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Old 05-06-2013, 02:59 PM   #1
1200gsceej OP
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SF to LA long weekend loop

My daughter was moving into a new apartment in LA so I thought I'd ride down and help, visiting roads and places that I'd done before and liked, or not yet done at all. I've attached a screen shot of my track in Google Earth. I'll try to attach the track gpx file, too.
There are no pix (camera broken; need to buy new one). But I have some comments about the roads and some of the adventures that I had along the way. I'll add them to subsequent posts.
-ceej
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:48 PM   #2
cmills83
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Nice, did a similar ride about a month ago. Great scenery
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
1200gsceej OP
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CA 25 from Hollister to CA 198 along the San Andreas Fault

I left home at 6:30 on a Friday morning. Traffic in the Bay Area and on US 101 through Morgan Hill to Gilroy was not bad. CA 25 starts at 101 near Gavalin College just south of Gilroy. The 11 mile 2-lane flat stretch from there to Hollister runs through lush farmland, but to cut down on the high accident rate it is a no passing, concrete divider daytime headlight section.

I prefer riding through Hollister rather than taking the bypass to the east. Instead of the breakfast place that Ol’Badger and I have stopped in several times before, this morning I stop at the Mars Hill coffee shop to relax, wake up, and have one of their signature cookies. Yum!

South of Hollister, CA 25 meanders up and down, then back and forth along the way to Paicines. From there past the Pinnacles National Park east entrance it follows the San Benito River and the San Andreas Fault. It can be green, golden, or brown depending on when you go and how much rain there has been. But the road has always been a pleasure to ride. Oh, and just before the Pinnacles you can take La Gloria Road on your right – a nicely graded dirt road that will take you back across the mountains to 101 and the west entrance of the Pinnacles.

When 25 ends at CA 198 I have always headed east on 198 to Coalinga and into the valley. This time I continued straight onto Peach Tree Road. It goes through ranch and grazing land, then climbs into oak meadows. It eventually ‘turns into’ Indian Valley Road which heads south toward San Miguel. Turns out there is a dirt road which continues in the same direction and will take you directly to CA 41 and CA 46. But that will have to be another trip.

Between Hollister and San Miguel I saw less than 20 cars, and only caught up to pass three.


I skirted around San Miguel, kept north of Paso Robles onto back roads through Creston and eventually came out on CA 58 which goes east to the valley and eventually Bakersville.
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 05-07-2013 at 09:35 AM
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:38 PM   #4
White Tenere
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Sounds like a nice ride...
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:27 AM   #5
1200gsceej OP
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Highway 58 and the Carrizo Plain (a whole lotta nothing)

As I said earlier, on prior trips down 25 I'd taken 198 east to 33 or I-5. On those trips I had seen signs for the Carrizo Plain so I looked it up. The San Andreas fault runs right through it. A road bisects the length of the area, paved half-way to the visitor center, then dirt the rest of the way. It ends near the intersection of CA 33 and 166. Since I was ultimately headed for Hudson Ranch Road which starts there and goes across the mountain ridge to Frazier Park and I-5, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to see the place.

Here is an interesting tidbit. On the route that I took From Hollister to CA 58 I never encountered a gas station. Really. There is nothing on CA 25, nor on the roads from 198 to San Miguel. But I was going to cross CA 41 and CA 46 and other places where several roads intersected, so it just seemed natural to expect that I'd find a place to gas up. But it turns out that is not true. The other interesting thing (that I found out later) is that 5 miles or so east of Santa Margarita on CA 58 there is a large sign saying "No services next 84 miles." But if course I did not see that sign since the road I was on intersected CA 58 five miles *after* the sign. You may see where this is going.

I was having such a great ride, the weather was lovely, the roads empty. Not having seen a gas station I had not even thought of one, so 'distracted' was I. Until I spied the yellow triangle on the instrument panel and the blinking fuel icon. Hmmmm... 46 miles, should be no problem. And there were plenty of intersections on the map; certainly there would be at least one gas station in the next 45 miles.

Sadly, the next 15 miles indicated that my assumption was almost certainly wrong.

By this time I was on 58 east but without benefit of the information on the sign outside Santa Margarita. As I rode on, the isolation that I had enjoyed earlier began to gnaw on me. Buildings were increasingly rare, and many I encountered seemed to have no one around. I checked the GPS for gas; nearest one was 22 miles. I breathed a little easier. There must in fact be something near the entrance to the Carrizo Plain National Monument or around Soda Lake. This is what the map there looks like:


So I tell my GPS to set course for the station. All of a sudden it is almost 50 miles away! The initial distance figure was 'as the crow flies' from my position, and not the distance by road! I begin to realize that I could be in serious trouble.

