“Rising From The Ashes” West Coast Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by DesertSurfer, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Hey Heady, Looking forward to a good campfire chat in the future during a fun ride together!

    Ha! That about covers it!
    #41
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  2. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Hey MLC, I’ll look at your RR! Should be cool. I have the raised bar kit on my Futura which smooths out the lean and all day rideable. Does not so much for snow though, hahaha!
    #42
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  3. MongoLikeCandy

    MongoLikeCandy It never gets easier, you just get faster

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    haha! "studs"

    thanks for the tip on the raised bars I might look into it if I use this on long trips
    #43
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  4. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    I’m finally relaxing in Glasgow Oregon at my best friend Jake’s house he inherited when his mother passed away. He grew up in this house and it was a second home to me over my life.

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    I’ve spent nearly a week resting up from my last difficult mountain pass attempt.

    I’m amazed I met Dan... at my worst moment sliding down the road sideways on my moto. And he trailered me back to the coast.

    Dan’s a great great guy. And he represents all the good in an often times rough world.

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    ( Jake, John D. and I busting a gut over our albums.)

    My box full of photos was awaiting and Jake would invite our other high school buddies to come over all week, have a laugh at our photo history and celebrate my bright future ahead.

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    So it’s been an incredible week. And a reminder of what’s really important.... what we miss most when sitting in a hospital bed hoping for good news.

    This photo album party was really fulfilling a dream. And creating a new memory full of our past memories.

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    ( Pics from our photo albums.)

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    It was great to share our 40 plus years of riding photos together and our hopes we would be able to experience many more.

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    Now I stare out the bay window as the wild deer circle the house, watching the weather change and planning for my next dry day to head south.

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    I’ll be riding down the coast 101 highway crossing into California in about 4 days after the current 80 mph wind storm and rains.

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    Until then I’ll continue to visit my old high school friends and invite Dan Begley the trailer god out for a seafood dinner.

    Next up returning home the long way south.
    #44
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  5. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    I forgot to mention my bike faired amazingly well after it’s drop and slide 30 feet down the road on ice. Nothing broken, did not touch the mirrors/ blinkers. Just two scratches on the lower side fairing and a long scuff on the hard case. I’m actually quite stunned and amazed how unscathed it was. Both of us. Oddly it scooped up a bunch of snow up into the radiator and oil cooler. And once on the trailer I powered the key on and the dash had an error “OFF” message. Once the snow melted away it fired right up.

    I’ll hit you up to go riding when I get back... providing I stay away from any snowy passes on my ride south!
    #45
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  6. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    As I’m under this wintery Oregon water curtain waiting for it’s next dry intermission so I can make for my escape... I thought I’d ad another quick sidebar.

    I never intended on writing a ride report about this trip before I left. It was a personal journey for me, a visit with a bunch of my family and a fun hang with a best friend.

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    I didn’t bring my best camera nor gear on this trip. I packed light with minimal planning. And to be honest I’m not a photographer, especially like others on this site who are dedicated to the craft.

    I remember first reading advrider ride reports and it blew my mind how you could be taken away by someone elses journey. And you become a part of it, from the armrest of your favorite “lazyboy”.

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    After following them I felt an advrider pressure to do my own. It was as if I didn’t belong on the forum unless I made my contribution. And after reading from some of the great ones I really felt the pressure and intimidation.

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    But writing my first RR was a great journey for me. I chose a ride I had always wanted to venture through but hadn’t known much about. It wasn’t in any ride reports. It was somewhat accessible for me in So. Cal. It was the ride through Goler Wash and Mengal Pass into Death Valley. And it revealed something about me as a rider... that I prefer to be a bit of a loner when I ride.

    But I noticed there are lots of great RR’ers on the site who ride solo. They’re lone riders like I am. So I’m not alone if not totally normal, hahaha.

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    I started writing “live reports” where I posted during my trips instead of after my return. I felt this would really give the reader a sense of being along for the ride. I’ve had fun posting “live rides” because no one knows where they lead and how they end. But they require extra time and discipline to maintain during a road trip. And I often wonder if the reader gets bored or frustrated in between the stages of the report when I’m “en route”? Or whether they feel the “live” aspect of it at all?

