A Yankee in Southern California

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by Ritalin Boy, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    Greetings,

    I'm shipping my bike to Vegas and flying out for just over 2 weeks of riding.

    I've got a a few open days and I am looking for ideas. I will be based in the Ventura area and I have a few days free before I have to get back to Vegas. This is the first two weeks of Feb.

    Looking for ideas / suggestions on what to do between Ventura on a Monday to be in Vegas by 3pm Friday. I'd love to go to Baja but I'm not sure about Mexico alone.

    Thanks very much.
    #1
  2. yobuddy

    yobuddy Been here awhile

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    If your into motorcycle museums the one in Solvang is definitely with a visit. It also a good day ride up and back using as many back roads as possible. Someone more familiar with the backroads from Ventura to Solvang might chime in with a route. I did it once from Ventura but just followed someone familiar with the area. I would recommend taking San Marcos pass from Santa Barbara to Solvang and a lunch or snack stop at Cold Springs Tavern.
    #2
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  3. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    When will you be there?

    Going to be hard to get in all of the good riding we have here in a week. I was born in Ventura and still live in Ventura County. Be sure to go to Spencer Makenzie's for the best fish tacos in Southern California. http://www.spencermakenzies.com/

    You could easily spend 3 days just going up to Monterey and back along the coast on Hwy 1.

    From Ventura going up Hwy 33 is a must. Take the 126 out to Santa Paula early in the morning and have breakfast at Rabalais' Bistro on Main St. http://rabalaisbistro.com/ Then take the 150 up to Ojai and catch the 33 from there. Take the 33 up to Lockwood Valley Road and head towards Lake of the Woods. From there head through Pine Mountain back out to Hwy 33/160 and follow Hwy 33 back down to Ventura. Something like this:

    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Rab...2d34.8174781!1m0!1m0!1m0!3e0?hl=en&authuser=0

    Note that after you leave Pine Mountain Club there is no fuel until you get back to Ojai!

    Going over to Solvang/Los Olivos from Ventura I would take the 33 up towards Ojai and then take the 150 towards Santa Barbara. Then get on the 192 to skirt around Santa Barbara's busy areas. There is still a few funky places around Montecito from last years mud slides but it is easy to work around them. From the 192, get on the 152 (San Marcos Pass) to Slovang. Something like this:

    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Ven...445!2d34.5916658!2m1!1b1!3e0?hl=en&authuser=0
    #3
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  4. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    Bike??? As in what kind of bike and what kinds of rides?
    #4
  5. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I second the Solvang Motorcycle Museum. It's small, but very cool. If it's closed, call the number on the door and they'll usually walk over and open for you.

    From there, I'd consider a ride up Highway 1 to Monterey a must if you've never been on the California coast. You'll pass Pismo Beach, Hearst Castle, and Big Sur (watch for the McWay Waterfalls). In Carmel, there is another motorcycle museum called Moto Talbot. I haven't been, but have been told it's great. Fresh seafood is abundant in Monterey, though you probably have no shortage of that back home. You've got time to go all the Way to San Francisco is you wanted to.

    For a loop, you could take Highway 25 past Pinnacles, connecting with Highway 33 through Ojai back to Ventura. (FYI: the San Andreas Fault offset can be seen in some places around San Juan Bautista and Hollister.) This would be the warmest route for February. Another option would be to go all the way over to the foothills and head south. The Gold Country towns of Auburn, Placerville, Sonora, Mariposa are all fun little towns, with moderate weather when it's not raining or snowing. Yosemite is there too. Again, weather will play a part. If it turns out to be a dry winter, you could even cross the Sierra and ride down Highway 395 past the ghost town of Bodie.

    Back to food: With all the seafood back home, Mexican food may be the local gem you should try. "Street tacos" are one of my favorite foods. They originated at taco trucks, and that's where I most often get them. More trendy Mexican food places are offering them now. Fish tacos, al pastor burritos, shrimp burritos, salsa, hot sauce, etc. It's very different from the BBQ sauce covered Mexican food most places back east have.

