West coast / California trip june 2019

Discussion in 'Americas' started by michaelkozera, May 20, 2019.

  1. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Is there still the A&W at Half Moon Bay with the deck that goes out over the water? That was the first place I ate on a business trip to San Francisco many years ago. Yeah, I know, it's just an A&W but that deck over the water was really nice. And it was just at sundown so the view was spectacular.

    Seems to me there was a bike shop almost next door.

    ...ken...
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  2. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    My advice would be avoid big cities!
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  3. FTL900

    FTL900 White and nerdy

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    Las Vegas is having a surprisingly cool month of May, although it sounds like you're coming through here on the return leg, which could be early or mid-June. It may be considerably warmer by then.
    Things to do here depend largely on whether you've been here before and what's important to you. Red Rock canyon a few miles due west of town is a very pretty scenic ride with a 13 mile one-way loop through the park.
    The best Mexican food in town is El Dorado, just off the strip. It's co-located with the Sapphire "gentlemen's" club, but don't let that deter you, they're not affiliated.
    The best ice cream in town is Handel's, on Hualapai and Tropicana, on the southwest corner of town. They have absolutely ruined me on everyplace else. They'll let you sample flavors, and Graham Central Station is the best.

    Since you're exiting through Utah, you'll be passing by the Valley of Fire state park, about 45 minutes north of Las Vegas. It's worth a ride through, and very pretty scenery.
    Entering Utah, I would make a concerted effort to spend a few hours at Zion national park. It's totally gorgeous whether you do any hiking or not.
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  4. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I don't think so. There is a whole new development at the north end of town. Was it there?
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  5. RockyDS

    RockyDS Lost in the wilderness

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    @michaelkozera

    Wife & I did a similar trip over 3 weeks in 2014 -- 7,763 km from Rocky Mountain House to San Diego following the Pacific Coast Highway and returning via Lake Tahoe, Lake Payette, and Waterton/Glacier National Park.

    My only regrets were not stopping at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, where the Spruce Goose is located and getting sick on the way to El Centro.

    As others have said, take more time if you can.

    Southern California can get hot! We saw 46C and had to be on the road very early to get to our next stop before it got too hot.

    https://dualsportblog.wordpress.com/2014-california/
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  6. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    It wasn't right in town. I just remember that it was on a little bay or cove right on #1 and somewhere near Half Moon Bay according to the road signs. At that time I think the only things there were the A&W and the bike shop, although that part is a bit fuzzy. They were the only things that interested me!

    ...ken...
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  7. WJBertrand

    WJBertrand Ventura Highway

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    Agree with the others about avoiding the cities unless there's something specific you want to see there. The traffic will bog you down timewise too, even though lane splitting is legal in CA. PCH between Monterey and SLO is great, but like others have said, don't expect to make great time during tourist season. Some sites to keep in mind when riding in CA for road conditions:

    http://www.caltrans.ca.gov/cttravel/
    https://www.chp.ca.gov/traffic

    Mulholland seems to still have some parts or lanes closed but hard to tell from the web. The Rock Store is a fun place to go on a weekend and is accessible from 101/Kanan Road, not sure what roads are open from PCH (1) at this point. Funnily enough, I'm headed to Calgary from Ventura next month!
    #27
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  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Coming all the way from Calgary, you'll probably want to see some cities.

    Here are some thoughts on them:

    Seattle: The Space Needle is cool, and a ride to the top is free if you have restaurant reservations. Pikes Place Market is worth wandering through.

    Portland: I went there on New Years, and had fun. There are lots of pubs and breweries, but to be honest it isn't a super interesting city. Multnomah Falls to the east, or the Tillamook Cheese factory to the west are better use of time. Maybe throw a paper airplane off the Astoria Tower.

    San Francisco: They've been getting a lot of bad press lately, but there really is a low to see there. Take a hippie bus tour or something. Ride a cable car. Eat some clam chowder. There might even be a concert the night you're there. If you cross the Golden Gate coming south, you have to pay the toll online, or at a kiosk somewhere. I'm not sure who's bright idea that was, but there you go. Lombard Street is interesting to ride down. I heard they are closing it on some days, so check online.

    Los Angeles: Famous for the movie stuff. Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, etc. If you aren't into that glam stuff, skip it. Lots of people want to see it though. They also have the La Brea tar pits; a small, but interesting paleontology museum.

