Tijuana to San Francisco in 4 days, a ride of firsts

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by beechum1, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,593
    Location:
    Not home in Tijuana
    By Tuesday it had dawned on me that I may need to run money back down to baby mama. I realized on Wednesday, the day before the trip, that no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t going to be able to avoid, going to get my check, depositing it, taking money back to baby mama, and then heading north. So while my late start was necessary, it was also VERY inconvenient. The 150$ I planned on having in the account for just that reason, didn’t last when I started buying last minute supplies for the trip, getting gas twice before I left, and her, with her insatiable appetite to waste my time.

    I made arrangements the day before for another of my crew to pick up the checks from the office and run it down to me as close as possible to the border. By 9:45, I had the check in my hands and was on my way to drop off the $ to mama. I got back down, mounted the cases, waited for a second, looked around, had a glass of water, and decided that she’s taking way too long to go to this meeting at the school. So I left the money on the dresser, and started my trip. Just before that however, I took a lap around the school to see if I could catch her. It was decidedly NO, but I did get to say goodbye to my daughter.

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    So, with all home business taken care of, I’m out like a fat chic. I got to the border, and with my abnormal load and girth, it was difficult to cut to the front of the line. I’d done it before, not without some minor paint scraping, but this time, I was clear. I crossed, made it inland a few miles, called up michael.brat, let him know, I’m 2 hours from his place pending traffic, and I’m dropping the hammer. Well, not really, the last time I dropped the hammer on the XR I lost an exhaust valve and eventually, a piston and cylinder. Since then, 80 is generally my top passing speed, and 70-75 is my top cruising speed.

    This trip is my first weekend trip off the XR, first camping trip, first trip with another XR, first trip to San Francisco, first time using the boxes, and first time on a ride longer than a day.

    Irregardlessly, I was rolling. Like a homey. In my 5.0. To the 5, 405 and to Torrance. I found my partner, he was ready, and I would imagine, itching to get riding. We decided to get gas for the bikes, and then get gas for us. We stopped at a Ramen place, perhaps he’ll chime in on the name, or you can find it from the tracks. It was the east finger on the tracks in Torrance. With food in our tummies, water in the camels, smokes in the pack, and not many hours of sun left, we headed north-ish. More like, North West, but the overall direction was north. Ish.

    Anyway, so you can see, we headed up the 1. I had to make a quick stop in Oxnard to drop off some paperwork to the corp. office, and say hi to some people I haven’t seen for at least 6 months, a few longer. We had a smoke, planed the next part of the route, and headed out again. We stopped in Buellton for some gas, made the next plan, and got on it. I remembered a volunteer for the tent space thread that was in San Luis Obispo, and sent a PM. Rather late I admit, but nonetheless, I was optimistic. When we arrived to SLO, I checked the PM’s, nothing from homeboy, so we headed west to Morro Bay. Michael had stayed there on his was down from SF picking up another XRL, which turned out to be the bike used for this and what will likely be for his next trip. We found a few state parks, saw a campground, and being the poor bastards we are, decided to go up the road a ¼ mile, stuff the bikes in some bushes, and setup off the road. I don’t know how much the campground cost, but is was 1000% more expensive than free, so the decision was made.

    It was starting to get dark, and we setup the tents first. That is, after we had to search for a way to keep our bikes from falling over in the semi-soft dirt. After a few searches, and a few failed attempts, and my bike falling over, we found some rocks to put under the kickstands. It worked, though I’ll admit, I was scared to sleep under the left side of the bike in the tent, but worry soon gave way to sleep, and I no longer really cared. I slept.... not well. I didn’t bring my therm-a-rest, and regretted it, but I really didn’t have room for it, even if I repacked, which I made a mental list of what I needed and didn’t for this trip.

    Overnight, there was a mist, moving through the bog. I could hear it against the rainfly. It was going to be a wet one in the morning for sure.