    Specific restaurant chains:
    The Boiling Crab has great Cajun seafood boils. Not really a California thing, but they do it justice.
    Hofbrauhaus beer hall in Las Vegas is a copy of the one in Munich. Their dunkel is one of my favorites, and isn't as bitter as the dark color might suggest.
    The Yard House is a bar and grill type place with a California flair. They must have 100 beers on tap. The first time I walked into one I was stunned. :lol3

    Other things to see:
    The joshua trees out in the SoCal desert are pretty unique to the area.
    Death Valley is quite pleasant in winter.
    Red Rock Canyon is colorful.
    Even Utah is within reach for you, but it will be cold out there.
    #5
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  6. RandyM

    RandyM Less talk, More ride

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    On your way to back to VEGAS, you could include much of the California section of Route 66 then cross the Mojave preserve to I-15 via
    Kelbaker road(paved) or Cima road(paved). There is also an easy partial dirt route through the Mojave preserve from Essex road to Cedar Canyon road back to Cima road.

    You can catch route66 in Barstow. Route 66 features some classic American roadside commercial buildings, historic buildings, the amboy crater, the bottle tree ranch, other oddities( someone recently placed some statues of Chinese lions along the road). Southern part of Kelbaker road is mostly unremarkable desert, but there is a short well maintained gravel road to the kelso sand dunes. At kelso, the road forks and you can take kelbaker road to the town of baker and I-15, or Cima road to I-15. The rest of Kelbaker road features some volcanic sights such as lava rock and cinder cones visible from the road. Cima road g0es through an extensive Joshua tree forest. Either route is a good choice. Watch out for cows and deer in the Mojave preserve.
    #6
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  7. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    R1250GSA. Pavement or easy dirt. I dislocated a toe on the right and broke my left ankle last summer and am still a long way from being able to stand on pegs for any length of time.
    #7
  8. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    My noble steed just about all prepped and ready to be shipped west.

    Thank you for the great ideas.


    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Another option for a highway 33 ride.

    North on 33 all the way to Ventucopa. Hit Carrizo Plain for some easy dirt... might be green by then.
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. CA Stu

    CA Stu Bibamus, moriendum est. Super Moderator

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    Haven't you ridden here before? With your IBA history, I assumed you'd ridden out here a bit.

    Not too familiar with the area around Ventura, (33 to Ojai is spectacular) but between there and Vegas, you obviously have to take a gander at Death Valley, I reckon Caliente-Bodfish could be squeezed in there en route..Link
    Trona is not to be missed. :D
    There's a ton of great riding between the two places. How many miles are you looking to get in?

    If you decide to head south towards Baja there's plenty of epic riding before you hit Mexico., and the weather should be spectacular.
    The area around Mount Palomar is a great place to spend a day, head over to the S22 and Borrego Springs.

    If you do visit Baja, drop a post in the Baja Adventure Rider thread, those guys will hook you up. :thumb
    #10
  11. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    Well I've done the PCH a bunch and visited most of the important lighthouses on the west coast and my knowledge of central and northern California is pretty good for a Yankee. The epic riding to the south is what I'm most interested in. That's an area I haven't done too much in and would be eager to explore. I'd love to go to Baja California too. I've been to Mexico many times by sea but never by land. If I were to do that it would not be solo.
    #11
  12. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    Good afternoon,

    Plans are coming together. Well actually only my flight west. ;)

    I dropped the bike off yesterday. Terminal to Terminal is the way to go. It gets loaded in PA and unloaded in Las Vegas. This means little pushing around which is good. Everything I need is on the bike except my helmet which I will carry on the plane.


    windscreen has to come off or pay oversize charge. The two bags on the rear deck have boots and riding gear and will be stored at the terminal in LV
    [​IMG]

    I arrive on LV on the 30th. I have an appointment for a 600 mile service Thursday afternoon.

    What I would appreciate is a nice 200 mile loop out of Vegas as I need to add some miles before the service. Tarmac please.

    If anyone has a suggestion on a budget friendly hotel near were you think I should be (the strip?) that's be fantastic. I've been to Vegas twice; once a ride through in the IBR and another with Kbasa when I was out there for a campOut at DV.

    <Insert wicked old photo of me and K-Basa after my first trip to Vegas (first krispy kreme too).

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. CA Stu

    CA Stu Bibamus, moriendum est. Super Moderator

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    Here you go, a 194 mile Valley of Fire loop link.

    If you really need the extra 6 miles, you can do hot laps around the rental car return loop. link
    #13
  14. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    Thank you very much!
    #14
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