    And I realize these RR’s are at their best when they are minimal text wrapped around maximum great photos.

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    What made me want to decide to make a ride report out of this trip happened right after I headed out. I started thinking about what a milestone this trip was for me. One thing writing a trip while “en route” does is really force me to appreciate it for the moment. It really gets me charged up. And it keeps me in the moment. So a part of this report is a boost to me of the experience. And I thank you for allowing me to share it.

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    What I’m hoping it gives you as a reader is witness to a fabulous backdrop my life gets to be orchestrated within. The Pacific Coast and the Pacific Northwest are gorgeous to behold especially in the theater round of a motorcycle seat.

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    Just as my family and close friends are my everything, I couldn’t live without the majestic landscapes and panoramas of this beautiful side of the world. It has accompanied me and been my close friend and riding partner for my life of adventure riding.

    And for this entire trip it feels great to be home again on the road.

    ( Now, just waiting on the sun and then pointing south.)
    #46
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  7. Mr Head

    Mr Head Adventure Hippie Supporter

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    Your, not your best camera is doing very well. As we are often reminded, it is not the tools but the craftsman. You have a good eye.
    I am enjoying this ride along. There is suspense, anticipation. :thumb
    #47
  8. Otroo

    Otroo Adventurer

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    Very well written trip report I was cringing at the snow parts.
    #48
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  9. MongoLikeCandy

    MongoLikeCandy It never gets easier, you just get faster

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    great pictures awesome storytelling you're enjoying it and the whole process and it shows I agree live posts when possible are the way to go. I love doing live reports sometimes i get a little behind cuz at the end of a long day on the moto last thing I want to do is storytell, and edit pix ..... not the funnest thing when I'm falling into a coma with a full belly .... but I do wake up early in the morning and I'm fresh 0400....0500....and I'm good to go for editing..... and yours is spot on!!!

    Love it!!! excellent job!!!

    so happy your Italian Mistress did not sustain much damage as those parts are really hard to come by, I scoop them up when I see them.

    ✌❤️
    #49
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  10. adv63

    adv63 Adventurer

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    British Columbia
    Thank you for a very touching and engaging ride report. I had the good fortune to ride many of the roads you went through and hope to do so again once the border opens again. All the best on your continuing journey.
    #50
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  11. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    The weather forecast was correct and brought out the sun in full splendor. I postponed my departure today to revel in the sunshine and admire the landscape of this Pacific wonderland.

    Glasgow Oregon is a small hamlet situated on the north end of an inlet bay and is nearly a peninsula in shape. It adjoins several bodies of inland waterways connecting a brackish ocean flow and pure running rivers.

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    It sits a couple miles from a coastline comprised of many miles of dunes heading north ( where I developed my love/ hate relationship riding sand as a youngster) and forested shores to the south.

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    It rarely if ever snows but can drop to freezing cold temperatures often. And raining more often days then not. Sun is almost a myth to the locals but when it makes an appearance it’s worthy of an Indian tribal celebration.

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    And today is that day.

    It’s no wonder Glasgow’s namesake matches a town in Scotland, as it could be the 400 year old equivalent in lack of development and inhabitants. When I visit here I truly feel I’ve time traveled backwards.

    It’s extremely relaxing and totally peaceful. I suppose one could live 20 to 25 years longer in this un-stressful environment.

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    I wheel my Aprilia out from under the car port and give it a good cleaning and inspection.

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    ( Bar end spared significant damage to my bike during the drop and slide on snowy ice.)

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    ( Some light although long scratches on the lower fairing that can be repaired/ repainted.)

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    ( Large scuff on side case will need sanding// repaintIng. This took most of the contact and luckily no cracks or body panels to replace.)

    I check the fluids and tire pressure. I detail her with some soft wax and am amazed at how well she has held up. No oil use, no leaks, no fluid loss.

    My mileage registers 43,642 with 1663 on this trip so far. The brand new tires I started with are showing only slight wear and I’m beyond impressed with how well the sipes have worked on their tread. This tire tread concept is a design art form to me. Especially for rain and unexpected snow.