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    The next morning, Friday, I woke up several times, a few times I heard Mike chanting, a few times not. The night before we had decided to get on the road by 7. I thought that was optimistic, but I didn’t say anything. So when we finally got wheels down by 9:30, I was disappointed that it took so long, but I wasn’t so upset because I had a feeling that may be the case. My shoulder was still giving me problems.

    I woke up Thursday morning with a wicked pain in my shoulder. I was quite sure it was from just sleeping badly, but it did hurt bad enough to make me wonder if I was going to do the trip. I didn’t take any medicine, but I did pack (I thought) some acetaminophen tabs. Turns out I didn’t, but I did have some Motrin in my first aid kit, though that didn’t help much for this pain.

    I rarely take any meds for anything. Including my ankle. I had a motorcycle accident many years back, and the short version is, I still have two screws in it, AFTER, they took out the rest. But I don’t take pain meds. I’d rather know if something hurts and not do any damage to it, than the opposite.

    So back to Friday morning. We roll out of the campsite, after packing up, and get to the gas station. I get some more water for my bottle and hydropack. Picked up a pair of 5hour energy’s and we hit the road north again. Obviously, North. ish. We get back over the 101, head up to Bradley, and take THE road that goes through Hunter Liggett back over the 1. We stopped before entering the base, to make sure we had the right directions, I put the destination in my phone and got turn by turn coming through my headphones, which by the way, have been playing Hunt for Red October most of the way up. And since the iPhone doesn’t have turn by turn, I was the man. We found a restaurant along the way, we had mentioned to each other that hunger was creeping on up, so the next thing we saw, we’d try. I saw a diner, a little too late; we turned around, only to find that it wasn’t going to open for another 25 minutes. So, at 10:35 with plenty of miles to go, we kept on. Eventually a bridge was in our sites, and just before the bridge, was a river crossing.

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    The signs said, “By Order of,” but he wasn’t’ my CO, so we made it so. It was kind of fun, but only for a second. We stopped on the other side, grabbed a smoke, a drink and a snack before the twisty part of the route. Mike had mentioned the switchbacks were going to be fun, and I’ve done Palomar Mt, so I know fun, but it’s a different, low 2nd gear fun. Not like the high 2nd gear of Palomar. At 20 mph, I could almost fall and not feel it. Almost. I know better than that.

    We made a few more stops along the way, including walking into the flies nest. These flies were ridiculous, and relentless. I had to walk 20 feet away to get my helmet on, close the visor, get to the bike, start it and quickly pull away just to keep them off. AND, I hadn’t gotten my gloves on, so 50 feet later, I pulled over again to get the gloves on and wire in the music. Stupid flies. I wish I had the phone mounted to video for this trip because this twisty, was friggin awesome. I don’t think the Google maps can really do it justice. It’s on the recommended list for sure.

    If you have 606’s on the bike, and want a fun toss the bike ride, go here. Michael did a fantastic job of keeping up with me, with my 761’s. And we both almost got the last set of curb feelers on the tires. Almost. The last stop we made was just a gorgeous view, of the last side of the mountain, the ocean, and of course, the clouds we were going into. It was hot, but being only 20 minutes from the cloud cover, we weren’t going to take off our cold weather gear. It was better left on at this point. While resting, we saw a great place to pitch the tent, but getting there was going to be a problem. Actually, more to the point, getting OUT was going to be the problem. I think me and the bike could have slid very easily to the resting spot, but the climb back out, while marked, was not likely doable by even the best hill climber. Though I did try to imagine my line.....

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    As we dropped into the clouds, it went from probably 75 to 55 in a matter of minutes. And with the extra coldness, and the wicked drops from the side of the mountain, I went into conservative mode, and stopped pushing the bike. I actually got the vertigo at one place, looking down the side of the mountain. The drop back down to the 1, put us into the cold weather once again, and wouldn’t let up, and in fact, would get worse before it got better in the coming miles.

    Rest of Day 2, and Day 4, the solo return to follow.
    #1
  2. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,593
    Location:
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    Day 1 GPX. Nothing special, but this is the route I took.

    Attached Files:

    #2
  3. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,593
    Location:
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    Day 2, again nothing special, except for the road that goes through Hunter Liggett.

