‘The dips’


I’ve heard of “the dips” and “the bumps,” both of which were wiped out by progress but which were beloved by young people. Some of you commented on them a few years back on this blog on an unrelated post.

But then this photo popped up on Facebook’s “Growing Up in Upland” page, courtesy of Darin Kuna. It dates to 1939 and shows 19th Street between Upland and Alta Loma, looking east. Notice the dip?

Reader Rich P. explained the lay of the land in a comment on this blog back in 2008:

“The 19th Street bumps were on the Cucamonga Creek wash, between the flood control channel just west of Sapphire and Campus. They were wiped out by the Colonies project. They were dangerous, because some people would drive slower in case some nut was making a blind pass in the other direction, and the nuts would pass these slower drivers. My daughter loved the bumps at normal (not airborne) speed.”

Then there were “the bumps,” located on Base Line Road/16th Street between Claremont and Upland. Reader Tad Decker explained what those were:

“At the time, this was a long stretch of two-lane highway through barren, rocky scrubland. The road basically followed the natural topographic contours of the area, and thus was very hilly. If you traveled the road at a high rate of speed, you could be airborne for a second or two. This was great fun for me as a child with my dad driving, but the bumps were smoothed out by the time I was behind the wheel myself.”

Want to share a memory about the dips or the bumps? Leave a comment.

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  • Jimbo97367

    When I drove the bumps, or whoop de do’s as we called them, they ran through the orange groves up on Baseline. For me that was ’60 and ’61 before going off to college.

  • Mike Bement

    Yes, it was like our own little section of California Screamin’ and I would always push my Dad to get some air – sometimes he would!

  • koriekiss

    As a kid we went to La Paloma (LaVerne) every Wednesday night for dinner. Getting my dad to go fast over the bumps on 16th street to get there was the highlight of the trip!

    • Paul Ski

      We did the exact same thing but it was Sundays after church. Flying on a dangerous 2-lane highway with no seatbelts and a solid metal dashboard…awesome!

  • Leah Leander Fuller

    Loved that road!!! My Dad used to drive it fast so we would get air, our own private roller coaster!!

  • Kathryn Dunn

    We used to drive to my Dad’s dental office in Rialto. Always loved the bumps! A guy used to sell “shark jerky” and pink lemonade from a trailer in a dusty lot just past Cucamonga. It was a favorite stop of mine!

  • Tammy Taylor Short (You Know Y

    I loved “the dips”! I remember seeing my parents turn onto Baseline Ave. , I would tilt forward as far as I could from the back seat and rest my arms onto the back of the front seat. ( in those days didn’t have seat belts) I would squint and look to see if I could see them. When they started to come into view right around. Vineyard Ave. (Carnelian) I bounced up and down a little excitedly. I could feel my dad or brother (whomever I was driving with at the time) start to accelerate a little more…. As we started going faster and faster I felt the adrenaline start to flow. A little faster and then……WOOSH!! My stomach would get those butterfly feelings again and again as we dived down Into each dip and it swallowed us up. Then on the very last dip we became air born and often my head would slightly bonk against the ceiling of the car. I giggled until I thought I was going to pee my pants. Often I would beg “again again, let’s do it again” I also remember trips to San Bernardino and Highland Ave. would be a even longer endless trail of dips. I would anticipate whenever I heard we were going to S.B. Once I had kids of my own, “the dips” were pretty much gone. I am saddened I never got to share that adventure with them. Though, maybe it is a good thing, as I don’t think my pocketbook could have afforded to replace as many axels as my brothers had to replace!

    Thanks for the memories David, I am having a slight fit of the giggles now!

    Tammy Taylor
    ~Creator and Administrator of the Facebook group “You Know Your From Rancho Cucamonga If…”

    • Mary Russell

      Great description a Tammy! And I love your group! Best one on Facebook for Rancho Cucamonga! I am a fan! Thank you for providing it!

  • Ramona

    Yes. indeedy! An e-ticket ride without the expense. Thanks, Jimbo, for reminding me of whoop-de-dos. My Dad would take that road to go anywhere in that direction and back. Fellas would take their dates on that wild ride as a cheap thrill.

    Good times!

  • Mindy Landry

    I grew up in Alta Loma and we called these the “whoop-dee-dos”. They were more fun in the 60’s and 70’s before the seat belt law.
    Us kids would hit the roof when dad drove fast enough.
    and YES, we SURVIVED! the good ol’ days♥

  • Nancy M

    I grew up in Claremont and we called that street the “whoop-de-doos.” We used to beg our parents to drive us down it really fast like a roller coaster to make our stomachs turn flips!

  • Ren

    The Dips was an E Ticket Ride, it was sad to see them go. But is the first bump still there? I haven’t been up that way in a long time, but we use take it, on our way to do some rabbit hunting in vineyards, when there was still vineyards.

  • DebB

    I think dips and bumps must have been a fairly common thing in foothill communities in the days before safety consciousness. I grew up in Glendale in the 50s and 60s and I remember my dad driving us through some great dips that would put your stomach in your mouth. I also remember that my mom never approved!

  • hazel

    I didn’t live in this area at that time. But the picture looks just like part of the old Route 66 at the same time period, when you travel out of California. I loved the dips too. And I can remember asking if that was water on the road ahead and my dad said no, it’s a mirage. lol But I kept my eye on that spot til we crossed it and yep, no water, just like my Dad told me. Such fun, simple and silly things that excited a child. . . . .and good memories.

  • Patty Geary

    My dad would pile us in our Volkswagen and drive really fast over “bumpity bump.” One time he took my brothers little league team and did the same much to their delight! The dog, however, threw up!

  • Rick Simoni

    Ah yes, I remember them well.We lived in Ontario and my dad was building our new house in Alta Loma. Every Saturday and Sunday we made our trip through the dips…too fun. And let’s not forget the “Big” dips down by the airport! 🙂

  • Jim Rose

    I liked the chaparral landscape that grew along 19th street between Upland and Cucamunga. I also liked riding horses on the trails and swimming in the small lake in the rock quarry between 19th and Baseline where Upland Ready Mix was located.

  • MelanieR

    Any time there was air between your butt and the seat, it was a GOOD ride!

  • Melissa Lopez

    We use to love flying in my dads mustang over those bumps ☺️

  • Michael Guerin

    I recall one bump had been spray painted “laughing gravy” so we always called the largest dip by that name.