Survival guide for Mulholland Highway

How to get through the Snake with Adey

You will no doubt have seen the riding calamities on Mullholland HWY, there is however one rider who has this stretch of tarmac in California nailed. Here's how to survive that snaking road by Adey:

1. Knowledge of the road is crucial. I’ve seen many Mulholland-first timers get bitten trying to ride their normal pace there. I don’t care how fast or good you think you are. You WILL get bitten by the Snake if you take it lightly.

2. Get the “Pace”. Learn how to go uphill without using your brakes (downhill is more difficult for obvious reasons.) The speed limit on the road is 45 mph. The average rider can only take the turns at 20-25 mph. If I ride at the posted speed limit (45mph), I can ride the entire length of the road bottom to top without squeezing my brake lever. This to me is the safest pace through the snake. Smooth is fast...

3. Find veteran Mulholland riders to follow. Allow them to show you the proper lines to negotiate on this famous canyon road.

4. Slow moving objects. Sometimes we forget this is a public road and not a closed racetrack. Every now and then you’ll get stuck behind either a slower rider (probably on a Harley) or a cager. You must be patient and pick a turn or short straight where you can safely pass the slow moving vehicle without crossing the double yellow line. You don’t want to overtake on blind turns for obvious reasons.

5. Pick the right time to ride there. Midday is usually the worst time, with all the squids, Harley’s and cagers passing through. Very early or late in the day is the best time to avoid these moving hazzards on the weekend.

6. The Last Turn. Don’t show off for the camera! If you’re reading this post, then you’ve probably seen your share of Mulholland crashes on Rnickeymouse’s YouTube channel. Get some good rubber on your bike and take the last turn nice and easy. It doesn’t look like a very complicated turn on camera, but it's a constant radius-positive camber going uphill upon entry then flattens out at to a decreasing radius turn at the exit. Most people over lean and apply too much throttle at the exit where they should be smoothly rolling on the throttle and standing the bike up upon the exit. It’s not rocket science, take your time here and you’ll go home as you came....

Last but not least... California Highway Patrol. Don’t be scared...they’re looking for people speeding after the last turn going towards the lookout point where you can park. As long as you don’t do anything stupid up to that point, their presence shouldn’t be an issue for you. The local Sheriff will post up at the last turn to pull over cars crossing the double yellow, he is most helpful in the canyons. We often applaud Officer Wynn for his hard work.

Last tip on surviving the Snake is... Not to follow me through it!

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