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Old 09-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #1
madbiker1 OP
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Victoria, BC
Oddometer: 162
An ODD COUPLE off to California from BC

This ride report is a recollection of a ride I did with a friend back in 2007 I believe. I tried my best to get the routes and maps accurate. It was a loop that we decided to do on the bikes - me on my 2000 Honda Valkyrie Interstate at the time and Mark on his V-strom 650.

The plan for day one - catch the afternoon Coho ferry from Victoria going to Port Angeles - leaving at 4pm - arriving in PA at around 5:30.
Here's us waiting for the ferry.


Once we were off the ferry, it started pissing rain and I could barely see anything as we headed down the 101 east side. We did some good mileage the first day just to get through what we needed to eventually stopping at a McDonalds for dinner around 11pm south of Portland. Our final destination for that night - around midnight - was a Super 8 motel in Salem. Total mileage for day 1 was 506kms - not bad for heavy rain, in the dark, in October.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Victoria, BC
Oddometer: 162
Day 2 800kms

Map of this day:
After leaving Salem, we headed south on I5 heading towards Grant's Pass. It was HEAVY rain through this section and we ended up having to hide out at a McDonalds a ways along. The workers at the McDonalds were a little disturbed with Mark walking around in his long underwear as he tried to dry out a bit and me asking for coffee refills every 10 minutes.
When we got to Grant's Pass, we headed West on hwy 199 to Crescent City. This is where the weather let up for us a bit and got noticeably warmer. I'm starting to understand the lure of living in California

From Crescent City, we headed South down 101 through Eureka. We had lunch at this place - it was quite good.

After lunch, we continued to head South until Hwy 1 branched off at Leggett - and then the road got a WHOLE bunch more interesting! TWISTY WINDY BLISS!
We arrived at the motel in Fort Bragg - a Travelers Inn that I picked. The deal was that we would alternate paying for the hotels - Mark one night, me the next. It should be about even, right? This motel had a few motorcycles out front and seemed like it would be cheap. The cost? I remember it being close to $100 which was ridiculous - particularly when we got to our room, it looked to be a converted garage. Mark turned on the faucet in the bathroom and ANTS started pouring out. Not good. I'd hear about THAT one for the rest of the trip
Here's a picture of the motel.,,0,16.84 That little garage thing behind the telephone pole was our room.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Cincinnapolis, Pennsyltucky
Oddometer: 247
Another good place to eat in Eureka is Surfside Burger Shack around the corner on 5th street. Did a loop up the NorCal coast then over to Klamath Falls, over to Reno and then back the the SF bay area earlier this year. Early enough that I-80 was closed due to a late snow, as was every other road west clear down to Tioga Pass.
I'm hoping you rode the Avenue of the Giants in Humbolt State Park.
4 metal plates, 28 screws, titanium shoulder & surprisingly little talent.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:16 PM   #4
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Victoria, BC
Oddometer: 162
Day 3: 468kms

Day 3 started from Fort Bragg - with a breakfast stop a McDonalds. We joked about this being the McDonalds tour...but Mark insisted that for cheap consistent food, this was the place to go.
We arrived at the McDonalds and found this in the parking lot:
A strange start to the day.
Mark with his morning coffee (sorry, bad picture):

The end of Mark's coffee:

Anyways, off we went. This was one of the most memorable riding days for me as we cruised along the coast at somewhat obscene speeds through perfect twisty roads. Mark led for the first bit

Down along hwy 1 we rolled - taking in as much scenery as we could at speed. Once in awhile, we would stop to rest and take a few pictures. I wasn't quite as camera happy on this trip as I only had a crappy little point and shoot camera. I also never tend to take many photos when I'm riding with someone else.
This is Point Arena Lighthouse:

I'm extremely happy:

The California Coast as we neared the north end of San Fransisco really impressed me:

We kept heading south down through San Fransisco over the Golden Gate bridge. This was my first time seeing the bridge in person and it really was quite a spectacle. This was also my first experience with motorcycles lane splitting - scared the crap outta me.

HEY, IT WORKED! Video is me crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on the Valkyrie - nothing too exciting

After San Fran, we continued south along hwy 1 - what a fantastic coastline.

