Riverside to Beaumont–a Higher Elevation

Beaumont, CA. Probably the reason Adventure Cycling starts its southern crossing of the US from San Diego is because it’s too complicated getting out of the L.A. area.

I started late from Riverside because I waited until the nearby bike shop on Magnolia Avenue opened at 10. I needed a safety pennant and a Camelbak hydration kit before venturing farther east. I also wanted a local perspective on the best route since the trails had ended and it would be all thoroughfares and highways from here on.

Jimmy Pratt, the manager at Cyclery USA, gave me the lowdown. He put me onto the route he rides when heading up the escarpment east to Beaumont.  It would be longer but safer and avoid getting onto the freeway.

With Jimmy’s written directions in my pocket, I was underway at 11:15. Once through Riverside traffic it was hard work heading up a long grade on Alessandro Avenue. An elevation that was sea level a day earlier rose to 1800 feet during the course of a day when the temperature touched 85.

Two hours later past Moreno Valley the urban sprawl was gone. It was high country southern California. I knew I was in the country when a tumbleweed blew across the road and there were horse farms aplenty.

tumbleweed on the roadway
Jimmy had me turn north on Redlands Road, a four to five-mile detour. But the alternative was the busy freeway of the type I’ll soon be experiencing anyway.
Once through the canyon I was rewarded with a long, relaxing ride east along San Timoteo Road all the way into Beaumont.
The unexpected delight was being adjacent to the double tracks of the Union Pacific railroad. In the span 45-minutes there were five westbound trains going past. All of them were about one-mile in length. Most were double stacked with containers headed for the ports of L.A. and Long Beach. The final train consisted solely of the huge blades used in wind farms. It may be that the frequency of trains is related to the slowdown on the west coast docks that so badly disrupted logistics.
It was 5 p.m. as I approached Beaumont, a mid-sized town situated where highway 60 meets interstate 10. Stopping to make a hotel booking, I was amazed to find clouds in the sky and the temperature 25 degrees colder than an hour earlier.  Another three miles and I settled in for the night, needing a jacket and feeling silly in short pants.
at Moreno Valley
I had traveled 41 miles from Riverside.

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