Long Beach, CA Oilfields riders?

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by ColorItBlue, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. ColorItBlue

    ColorItBlue Been here awhile

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    In the late 1960s up through the mid-1970s the oilfields in east Long Beach, somewhat south of CSULB were our off-road motorcycle (okay, mini-bikes too) playground. Everyday after school we'd run home and grab the Powell, the Mini-Trail, then the 125, and ride around in those oilfields. Anybody else around spend any time out there?
    #1
  2. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    Holee-crap. You are joggin' some old memories. My time spent in '72 was on my brand new Trail 70 in the Cypress fields on the corner of Ball & Denni. That is where I grew up, right across the street. "Somehow" the fence around the fields kept springing holes, and we'd ride right in. Cops where no real issues back then, just a stern warning and off we would go.

    If we are talking about the same area, around Studebaker & 2nd St, there are a few tanks remaining, but most have been torn down. I just drove by there less than a hour ago. There has been a rumor for quite awhile that some of this area would be turned into a Home Depot shopping area, or the like.

    What's your story? You must have grown up in the area, eh?

    Great memory jog, thanks. I gotta start tearing into some old boxes looking for pics from back then, and get them scanned in.
    #2
  3. groop

    groop So much to ponder

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    Gum Grove in Seal Beach for me
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  4. notmybikemodelname

    notmybikemodelname KOTW is a myth!

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    That's a good story, have another one?
    Salt marshes at Between Brookhurst and Beach Blvd in Huntington Beach for me, along with Sheep Hills separating Costa Mesa, Newport and Huntington in the late 70's and 80's. Also, Bolsa Chica marshes and oil fields.............back in the early 70's. Crazy old dude named Smokey used to buzz us with his airplane and shoot us with rock salt if we got on his land right next to Warner and PCH.
    #4
  5. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Signal Hill. Dual Sports and a Jeep. 1976 to about 1982 then it got kinda sketchy.
    #5
  6. pcvance

    pcvance Walk Verplank

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    It was Dominguez hills and the LA river basin for me...The LBPD would chase us out of the river sometimes, we rode the dirt areas beside the concrete riverbed.

    Other local spots later were Palos Verdes, Azuza canyon, Hesperia, Mt Baldy drainage, Texas canyon, etc. good times.
    #6
  7. stickman1432

    stickman1432 Crusty Adventurer

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    Dominguez Hills in the mid to late 60's there were some great hill climbs out there, plus an ocassional trip to Lion's Drag Strip...........Still have a trophy from Lion's from racing my Bultaco there. :wink:
    #7
  8. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer

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    In the mid to late 80s we'd bomb around the sheep hills area of Costa Mesa/Newport on our tri zingers and quad zinger.

    Huntington at the main/Yorktown area used to have oil fields and some good jumps for the rm80.

    When they put in the gothard street extension in the mid 90s the fresh pavement before it was opened, was a prime place for the go ped. That is until a police officer caught me and confiscated it.
    #8
  9. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

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    In the early 70's we rode Portuguese Bend area of Palos Verdes known as "The Flats" now its Donald Trump's Golf Course. "D'Carlos" off of Western San Pedro/Harbor City and "Bixby Slough" in Harbor City were used a lot.
    #9
  10. gse33

    gse33 Adventurer

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    My friends and I would take Saturday minibike aventure rides along the railroad tracks across the LA river in North Long Beach and on to Dominguez Hills.
    #10
  11. ColorItBlue

    ColorItBlue Been here awhile

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    I grew up right across the street near the Colorado Lagoon. Acres of dirt to play on with a variety of two wheeled toys as we all grew up. Pretty much of a free-for-all without much in the way of LEO intervention. We could ride from the western corner of the area at the end of Marine Stadium all the way to PCH, take a break for a candy bar at Sim's Bait Shop, then continue across PCH and skirt the Golden Sails to make it across 2nd street into the area where Trader Joe's is now and then continue on to Gum Grove Park. Quite a lot of fun!
    #11
  12. ColorItBlue

    ColorItBlue Been here awhile

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    Signal Hill had the place to drive your go-kart. We had one with twin Mccullough chain saw motors burning alcohol before we built the one with the TZ-400 motor that we took to the Brotherhood drag strip on Terminal Island.
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  13. ColorItBlue

    ColorItBlue Been here awhile

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    What??? We went with a couple of guys from Belmont Shore over to DH once, their dad had a Bultaco Pursang and we put everything in a truck to go over there. I don't think the Bultaco would start and maybe we couldn't find our way in but I don't think we ever actually rode there. Kid's name was Butch and he had a brother but forgot his name.
    #13
  14. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    I had to look up Sim's. That space is now Sim's Pond at the corner of Loynes & PCH, behind a chain fence that nobody can get to. The Golden Sails is now the Best Western GS. In-n-Out sits at 2nd & PCH. Gum Grove, I still take the dog up there once in a while.

    WE are now talking about "the good old days". Life does indeed move fast.

    Nice thread you started. It's been fun hearing about the early riding experiences of the other locals in LB/west OC.
    #14
  15. pcvance

    pcvance Walk Verplank

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    "Lion's drag strip" on race days we could hear the rumble of the nitro burners from my house in North Long Beach at Artesia & Alantic.....In the late 60's to early 70's they were building the 91 freeway 1 block north of my house, we had lots of fresh dirt to ride during the early stages of construction.
    #15
  16. ColorItBlue

    ColorItBlue Been here awhile

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    Yup, that 91 freeway construction kicked us off our dairy farm and we had to move to Long Beach. Of course, that worked out for me since it placed me adjacent to a great riding area. At first, in elementary school we rode our Schwinn StingRay bicycles around out in those oil fields. Once or twice some good samaritan actually let us ride their moto and at that point we were hooked. Briggs & Stratton 3 hp with a torque converter and a rear wheel scrub brake was all anybody had except for some hotshot in junior high with a Hodaka 90.
    #16
  17. northsouth15

    northsouth15 CA PLATED 94 YZ250 2-STROKE

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    wow you guys rock...I grew up in MA and that is what riding was like as a 12 year old

    since I moved to Long Beach last December, every time I drive past those oil fields I have dreams of sneaking my dirtbike into there

    but it seems like all the good dirt riding was in the 70's and 80's...get into the 90's and they're all subways and shopping centers, and by now they're all gone...

    back in MA there are still a few illegal but "tolerated" places (power lines behind the shopping center and vice versa) where people just didn't know about it, so you never got hassled

    is there anything like that nearby long beach anymore? illegal, but "tolerated"?
    #17
  18. pcvance

    pcvance Walk Verplank

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    Try Rowher Flats. 45 minute drive from Long Beach if the traffic isn't to bad.

    There is a thread about it in the west section.

    I don't know about any closer stuff, I havnt lived there since 1981.
    #18
  19. northsouth15

    northsouth15 CA PLATED 94 YZ250 2-STROKE

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    only 68 miles north, I'll have to check it out! thanks!
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  20. ColorItBlue

    ColorItBlue Been here awhile

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    I like the area between Hesperia and Big Bear (which is legal) but the drive out there is not that fun. I think all the bootleg local areas have been shut down long ago. They would probably close me down if I still had the backyard mini track around the trees and under the treehouse. I'll look for a pic I have of that one from 1969 running the Suzuki 50.
    #20