    Tomorrow I’ll head out early and aim for historic Eureka California which is a destination of the earliest US west coast settlements.
    #51
  12. PlainClothesHippy

    PlainClothesHippy Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air.

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    Like so many things in our lives, the scars are markers for the memories.

    Thank you for sharing your journey.
    #52
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  13. Mr Head

    Mr Head Adventure Hippie Supporter

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    I've enjoyed my short visits and travels through Oregon when I was working on assignment in the PNWet. Flying home to SoCal, I was always overwhelmed by how not green it is here. And how fast the traffic is. Then back north on the plane, my eyes would hurt from how green it was, and I'd take a day or two to get used to people driving the speed limit, (55mph).
    In SoCal, 55 mph is closer to how fast an In-N-Out burger clears your colon than any freeway speeds. :imaposer

    Loving the photos and prose, keep it coming. :thumb
    #53
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  14. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    ( ... pics uploading...)

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    The winter temperatures were creating difficult conditions for me to head out this morning. I was instructed by my buddy Jake to let the predicted sunshine warm up the potential black ice pavement and to not leave too early.

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    At the same time the late afternoon would probably freeze the pavement and cause black ice conditions as the night falls.

    I woke up early to pack my side case inner bags and top dry bag. It was cold even in the house. The outdoor thermometer registered 40 at 9am and I planned to wait until 10am to see if temps raised to 50’s.

    I threw on all my layers which included riding high tech long johns, riding jeans and riding over pants that have an insulated liner and wind liner. I should have been burning up.

    I powered on the key to my moto and left it to cycle the LiPo battery for 5 minutes before engaging the starter.

    I turned the key and the battery wouldn’t turn the motor over enough to fire it. I threw my buddy’s charger on the aux. two pin and it showed the battery was at 12.8 which wasn’t totally flat but in 10 minutes it showed 13.2 so I tried it again with no luck.

    I’ve not had any problem with this battery at home. My guess is the cranking amps aren’t high enough to handle the Rotax 1000 compression when it’s been sitting overnight in the low 30’s and the oil inside the motor so cold and thick.

    The LiPo battery was installed by the previous owner and he probably underestimated the cranking needs when in in the freezing environments.

    Jake lives on the top of the hill. I could have plugged it in my portable LiPo charger to top it off enough to crank the motor over. But it would probably need another 2 hours. I decided to just jump start it rolling it down the hill. And I figured the battery would top itself off all day riding to Arcata. So down the hill I went in 6th gear. It bump started and off I went.

    It was nearly 11am by the time I throttled down hwy 101 through North Bend/ Coos Bay and the turnoff to Bandon toward the Coast.

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    Im now following along the river and it’s very shaded. The ground was below 32 degrees and the dew from the night before caused sections to have black ice.

    I held a steady speed and just let my bike roll through the black ice sections keeping my eyes ahead. No sudden movements meant no slip and slide. I will admit it was unnerving and glad when the route turned south and into warmer sunlight.

    This route is buried within the tree line without any signs of coastline for a good 45 minutes. Then the Coquille river appeared under a bridge leading to the ocean. And a riverfront marina offered a hint of more beauty to come.

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    Eventually the coastline breaks out into view and it’s as if an orchestra hits a perfectly timed crescendo.

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    I avoided driving along the town’s coast loop road to keep my n schedule.as I’ve lived there with my mother for a summer between high school and college and I can assure you the mesmerizing view is a split image of Ireland’s Emerald Coast.

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    I was on a mission to get through coastal highway 101 and into Northern California before the roads iced up in the late afternoon.


    The air is crisp and cool and the sky is clear blue with an unusually calm offshore wind. Each clearing revealed the magnificent coastline... with unusually large and clean waves breaking along the various shorelines.

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    As an avid surfer I’m astounded by the rideable shape. Today’s waves rivaled Hawaiian surf. A large swell and king tide had lined up perfectly along this part of the coast. And I would be caught off guard again by mother nature without a surfboard here.