So as not to drag this on, I did get saved. Up ahead on my right I saw 2-3 vehicles and a small building just off the road. Looked almost like a rest stop. When I rolled in and turned off the bike, a very nice security guard came out of the building. It turns out that two solar companies have begun installation of large solar voltaic arrays just south of 58. In my most soulful, apologetic and self-depreciating voice I described my predicament. He made a phone call to the maintenance shop (which was so far away I could not see it), and about 20 minutes later two other gentlemen drove up in a big truck with a 5 gallon can of gasoline which they emptied into my tank. When I asked what I owed them, one of them said, "Pay it forward." I about broke into tears. We chatted a few minutes more about the area and the sign that I did not see. I thanked them profusely once again, then headed out. I was indeed fortunate.

The whole circumstance swung my personal caution-meter to the more conservative zone, and I decided that the ride through the Carrizo Plain National Monument would be better done with a buddy, and that I should not push my luck today. So I continued on 58 until it met CA 33, then turned south through the oil fields to Taft where I stopped to eat a late lunch and reflect.
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:25 PM   #6
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Mountain ridge and canyon floor roads

In November of 2011 Ol’Badger and I took the introductory off-road course at RawHyde just off the Golden State Freeway, old US 99, on the west side of I-5 just south of Pyramid Lake and north of Castiac. When we left we rode back up I-5 just past the summit and took the road due west from Frazier Park because “it seemed like the thing to do" (nice map location, never been there before, a new route). Well, we encountered snow on the road and dense fog that was freezing on the bushes along the roadway. We saw essentially nothing for some 40 miles except the dotted line in front of us. I had decided to retrace our steps and ride it when it would hopefully be clear (thus my reason for going through Carrizo Plain). So after I finished lunch in Taft I continued south on 33 through Maricopa to where Cerro Norcreste (Hudson Ranch) Road takes a left up into the mountains.


From here the mountains run pretty much east-west. The road rises along the northernmost ridge. To the left I can see the flat valley running north and east from Maricopa. To the right I can see row after row of ridges paralleling the one I was on. It was almost 3pm by now so the sun was highlighting the greens and blues and casting nice shadows. The road climbs steadily to about 5500 feet, winding back and forth as it follows the ridge. It is a wide two lane road with reasonable pavement so that it is enjoyable and not a chore to ride (this topic to be discussed more on the way home). From many places you can see down on both sides at once. Finally the climb lessens and the road levels out in the national forest, descending modestly for the rest of the ride. Once again I saw fewer than half a dozen cars until I got to Frazier Park.

I had plenty of time before I needed to be at my daughter’s apartment, and had little interest in riding I-5 if I could avoid it. The on-ramp south was closed and traffic was routed on Peace Valley road to the Gorman interchange. Hmmm… I looked at the map and saw the Gorman Post road heading east (CA 138), then Pine Canyon Road to Lake Hughes, and then Lake Hughes Road back down to I-5. A fine alternative to I-5! So off I went.


Well, I took the Old Ridge Road turnoff as I’m supposed to do, but miss Pine Ridge as I ride up. It is an “interesting road”, original 2-lane concrete with asphalt added later to smooth out the curves. Then I encountered “End County Maintenance” and 200 yards later realized that this was *not* the road I wanted! So I U-turn. But on the way back I again missed the turnoff to Pine Canyon. I wound up taking 138 a ways, then turning south to Three Points where I caught up with it again. A nice road! I’m sorry to have missed the other half of it. Winds through some wider sections with farm/ranch land. Then narrows and wiggles a ways. Very pleasant. In Lake Hughes I gassed up, then headed down Lake Hughes Road. It, too, is fun, with more twisties as it goes down the mountain.

But all things must end. I reached Castiac and it is time to slab it: I-5 to I-405 to I-10 and I’m there! Fortunately most of the (bad) traffic was in the other direction. Overall, a great day and great ride, with a little excitement that I’d rather have avoided.

Next, the ride back home.
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 05-07-2013 at 04:34 PM
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
1200gsceej OP
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the new seat that wasn't

In 2010 Ol'Badger and I did our own personal Tour de California in which we circumnavigated the state. Part of that ride took us through Ojai where we rode by Bill (Rocky) Mayer's house to say Hi and check out his saddle making operation. We did not have an appointment so did not find him home. Since I'd be going right by Ventura (where BMS Saddles is now) on the way home, I contacted Rocky and made an appointment for 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning. I packed my original BMW low seat in a bag and strapped it to the passenger seat of my bike. I figured the ride home on the new seat would be a good test.

So I was up at 6 a.m. in L.A. and on the road by 6:30 a.m. Arrived at Rock's shop at 7:30 a.m. but it was strangely quiet - no lights, no cars. I pull out the cell phone and call; Rock answers. Turns out a well known member of the motorcycle community there had an accident and died on Friday. There was a service/memorial on Saturday, and Rock had given his crew the day off on Monday. Woops! My appointment got overlooked in the process. Rock showed up at the store in 10 minutes and was very apologetic. He offered to put me up and do the seat the next morning, but I had lunch and dinner dates and a motel reservation up the coast. It would have been too much to change all that. So, leaving the BMW low seat still strapped to the passenger seat, I sadly departed. Maybe some other time.
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 05-14-2013 at 03:27 PM
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
1200gsceej OP
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Ventura to Santa Barbara

So now I have time to kill - about 3 hours worth. I grab some breakfast at a nice enough place (I have bacon/sausage and eggs on the road - not much bacon/sausage at home these days) and pour over the map. Seems like a detour is what is called for. How about north on CA 33, then west on CA 150, then parallel 101 on CA 192? I don't know what it is like, but it is not 101 and it is in the hills so it's gotta be better. So that is what I do.

