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Old 11-16-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
strikemaster OP
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San Francisco advice needed!

Hi to all. I'm a UK Triumph Tiger owner and I'm hopefully renting a bike in SF last week of this month. I have 48hrs free for this on this trip - I'll be keeping to black-top roads. Bike will probably be a 1200GS.

Which routes could you guys suggest given I have only 2 days but don't want to ride myself into the ground? Ideas? Owens Valley?
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:22 AM   #2
ThirdBestFriend
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Here you go:

http://goo.gl/maps/7EYsj

It's a long day, but covers most of the great road riding in the area. you will hit:
1) Alice's Restaurant in La Honda for breakfast
2) The Pacific Coast Highway south of the city
3) The Golden Gate Bridge
4) The Pacific Coast Highway north of the city
5) Olema or Petaluma for lunch
6) Sonoma wine country (no sampling!)
7) Napa wine country for dinner
8) A quick highway shot home at the end of a long day
9) The Bay Bridge

And, of course, twisties, vistas, and great towns all over. Feel free to PM me for places to stay/eat/do.

And now that I'm noticing you have 2 days, it would be better to split this ride up south side 1 day and north side the other. If the timing is right and you want company, I could even tag along. I ride a 1200GS and wouldn't have a problem keeping up.

Welcome to the Bay Area!
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:00 AM   #3
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I would say that from San Francisco to Santa Cruz is amazing on the 1. Same goes for San Francisco to say Fort Bragg on the 1 (amazing scenery).
If I had only two days, I would recommend San Francisco to Fort Bragg, cut across the one north of Fort Bragg to Garberville (7hours) from there you have the Avenue of the giants scenic detour. Its about 20 - 30 miles to the end of this route north of Garberville. Lots of Redwoods(the biggest in the world). The road back to S.F. on the 101 is about 4.5 hours.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:48 AM   #4
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http://www.pashnit.com/roads/cal/Hwy1BigSur.htm
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:21 AM   #5
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Fantastic, guys, many thanks for the tips. I've driven the "1" in a rental car before - the wife wanted to see the hotel where they filmed the "American Pie - Wedding" movie.

I'm an airline pilot, so my job keeps me away from my bike about 17 days a month. So I thought I'd treat myself on my next SFO trip. Will have to give this some serious thought.

PS: Can I 'filter' in the state of CA or will I get arrested for using a motorbike to beat the traffic? How do the highway patrol treat motorcylists? Have never rented a bike in the USA.

Slowpoke - awesome link, thanks!

strikemaster screwed with this post 11-18-2012 at 10:23 AM Reason: more stuff
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikemaster View Post
PS: Can I 'filter' in the state of CA or will I get arrested for using a motorbike to beat the traffic? How do the highway patrol treat motorcylists? Have never rented a bike in the USA.
If by "filter" you mean split lanes (what we yanks call it), then yes, California is about one of the only states where you can do it. However, if you do it in an unsafe manner, they'll pull you over for that, so just be cool and you'll be fine.

CHP are pretty cool with motorcyclists, at least in the Bay Area. You certainly won't get an undeserved hard time, if that's what you're wondering. That said, I think a young guy flying down the highway on a rice burner and flip-flops might stir the ire in an officer more than an old guy like me in full armor and chilling.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:00 PM   #7
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Thanks, TBF. How do you guys in the other States put up with not being able to split lanes? The whole point of a motorcycle in a city is to sneak through traffic, surely?!

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Old 11-19-2012, 08:15 AM   #8
High Country Herb
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Police are pretty lenient with bikes, up to maybe 10-15 mph over the limit. The thing they will ticket for is failure to come to a complete stop at stop signs.

I would also suggest Sonoma wine country and Highway 1 north for day one. If the feeling is right, you can explore Napa and Sonoma, then head north to stay the night somewhere like Fort Bragg near the redwood trees.