    I pass a clean sandy point break just south of Port Orford that reminds me I’d surfed here some twenty year’s ago.

    The coast highway again turns inland around Humbug Mountain with posted signs warning for ice.

    With long patches of ice covering many curved sections of pavement this had the hair standing on the back of my neck.

    I reduced my speed and just let my momentum carry me through these road hazards. But my patiences was running thin.

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    The Highway 101 threaded me through small towns in between the picturesque Pacific backdrop and eventually sends me into the giant redwood forests.

    As creatures of habit, those living in wooded forested areas become desensitized to towering trees.

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    I’m a big redwood forest enthusiast and will always be enlightened by their presence. I’ve traveled through these Pacific Coast towering trees my entire life on travels up and down the coast. And they never loose their luster on me. This is why I say on my journey along this coastline... it feels good to be home.

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    What I love about traveling highway 101 is that it narrows down into winding two lane roads that weave through the redwoods on the original settlers routes.

    It becomes a very personal and intimate experience with motorcycle/ rider/ the curves and the landscape. Just add headphones and your favorite mix, sit back and enjoy the moment.

    The weather stayed clear as I enjoyed the picturesque coastline. And highway 101 began including the numerous bridges over the coastal lowland marshes and rivers that meet the ocean.

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    I arrive at my destination Arcata just before sunset and grab a couple pics to post.

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    Tomorrow I continue down highway 101 and it’s sky bridges over the rivers... and I’ll decide if I’ll take the highway 1 split.., one of the most fun curvy roads in the world.
    #54
  15. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    updates just getting better.....OR took my heart away during my last trip
    #55
  16. BigDogRaven

    BigDogRaven Been here awhile

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    NorCal
    "I suppose one could live 20 to 25 years longer in this un-stressful environment."

    Lots of truth in this statement.
    Great pics. Good on you for braving the cold and black ice.
    #56
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  17. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Leaving Arcata for Fort Bragg

    ( pics uploading...)

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    Most adventure riders would rest their hat on the ride I just did from Glasgow to Arcata with it’s constantly ominous backdrop, introduction to the redwoods and lush green and blue palates. And who would I be to argue.

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    However, the next section... Arcata south on hwy 101 with a possible split at hwy 1... is a personal favorite. And a possible world’s best ( kept secret at least).

    If the weather is dark, dreary and rainy I’ll continue on hwy 101 and sadly pass up the hwy 1 part of the ride. And eventually cut across just above the Bay Area. And head to the western edge of the Sacramento Delta. I’ll be exploring the paved routes along the 1000’s of miles of inland waterways and marinas that span the Sacramento River.

    This area has always been a faraway fascination of mine and I’m finally going to treat myself to what I’ll call my little introduction to the Delta ride.

    But first off... and not to get ahead of myself... I pack up early(staying at a budget motor hotel), grab a fast food breakfast sandwich to take back to my room ( yep, hot coffee drink does safely secure in side case).

    And then... On my steel horse I ride.

    The weather looks dark. Glad I opted out of riding jeans only... and added waterproof over-pants. Shortly after departure I cruise under a passing cloud system that’s wringing itself off some morning sweat. I immediately come out the other side to clearing skies.

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    I then begin crossing over what I describe as sky bridges. The government built numerous high bridges above the many river valleys along this southerly route.

    Most of these bridges offer fantastic views... over the desperate, intertangling vampant, heaving, pulsating, sweating, bodies of fresh and salty water in a glorious communal rapture... hahaha. Yep, these bridges are definitely motor porn.

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    I pass the cutoff to Ferndale and the secretive entrance to the Lost Coast. I traveled this route several years ago which goes through Petrolia and the Humbold Pot Mafia.

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    ( Pic of Lost Coast from previous trip.)

    This route was incredible at that time but I rode this same sport tourer and had to go through gravel sections... and a hill slide detour that required a tricky/ sketchy hill climb. So I’ll save that for next time on an adventure bike with rally tires.

    Hwy 1 bypasses several redwood forests which have the most incredibly tall redwood trees of anywhere. And is appropriately designated Avenue of the Giants. Again, I rode through a part of this before so I continued on.