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 2, Post 2

    The drop back onto the 1, as eluded to earlier, was cold and cloudy. And eventually, windy. Coming up from Nacimeiento-Ferguson Road, up to Big Sur, the clouds would part occasionally to allow the glowing warmth of the sun through to warm our souls. After a few stops turning up tourist priced food along the 1, Mike did a search for In n out, which one turned up in Salinas. So, with my handy ANDROID turn by turn direction feature, not iPhone, I put in the address, waited for data signal, and “calculating route.” So, we pass Monterey, and Seaside, and the Light Fighter and 12 st exit through Ft Ord, and went up to the 183 and back down. I certainly hope that google maps knows what their doing by taking is a few miles out of the way. the straight line version from the 1 to Salinas seemed alot quicker on paper, but maybe someone knows better than me. Anyway, we got to In n Out, I F’ed around and got a triple double, we got fat, rested our bums, and figured that getting to SF was in order, since i was now about.... 4:30 I think it was.... We still had to go visit Steve in SF, then get back down to Daly City for mimis.

    Seemingly, just as soon as we wanted to get somewhere fast, the wind began. Just past Santa Cruz i think it was, the wind picked up like a..... something fast. It came from the front, the back, the sides,sometimes it was just at the wheels, and other times, just hit my head. I remember follwoing Mike and saw his wheels go from center of the lane to left side of the lane, and back.... I remember thinking, wow, was it really that... OH, yeah. It is that bad. But just the wheels. It was weird. So, we battled, i believe, all the way to Pacifica. Then we hit the 280, and I opened it up, I was ready to not be riding for the day. But we had two stops to make, so... yeah... a little more riding.

    We get to Steve’s place, with the Snap On rack like I’ve never seen. Some bikes about, spare parts, nuts and bolts, and a partridge. yeah, I know, a partridge. We were there for about an hour and a half, and it was getting dark, and we needed to get mimi, so we hi-tailed it back to my friend’s place, and of course, got lost. Stupid SF streets. We get there, crack some coronas, unpack, SSS, slip into something a little more comfortable, and chill like penicillin.

    The next day we do some touristy, stuff, go to the wharf, drive across the bridge, and do the drive down lombard st.

    here’s a few pics from that:

    View from friends place atop the highest point within many miles.
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    the wharf, were we got the customary bread bowl of chowdah
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    We went across the bridge to the scenic side with the intention of taking the Conzelman Road loop up to the missile site, but the road is under construction, FYI. Doesn't looke like it will be open for a month at least. it was rock from the lookout on up.
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    The wind was so kickin, I had sand and dirt getting into my eyes, it was all I could do to keep them open just for this pic. Apparently the front camera on my EVO takes the pic mirrored, so.....
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    #4
  5. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,593
    Location:
    Not home in Tijuana
    [FONT=&quot]Day 3 Post 3[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Today was just a blast back home. I got more pictures, but didn’t do anything real exciting.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]For your enjoyment.[/FONT]

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    #5
  6. michael.brat

    michael.brat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Nice write up Jeremy!

    The Ramen place is called Hakata Ramen (Shinsengumi) in Gardena on Redondo Beach Blvd. They have a few different location around LA county.

    Here are some pictures for everyone's enjoyment. No write up here, but basically went up the coast and road around Oregon. Met up with the Giant Loop guys. Jason over there was super cool and let me change my oil and crash at his place in Bend. Great town & great state.. I'll probably retire in Oregon someday. So beautiful.

    (Rest of the pictures here)

    Side note to Jeremy; my iphone takes better pictures :wink:)

    The gear
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    North of SF
    [​IMG]

    Camp 1
    [​IMG]

    "Closed" road in Redwoods National
    [​IMG]

    Camp 2
    [​IMG]

    Camp 3
    [​IMG]

    Camp 4
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mike B
    #6
  7. farrington300

    farrington300 No wait....What?

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    529
    Location:
    Denver CO
    [​IMG]


    I was on that road last year. great place. great pic
    #7