Facebook Page

A Bicycle Ride to Cajon Pass

by Chris Guenzler

Back in 1975 Bruce Fenton, Jeff Hartmann and I decided to ride our bikes to Cajon Pass on Saturday August 8th. We met at my house at 4:00 AM and took off riding up Santa Clara to Tustin Ave which we took to Lincoln Ave. We made right on that street then took Santa Ana Canyon Road out to where it ended at Gypsum Canyon Road. From here we had to ride on the shoulder of the Riverside Freeway east getting on and off at Weir Canyon Road then continuing east to Green River Drive where we exited the freeway and took Green River drive into Corona getting on West 6th Street through Corona before we reached Magnolia Ave which we took east to Riverside. Magnolia turned into Market Street which we turned right onto University Ave. At the Union Pacific Station we turned left onto Vine Street and found the rear of a Union Pacific Eastbound train. We followed this street to Riverside Jct where the front end of the train was stopped. We got off of our bikes and started taking pictures of this unique train.

The train had DD35A 72, a DD35B and three SD-24B's. This was a unique find and soon we were off again. We took East La Cadena Drive. We crossed the Riverside Freeway and took South La Cadena Drive down the hill crossing the Santa Ana River before going under the Santa Fe Tracks and riding over to South 7th Street which we took to West K Street where we stopped at Colton Tower. Our wait wasn't long as we heard a horn coming westbound towards us.

Here we saw the DD-40AX's 6906 and 6936 passing Colton Tower westbound. We rode back to La Cadena Drive went under the Southern Pacific Mainline and San Bernardino Freeway and now we were on North La Cadena Drive which took us north to Mt Vernon Ave which we took to the Santa Fe Station in San Bernardino. We rode to the east side of the building and parked the bikes just in time for our next train.

Santa Fe Bicentennial Unit 5704 was on the point of the Super C, the fastest freight train in America at the time. Our choice of day for trains was great but this day was the hottest of the entire year. Back on the bikes to Mt Vernon Ava we crossed the Santa Fe A Yard and went by the west end of the San Bernardino Santa Fe Shops. We started the climb taking this road to Cajon Blvd which we now ran along the tracks. We took this all the way up to Devore. We plodded along with Bruce and I riding side by side and Jeff bringing up the rear. We kept going and we didn't keep looking back as it was really extremely hot. We turned onto Devore Road going up the hill and we crossed Interstate 215 and stopped in the shade of the old gas station. Jeff wasn't there. We looked back down Cajon Blvd and after about ten minutes we saw someone riding up the road which we hoped was Jeff which it was. As he made his way towards us, a Union Pacific westbound with a U50C on the point went down the grade through Devore. After Jeff rested we continued up through Devore on Devore Road which turned into Kenwood Ave which we then started to drop swiftly. We went under Interstate 15 and knew we had to make the ninety degree turn at the bottom onto Upper Cajon Blvd. We were flying and with our brakes working we made that turn. Now we were in Cajon Pass and rode up the grade. We rode through Blu Cut and crossed the San Andres Fault and soon turned onto Swarthout Canyon Road which took us to our destination the Cajon Campground. Here we would wait for Jeff's father to pick us up. Here we met a gentleman who gave us soft drinks and cookies as the Santa Fe trains ran by our location. All too soon, Jeff's father pulled up, we loaded our bikes and we were off for home.