I don't know what the heck this thing was but it looked fun:

We ended up in Monterey that night fairly early. It was nice wandering around Monterey and looking at the old cannery, the marina and the boardwalk. A nice relaxing evening. We even did LAUNDRY!

madbiker1 screwed with this post 09-07-2013 at 03:24 PM
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #5
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Victoria, BC
Oddometer: 162
Day 4: 693kms

Day 4 began heading into Carmel-by-the-Sea, no, wait, it started with Denny's across from our motel'...4,,0,6.49&z=19

This is the map of the route for the day:,8,9&t=m&z=12

We had a nice little tour around Carmel via the scenic route:

Carmel was a fantastic place but strange at the same time. As I rode through, there were the strangest cars in the driveway. At one house, there was a Bentley sitting there with a Lamborghini up on blocks with no wheels sitting next to it. Where I come from, the only cars that are on blocks are Crown Vics.
After Carmel, we headed south again - enjoying the great California weather.

Riding through Big Sur was fantastic looking at all of the houses hidden away on the hillside.

We were stuck in traffic for quite awhile due to some construction.

And then off we went - around the cliffsides of the California coastline- it really doesn't get much better than this!

and a stop for a quick reminder that it really is us doing this ride:

We zipped up to Hearst Castle - but only really to the lobby after finding out that we had to take a bus to see the rest...we'd rather be riding!

We started to head inland at 166 Cuyama Hwy. This is where the trip got a little fuzzy as I took a road off this highway that led me down a really nice twisty ranch road but I can't remember where it was now.

We picked up some pistachios at a pistachio farm somewhere along the way here - they were excellent! It was shocking the transition in landscape from the coast into rolling desert hills in such a short distance. Green turned instantly to golden yellow. Roads that you had to hunt for the apex turned into black lines leading straight to the horizon.

Somewhere along the way I stopped taking pictures. We landed in Glendale and I was getting gas. We wanted to ride the Angeles Crest Highway through the mountains but the signs said the area was closed. It just happened that a couple of guys on sportbikes were there and they offered to lead us through. They had trucked their sportbikes down from Vegas to do the mountain route and they had spent the day doing that. They were in full leathers and were definitely ready to rock.
Mark and I tagged along with them through some of the best roads through the mountains. Twisty, well-engineered roads with great pavement were the path through many miles of California mountains. The pace was sedate to begin with but eventually the speeds were getting...well...somewhat fast. I can't resist trying to keep up to sportbikes on a Valkyrie Interstate. You'll see the result of this a little later on.
We landed in Victorville for the night. I smoked my first cigar...that didn't go quite as well as I had hoped.

madbiker1 screwed with this post 09-07-2013 at 04:13 PM
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:35 PM   #6
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Victoria, BC
Oddometer: 162
Day 5 - 764kms Tahoe and Reno

Up in the morning in Victorville - after a night of rum and cokes. It's always quite a thrill paying so little for rum down in the U.S.
We're off - heading North - not sure where we'll end up.

We head up 395 north. The scenery gets very big and open.

We stop at a gas station for some gas. There are some curious things at this gas station that you just don't see up in B.C.

This seems like a good time to inspect some of the undercarriage for wear after trying to keep up to the sportbike guys.
Front tire - doesn't look too bad

Back tire - hmmm - no chicken strips left here...probably not meant to have acceleration wear on the EDGE of the tire.

Hmmm, right hand footpeg isn't lookin' so hot - worn through the leading edge of the peg into the top rubber and ground away at the header pipe a bit:

Left side has had a hard go of it as well - footpeg ground through from the bottom side. Kickstand taking a serious beating.

On we go to TAHOE! I've never been to Lake Tahoe so I was super excited to see this.

Mark took a picture:

It was absolutely fantastic scenery heading up:

The bikes are getting pretty grimey by this point.

and finally we're in Tahoe! The stretch up 395 was an incredibly boring ride after awhile. The towns were excellent but the straight road for miles had me going a bit batty.

The Tahoe roads were quite excellent:

We headed down into Reno to finish the day. Mark managed to get a screaming deal at Circus Circus for the best hotel room of the trip at the cheapest price.

We had some rum and coke...Mark did a bit of gambling, I did a bit of watching. Quite a nice evening.

madbiker1 screwed with this post 09-07-2013 at 04:45 PM
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:53 PM   #7
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Victoria, BC
Oddometer: 162
Day 6: 664kms

Up from an night in Vegas - it was a bit rough. We headed off to breakfast and then headed towards Mt Shasta - weaving our way back to the coast. The first bit of this ride really wasn't that exciting although we did go through some nice little towns. Once we got up into the mountains, the scenery was quite good although the road was quite straight.

Mt Shasta is a very pretty mountain in the distance:

We got back to I5 and headed a little ways north towards Redding. We then took Klamath River Road west which was FANTASTIC. Wooden bridges, great twisty roads, no traffic - a fantastic find.

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Old 09-08-2013, 03:35 AM   #8
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Oroville & Placerville, California U.S.of A.
Oddometer: 1,222
always fun to see your backyard from another point of view
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