If you live in California and own a bike, you know how lucky you are. Sunny California has ample opportunities for long road trips or short getaways. One specific place, rich with motorcycle riding routes, is the Inland Empire in Southern California. This are includes San Bernardino County, Riverside County and the Ontario metropolitan area.
The Inland Empire gives California motorcycle enthusiasts an opportunity to see the beauty of the open road. Sunny Southern California weather makes it easy to get out on your bike, and you should! You know you want to explore, and on a bike it can be cheap. Great on gas, easy to park; that’s why you have one right? Living in the Inland Empire means you are in a central location. Equidistance from the ocean and the desert, your riding is never limited. Using motorcycle insurance like the kind you can find here, might be helpful before you hit the road.
Have you had a hectic week at work? Looking for a break? There’s nothing better than a few hours on your bike. I’ve done some research, and compiled a few fun rides around the Inland Empire and beyond that you can enjoy. Take a look at what I found.
1) Idyllwild-Pine Cove: This ride will take you to the San Jacinto Mountain Range and into some amazing landscapes. From Riverside, Ca you can take HWY 10 East. Then hit the 234 heading South and this will lead you on a great little ride. There will be some winding roads with great turns and lots of open space. Once you get to Idyllwild, you can either turn back the way you came which will lead you back up through the 10, coursing slowly into civilization once again. Or you can continue south until you hit the 74. Then loop around taking the 74 HWY which will eventually lead you to the 215 North to the Inland Empire. From San Bernardino to Idyllwild is about 57 miles one way, or a little over an hour of riding. So, for a few hours of your time on the weekend, what better way to relax than a tour of the outskirts of town? When you get to Idyllwild, check out Jo’ans Restaurant & Bar. This family ran business has some great food and a relaxing atmosphere. Parking for cars can be a struggle, but you are on your bike! Parking is easy!
2) Big Bear Lake: We often think of Big Bear as a skiing destination, but that’s not all it has to offer. Beautiful mountain scenery that you don’t get living near the city, and a small town feel makes Big Bear a prime tourist spot. From San Bernardino you head East towards Big Bear. Want a long ride to the mountains? This is it! Take HWY 330 to the 18. Come sit down at a diner in the quaint town of Big Bear. You will pass the Snow Valley Ski Resort, and a few beautiful peaks. Remember what time of year it is, because you always want to ride safely. The scenery and smell of fresh pine will astound you. From San Bernardino to Big Bear lake is 41 miles, but because of all of the winding turns, this will take you over an hour and a-half. It’s well worth it! When you are in Big Bear, take a break and check out Chad’s Place, an inexpensive place to sit and eat. It has a local appeal and hometown feel.
3) Ortega Highway: Want to head to the Ocean? Don’t want to take the main roads and be stuck in traffic? Sign me up! In a few short hours you can have a completely different atmosphere. And this is the beauty of living in California. From the Inland Empire just head West on the 74/ Ortega Highway towards San Juan Capistrano. This will take you past the Santa Ana Mountain Range, and through some winding and beautiful countryside. From Riverside, take the 215 South until you reach the 74 in Perris, Ca. Head west. It’s no short trek, so be prepared. It will take you almost three hours of riding to get to San Juan Capistrano or Capistrano Beach. Stop in at Swallows Inn, a dive bar that also serves Mexican food. Visit the Mission at San Juan Capistrano. You can stay the night at a local hotel or swing back home later that night.
4) Palm Springs: Want a desert ride? Palm Springs is a great destination. It’s easy, get on the 10 East. But if you get off on highway 111, before reaching Whitewater, Ca, you can swing around Palm Springs and make a fun loop. This highway will take you past Cathedral City and Palm Desert. Stop into the Living Desert and Zoo, or continue down to Indio to the Fantasy Springs Casino. After this loop in the 111, just get back onto the 10 heading North towards the Inland Empire. This little excursion should take you about an hour and a-half one way. That means from Riverside, Ca down through Palm Springs and even further to Indio, Ca is about 90 miles. Nice weekend getaway if you ask me.
Stop in the side of the road. Travel the highways that no one usually takes. Sit down at a restaurant you have never been to. Adventure is all about trying something new. Riding a motorcycle through Southern California is a gift that not everyone gets. Take advantage! Try out these ideal motorcycle routes. You won’t be disappointed! It’s ideal to have cheap motorcycle insurance with full coverage when taking long rides like this in case you get stranded and need a tow or you get into an accident. See our great Cheap Motorcycle Insurance product page for a helpful guide to make sure you are covered.