Canyon Life With Shinya Kimura.

Some days, he is seen on this road more than once. He rides it so frequently that in certain circles it is dubbed the Kimura Canyon. Whether it's testing his bikes or escaping for some saddle time, we now see why he keeps going back. Highway 39, Glendora Mountain Road is one of the best twisty pavement southern California has to offer. 

After almost a year of planning to ride with Shinya and Ayu, I finally got the Darmah to comply for the trip.  I'm a true believer now and there was no hiding how I felt. I had the biggest grin on my face stopping for coffee at the trading post. Shinya took off his helmet and said "Now you know".  Yes. Now I know why he is located in Azusa. Now I know why rides up here every chance he gets. Of all the places he could be, now I know why a world renown bike builder that calls himself a mechanic lives 5 minutes away from this road.

It was a Monday morning, Max Hazan and I made our way from the Westside of Los Angeles, an hour east towards Azusa.  Shinya and Ayu greeted us off our bikes and gave us a little break from the freeway commute. I let the two builders talk shop while I make my way around Chabott Engineering.  I love it there. So much to consume. All of his work stations felt like he was just there. It's as though his machines continues to work even after he has left. It's an inspiring place for a designer and a photographer. I can see it in Max's face as well. Like me he was in his own moto heaven.  

We followed Shinya as led the way on his Trackmaster frame Triumph Bonneville he named Silver Wasp, Ayu following behind on her XT500 cafe racer. Shinya is smooth on the Triumph and his familiarity with the road is telling as he whips the bike effortlessly around turns. The scenery is breathtaking. From lakes to rolling rivers, the road twists and turns all the way up where the desert shrubs turns into alpine vegetation with tall pine groves at the top. 

It was a good day. Especially with the Ducati running perfectly. Max got a good scrubbing with his race slicks. Back down to the shop feeling the slow dispersion of exhilaration with the busy streets and stop lights bringing me back to reality. It was hard not aim the bike back up the mountain. While we prepped again for that long ride home on the freeway Ayu gave us some parting words. " There's another route to the top. It's even prettier..."

That's all Max and me needed to hear to make it back home. Thinking if there was really another set of canyon road better than the one were just on. Seriously ? I guess we'll just have to find out. 


Thanks again Shinya & Ayu for an amazing time! Why did I wait so long for that again?... Oh ya, The Ducati is named Darmah for a reason. Never over pet it. It's a big cat and will bite back. I do love Tigers though.   

Here's a good detailed map specifically for riders by Ride Apart for Highway 39 | Glendora Mountain Road for anyone interested in shredding some good rubber.