You’re whipping among rolling hills on Mulholland Highway between Malibu Canyon and Kanan Dume Road, past big vistas and California Live Oaks on a twisty yet smooth stretch of asphalt. It’s perfect, with dappled sunlight and the coastal feel of the Corniche de l’Esterel road near Cannes — plus it’s got cactus and healthy Californians on bicycles. Start early, because otherwise you’ll be dealing with idiots on crotch rockets who find it amusing to lag far behind the few cars, waiting until a blind curve, then daredeviling around the motorists, putting everybody’s life on the line. This is a short hop, so some motorcyclists like to turn around and head back in the other direction after hitting the cutoff to Kanan Dume at the tiny village known as Cornell. Others finish the run down to the sea. If you enjoy mild extravagance, stop at Cornell and order the weekend brunch at the fantastically period Old Place Grill, which was a post office and general store in the late 1800s, when the highway was a dusty stagecoach route. Mulholland Highway from Malibu Canyon to Kanan Dume Road. —N. Jenssen
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