If you feel you've seen enough, and make it back to SF on day one, Highway 1 south of Monterey is even more spectacular than where the American Pie hotel is. The highway is much closer to the ocean in that area. It is a bit of distance to get there, however; about 2 hours before the good stuff. Once in Monterey, you can take Highway 1 through "17 Mile Drive" (huge mansion homes, Pebble Beach Golf Course) down to Big Sur.

If you want something completely different, you could head east to the Sierra foothills, and explore Highway 49 through the Gold Country. Again about 2 hours before the good stuff though.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:52 AM   #9
victor441
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Hwy 1 north of S.F. itself can be slow, lots of tourist traffic and passing is not allowed on much of it....but many of the roads that run east over the hills from the coast are very lightly traveled and a LOT of fun...some are bumpy but that would not be a problem on a GS. Some especially good ones are Coleman Valley RD, Skaggs Springs, Mountain View RD, etc. so there are many possibilities for loop rides out to the coast.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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Whichever route I take, I'll post some pics. Thanks to all for suggestions.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #11
DirtRich
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head north old boy

Hwy 1 north is the only way to go. Lane splitting is legal (technically it's considered not illegal) as long as done safely. I'm with TinCrow all the way with the exception of Garberville and points north of Bragg. It will adds a lot of time to an already short time frame. Beautiful scenery north on 1, better than the southern route in my opinion and you may find you don't need to make it even all the way up to Bragg if you like to take a leisurely pace. You can circle around in Bodega Bay or Highway 128 and head into the wine country or wherever.

Good luck
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtRich View Post
Hwy 1 north is the only way to go. Lane splitting is legal (technically it's considered not illegal) as long as done safely. I'm with TinCrow all the way with the exception of Garberville and points north of Bragg. It will adds a lot of time to an already short time frame. Beautiful scenery north on 1, better than the southern route in my opinion and you may find you don't need to make it even all the way up to Bragg if you like to take a leisurely pace. You can circle around in Bodega Bay or Highway 128 and head into the wine country or wherever.

Good luck
Agree with those who recommend Hwy 1 north of SF. Take a good look at Google maps and after leaving Mill Valley on 1, take Panoramic Hwy to the top of Mt Tamalpais for a great view of the Bay Area. Then take Ridgecrest until you come to the Y in the road. Left back to Hwy 1, and then north. Stop in Pt Reyes Station, maybe Tomales, maybe Jenner, and then scoot up to Mendocino for the night (any spot short of there will do also). Then you can take Hwy 128 down to Cloverdale, through Cloverdale to Dutcher Creek Rd to Dry Creek Rd to Healdsburg. Continue on 128 to Calistoga, then through Calistoga to Silverado Trail south through Napa and 121/12/37 back to Hwy 101 and into the city.

All predicated on having good weather.... which you may well have this time of year.. or it could be total crap in which case you're better off seeing a show or some galleries in SF....
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikemaster View Post
Hi to all. I'm a UK Triumph Tiger owner and I'm hopefully renting a bike in SF last week of this month. I have 48hrs free for this on this trip - I'll be keeping to black-top roads. Bike will probably be a 1200GS.

Which routes could you guys suggest given I have only 2 days but don't want to ride myself into the ground? Ideas? Owens Valley?
Just three hours southeast are some of the largest old growth redwoods in the world here,

http://www.parks.ca.gov/mediagallery/?page_id=551

The north grove is always open and after walking out among them (a very nearly religious experience) on a very nicely prepared trail, you can ride east on 4 up to the snow line. Very beautiful ride. You could spend the day riding east on 108 also to the snow line or take 88 east. It's almost always open if you wanted to head to S Lake Tahoe, also a great ride with spectacular scenery.

Oh and lane splitting or sharing is when traffic is slow or stopped and you're trying to keep going. Filtering is when traffic is stopped for a red light or construction and you filter up to the front. Most road workers in construction zones (flagmen) will wave you up to the front.

Sport screwed with this post 11-22-2012 at 08:48 AM
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