A really neat thing about living in Southern California (and honestly, one of the main reasons we live here) is that you can ride motorcycles 365 days per year. It might not be comfortable all those 365 days, but it’s definitely doable. This past weekend was one of those less-comfortable times — temperatures in the mountains were hovering somewhere around a crisp 45 degrees — but that didn’t stop us from going on an all-day Sunday ride to the desert.
Katie, Edy, and I started in San Diego and headed north towards Ramona and Santa Ysabel, then made our way down the mountain into Borrego Springs via Montezuma Valley Road. If you haven’t ridden this road before, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s one of those perfectly twisty, extremely scenic mountain roads that biker dreams are made of. And this time of the year there are very few cars to maneuver around. (As opposed to spring wildflower season when everyone in the entire state is trying to get into Anza-Borrego all at once.)
There aren’t a ton of food options in Borrego Springs — we usually stop at Carlee’s for burgers or Kesling’s Kitchen for hipster pizzas. This time we opted for pizza (and soup, since we were freezing from the ride) at Kesling’s.
The desert was about 10 degrees warmer than the mountains, so we enjoyed being slightly less chilly on the ride from Borrego Springs to Ocotillo Wells. This is another very scenic ride. From Borrego Springs, we took the S3 south to the 78 west, then made a sharp left onto the Great Southern Overland Stage Route, aka S2. This mellow two-lane desert road takes you all the way to Ocotillo, where you can jump on Interstate 8 and make your way back to civilization.
But first, stop for some mandatory desert photos in the middle of nowhere!
Before getting back on the freeway and beginning our almost 100-mile journey home, we made sure to layer up with every piece of warm gear we’d brought. 45 degrees might not sound that bad to people in cities where it’s snowing right now, but when you’re on a motorcycle going 85 mph on the freeway for an hour and a half straight, it definitely makes you rethink some of your life choices.