Sidebar ...
When you all are riding, particularly solo, do you talk to yourself? If not out loud, do you have a conversation in your head? I do; lots of times. Many times it is about the road and countryside - stuff I would like to remember. On longer trips I keep a journal and write each evening about the day's ride and events. But I do not always remember everything that I would like to write down. I have a Sena which has bluetooth to my GPS and to my buddy's Sena when we ride together. It will also do bluetooth to a smart phone - if I had one. So I have been thinking about getting some kind of (voice activated?) solid state recording device so that I could talk out loud and record my thoughts. Has anyone out there done anything like that? I have no idea how I'd make it connect or 'trigger' it to record (as opposed to talking to my buddy on the intercom). In any case, I'd love to know what people think about this or have done.
End sidebar ...

Bottom line, I don't remember as much of what I wanted to write, but this is a nice ride. Once again, very little traffic except the first part off CA 33. I get up in the hills away from most everyone else. I do not remember specifics of CA 150. But CA 192 was a combination of very nice houses in rolling up and down roads, vineyards, and flower growers. It is not fast; there are many 90 degree turns. But it was pleasant and pretty and passed the time nicely.

I arrived at my friends' house in plenty of time for catching up on life events before having a nice lunch. Then went downtown to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum with which my friend is associated. A lovely place right at the marina. Nice history and exhibits - and nice sail/power boats to look at if you are into that thing, too. But eventually it was time to leave and head to SLO.

__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 05-16-2013 at 10:50 PM
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:52 PM   #9
1200gsceej OP
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Hunter-Liggett foray

I had heard about roads here, and when I looked at a map I found Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. So I asked for help in this thread which has good information and suggestions. It seemed like something that I should do, since it was practically on the way and I was not likely to have a good chance again.

I left CA 1 at Cayucos on Old Creek Road, then Vinyard and Chimney Rock. Lovely up and down roads winding through beautiful countryside. Then between the lakes the land gets higher and dryer. Finally Jolon and Hunter-Liggett. There is no problem getting on the base, but then the road crosses a green metal grating bridge and quickly takes you west.

At first the road is like a boat rocking on rolling swells. It travels through old oak forest. But once reaching what I assumed to be the back gate of the base, the road changes into barely 1.5 lanes edged closely by trees or drop-offs. For short periods it follows a creek leading up. Occasionally you can see several turns in advance, and it is pleasant riding. But mostly the turns are fairly sharp and generally blind. You have to trust that you will not meet a truck or big RV coming the other way (I did meet a small RV).

Finally I reached the top and broke out of the woods and onto the side of a barren mountain. The road continued its blind winding, only now there were small rocks and sand frequently in the turns. I imagine that the view would have been spectacular had the coast not been socked in. Soon the road dipped into the clouds and the riding became even slower. Finally I descended through it to meet the PCH.

All in all, it was not so much a ride as it was a continuous negotiation. Having done it, I'd have to rate it a 'do once', at least for me.

From there I continued up CA 1 - beautiful even under the low overcast. Past old Fort Ord and across the Salinas-Watsonville farm fields. I took the Old Soquel San Jose Road up to Summit to skip as much of CA 17 as I could. Then I was back in traffic and soon to be home.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:19 PM   #10
Adv Grifter
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Without pics ... it never happened!

Sorry to hear that one the best and most challenging roads in California scared you!

I am NATIVE Californian ... grew up riding such roads ... starting on a skate board, then bicycle, dirt bikes and motorcycles.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:28 PM   #11
1200gsceej OP
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Not scared - just did not enjoy it as much as other roads I've taken. No bad-mouthing intended; just not my kind of road.

Yeah, I wish I'd had a working camera ...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Without pics ... it never happened!

Sorry to hear that one the best and most challenging roads in California scared you!

I am NATIVE Californian ... grew up riding such roads ... starting on a skate board, then bicycle, dirt bikes and motorcycles.
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:16 AM   #12
dman
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I too have been in the gas predicament riding from Hollister to 58, in my case via Parkfield. There's always gas to the east or west but not at any of the junctions where I want to continue south. My GPS told me there was a Chevron in Fellows (east of Carrizo) and there was - a Chevron oil field with neither a human nor a gas pump in sight. I made it to Taft ... 230 miles ... but just barely. And that is one of the things I love about this part of California ... so rideable in a long day loop from north or south, and still so remote. But also why I consider a 200 mile range the bare minimum.

-dman
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:34 PM   #13
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you can check it off the list now, to each their own etc, I had a lot of fun on that road myself. Now get a camera damn it!
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