2012. It’s the last corner at the tail end of the snake, about five hundred feet before The Lookout. Every weekend, two photographers and a videographer gravitate here and capture a myriad of crashes. This ascending uphill corner is not the most difficult found on The Snake, but it’s deceiving because it’s a constant radius turn in the beginning that then becomes a decreasing radius turn and flattens out at the exit. Crashes often occur here because a rider leaned over too far, gave the bike too much gas on entrance or exit, or panicked and stood the bike up into the dirt.
The 180-degree hairpin is the unofficial finish line of the Snake. If you made it through without crashing, CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Dear SoCal motorcycle riders,
On Mulholland Highway, or any other road for that matter, please remember, the old adage of “look where you want to go” has never been more appropriate. Enjoy the scenery and all of what the SoCal roads have to offer safely, throttle in hand. Enjoy the ride!
Have a serious injury and need legal advice? Contact Howard Blau.
Please Be Sure to Read the Following References:
“Mulholland Highway.” Twistypedia. Retrieved 9 August 2017 from http://www.twistypedia.com/roads/usa/california/mulholland-highway/
“The LA Road That Tricks Bad Motorcyclists Into Crashing.” Wired. Retrieved 9 August 2017 from https://www.wired.com/2014/02/mulholland-the-snake/
“Here’s Why So Many Riders Crash On Mulholland Highway.” Car Throttle. Retrieved 9 August 2017 from https://www.carthrottle.com/post/here-s-why-so-many-riders-crash-on-mulholland-drive/
“Destinations: The Rock Store, Malibu, California.” Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 9 August 2017 from http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-motorcycle-touring/rock-store-malibu-california