    The temps dropped as I traveled along 101 in the dark-damp shaded forest running along the river. Another road sign with the squiggly lines that I hate referring to ice was posted. Sure enough there was a long section of black ice. And I felt it this time with a slight short drift that made my asshole pucker and immediate acid in my stomach.

    Sidebar about black ice... In a car it’s less noticeable but can still cause a cross up. On a motorcycle as long as you’re maintaining a smooth pace you generally won’t notice short patches. In fact most people can’t tell when wet asphalt has froze. It’s deceiving but you can see the crystalizing if you look closely. I knew what to be aware of and tried to avoid it, staying on the dome where water is less likely to pool.

    What’s tricky about black ice is the ambient air temperature was generally 40 degrees in the wooded sections and 45 in the direct sky facing. But along the river the air is hyper cooled... and the ground absorbs the rush of that cold air flowing downstream (from snow melted runoff).

    Plus the asphalt works as a cold insulator over the ground, acting as a freezer element to any accumulating water from the night’s dew. That’s how you get black ice when it’s 40-45 degrees out.

    This one section pretty much ruined me psychologically for the next few days... not in itself. But in that it brought flashbacks in my head of my recent washout on snowy ice.

    It was probably better that I slowed my pace way down as there would be numerous black ice appearances ahead although none of any consequence.

    Beyond the scary black ice moment... I truly was enjoying this section with it’s lush forests, rich flowing rivers and high bridges. And I love how the roads really bottlenecked deep into the woods which are perfect on two wheels.

    And this was also my opportunity to observe the lustrous backside curtain of a headlining Lost Coast performance.

    And now I get to pass through several small hamlets to fuel up and observe the local routine. These communities are quite charming and are very accepting of a motorcycle traveler. I somehow represent a bit of the old west many here are still trying to hold on to.

    A local compliments me on my bike set up. He mentions he and his wife sold a home a few years back and rode KLR650s from Ushuaia to the Garberville. I ask if he thought hwy 1 would be dry. He grows a huge smile as if he’ll be riding it. Milton Anderson looks up at the clearing sky. And his simple reply says it best ... “ Ohhh, yeahhh”.

    My mind was made. I’d take the hwy 1/ hwy FUN turnoff at Leggett to the “Best 45 Mile Sport Bike Road In The World”.

    Sidebar to hwy 1 out of Leggett. I rode this route several year’s ago after purchasing my Aprilia in Central Oregon on a fly and ride. It was one of the single most enjoyable paved road rides of my life. In fact, I had met several young European girls at the “drive through tree” exhibit near the hwy 1/ hwy fun turnoff. And they invited me to have a late lunch with them. But I had heard about this hwy1 section from numerous sport bike aficionados leading up to this... and gladly turned the girls down. Was it better then a potential ( more like wishful thinking) menage a trois? My response is... a bird in hand is better then not knowing what’s in two birds bushes... but I digress here... hahaha.

    That hwy 1 hwy fun ride absolutely did not disappoint. The only exception was I did not stop to grab any pictures then. It’s a very narrow, banked curved layout with unmarked minimal shoulders and quite dangerous to stop along. This time I would get some pics.

    I take the turnoff to Hwy 1 at Leggett and can feel my heart racing.

    It’s a moment I had not expected to repeat so soon in my world.
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    And this rollercoaster ride starts quickly with a steep drop down a winding chute. The ground is shaded and appears to be wet littered with loose leaves aground.

    I roll left and then roll right, feeling like a jet fighter pilot in hot pursuit of a bogie.

    I’m late on my second turn and have to clamp on my brakes to stay in the lane. My bike stands up and I loose speed.

    More rolling turns ahead and I’m just not getting into the flow. My bike feels sluggish, I’m not leaning soon enough, relying on my brakes, am slowing too much and loosing momentum.

    I nearly miss another turn when my rear brake sinks deep into the pedal.

    After a short straight away I’m into more chicanes and things just aren’t clicking. A Dodge Dakota pulls up behind me. In frustration I find a shoulder and let him pass. Uggh.

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    I hit a full 270 degree turn and my spirit brightens. I need to do this one again, maybe get a photo. Before I can find a shoulder to turn around in... I’m dropping down into a corkscrew. This is no Laguna Seca but still has some tricky asymmetrical hips to navigate.

    I roll through the turns awkwardly and again search for my rear brake which is again deep into the pedal. My speed dips below 20mph which is pretty pathetic. I find a shoulder to pull off and as I turn around I realize one issue. My side cases are full of gear and the extra weight is a big hinderance.

    I’ve been riding over 2000 miles supporting the extra weight on this trip and it’s finally showing on the rear brake, and on my arms... which I’m now struggling with.

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    I take pics at the 270 degree turn and then ride down the corkscrew again with only slightly better results.

    I continue on and now hold up a pair of cars so I pull over at the next shoulder. I take a break... My arms are pumped and tired. My ego is beat. And I simply need to reset my approach.

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    I stand at the edge of the forest and admire this beautiful setting. I accept today for what it is and that I’m lucky just to be here, to experience this road as I am. And I’ll appreciate it how ever I ride it.

    In a reset I head out in a relaxed pace and without pressures or expectations. I also change up my riding stance squeezing the tank with my knees, a more forward lean and less arm turn.

    My leans happen quicker and turns feel sharper.

    This rollercoaster continues and I’m into my second hour.

    My rear brake is nearly toast but the road’s drier on the backend allowing me to confidently rely on front braking.

    I make it down to the bottom of the hill and spot a wide open meadow radiating in full sunlight. I see what appears to be a metallic statue of a bronzed elk calmly posed on the shoulder of the road. At second glance it’s not a statue but a live elk, standing in a proud chest flexed posture, curiously awaiting the arrival of this bellowing beastly rider.

    Our eyes connect and we communicate our mutual admiration. Me reflecting “Wow, you are one big beautiful, bad assed creature”with my single sided grin. He giving a slight head dip signaling “ What is that... Italian”?

    And just like that I’m spit out of this redwood rollercoaster. A highway one of highway fun... now sent out into the opening curtain of divine coastline... a theater in the round in full view.

    The coastline leading to Fort Bragg is breathtaking. The sky is cloudy and I’ve not made much time. I decide to pull into Fort Bragg and fuel up and find a motel.

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    I land a room and park my bike under the overhang. The clouds turn to darkness and the sky begins to pour rain.
    By getting off the road at Fort Bragg my timing was perfect.

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    I take a shower and the weather calms and clears. I now ride down to the Fort Bragg Marina and find a seafood restaurant serving a terrific meal with a bottle of Napa sparkling on sale. An adventure riders day of bliss. Christmas’ early arrival. And Santa is real.

    Tomorrow the ride continues along the coastline and then up the Russian River Valley and the north end above the Bay Area of California.

    ( ...currently en route...)
    #57
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  18. BigDogRaven

    BigDogRaven Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    276
    Location:
    NorCal
    Yep, CA hwy 1 from Leggett to FB is a true GEM. No doubt one of the best MC/sport riding roads in NorCal.
    " I roll left and then roll right, feeling like a jet fighter pilot in hot pursuit of a bogie".
    I know this feeling. The turns on this section are just perfectly cambered and great pavement. Another GEM not too far from here is Cecilville Rd, from Cecilville to Callahan. Highly recommend! Great report. Carry on...
    #58
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  19. rihaha

    rihaha Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2019
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    Location:
    Prior Lake, MN
    I remember taking that route in a car a few years back. Both the driver and I had to rest at an ocean over look so we wouldn't loose our cookies. I should learn to take dramamine before going on roads like that. Such a beautiful area and you brought back some good memories. Awesome RR!
    #59
    DesertSurfer likes this.
  20. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,836
    Location:
    City of the Angels
    Haha, I’ve heard about that Cecilville to Callahan Rd. I’ll add to my “next time” list. Thx. and for following along!

    I was just thinking how this route could cause either extreme pleasure or extreme pain depending what you’re seated in. Hahaha. And imagine being a passenger? F’ No!
    #60