    San Diego: Tons of breweries, Balboa Park, palm trees, etc. You could take surfing lessons. You can also take the little red train into Tijuana Mexico. The crime down there mostly happens at night to drunk college students. Stick to the tourist areas of Tijuana and you'll be fine. It's by far the easiest access to a third world country in North America, though.

    Las Vegas: You don't have to gamble to find stuff to do. Just wandering through the casinos is pretty interesting. They also have indoor skydiving simulators, indoor roller coasters, go-kart tracks, etc. They even have a replica HofbrauHaus just like in Munich.

    Salt Lake City: I have driven through, but not spent much time there. If you have any connection to the LDS church, you might be interested in the huge Tabernacle there. Heading north from there, I passed along Bear Lake. That was a nice drive. I also liked the gondola ride up to the top of the Grand Tetons.

    Speaking of National Parks; it sounds like a parks pass may save you some money. I saw pictures of underground tunnels in Zion NP that looked amazing. I got to ride Hwy 12 in Utah all the way out to Boulder. That has to be on of the best roads in the United States. It only takes a couple of hours if you don't enter Bryce or Kodachrome. The Burr Trail might be a bit too far off your path.
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  9. FTL900

    FTL900 White and nerdy

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    The Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas just sucks. It's not even marginal, and it's way overpriced for sucky food. All the atmosphere is on the outside. Take a pass on that one.

    If you're riding through the the Seattle/Tacoma area, there's a German restaurant in Black Diamond that's worth the detour.
    It's named EUROPA, and it's authentic German food made by authentic Germans. It's excellent. It's the best German food I've had since last time I was in Germany.
    29030 216th Ave SE, Black Diamond, WA 98010
    #29
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  10. holckster

    holckster dougholck Supporter

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    Way to much distance and stuff to see in too little time.
    A 4000 mile loop in 10 days is 400 miles per days.
    I find when I travel factoring in fuel stops, nature and food breaks at the end of the day when I divide distance ridden by time from start to stop I average 50 mph.
    That means you must ride 8 hours a day to cover 400 miles and now add sightseeing stops and the days get grueling.

    Try for 200-250 miles max with lots of stops.

    Tent Space List hooks you up with locals along your route.
    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1Q0E6b5HrOVBOhOY2IwJkErfWqQU&ll=42.911990013980535,-113.35789886522985&z=6
    For lodging I prefer a call +24 hours in advance but have accommodated riders with only 2 hours notice so worth a call.

    San Francisco is NOT a motorcycle friendly city, many trolly rail track ruts and steep hills plus insane traffic.
    IF timing is right for the cost of fuel I offer SUV chauffeured Day Tour with a lunch stop at location of your choice to riders that stay with us.
    I'm located 90 minutes from SF and we hit all the main tourist stops.

    I'd forget LA and San Diego.

    Head to Sandpoint, Coeur D Alene and Lewiston, then 129 to Enterprise and onto 89 east thru Hells Canyon and on to 89 west towards Baker City, OR.
    10-20 miles east of Baker stop at the Oregon Trail Museum. very well presented history of the Trail.
    Then 7 to 26 thru John Day NM and onto 97 to Bend, OR.
    Tour the Deschutes Brewery and stop a few miles south of town a the High Desert Museum.
    Then 138 west to 232 thru Crater Lake an onto 62 west to 254 to 5 to 199.
    At cave Junction city take 46 west a few miles to Out N About Tree Househouse Hotel.
    http://www.treehouses.com/joomla/index.php/treesort/accommodations
    Then on to Crescent City, 101 south to 211 to Ferndale, a quaint Victorian town.
    In Ferndale turn onto Mattole Rd (aka "The Lost Coast Hwy") to Petrolia and Honeydew thru the Redwood State Park.
    Exiting at hwy 101 immediately get onto hwy 254 south (aka "Avenue of the Giants").
    Follow till you merge back onto the 1o1 and then get off at the hwy 1 to Fort Bragg.
    At the 101/1 intersection drive thru the Chandler Tree (Redwood with a tunnel carved thru it).
    In Ft Bragg check out the North Coast Brewery and maybe take the "Skunk Train" ride thru the Redwoods.
    South down hwy 1 to San Francisco is amazing ride along great coastline, better the Big Sur IMO.
    Hwy 1 merges with 101 just north of the Golden gate.
    Before crossing bridge get off onto Conzelman Rd and go west for view from above the bridge.
    After crossing bridge keep left making your way onto Mason St along the waters edge and return west to Fort Point under the Bridge.

    After SF maybe consider crossing the Bay and riding to the top of Mt Diablo.
    Then make your way south to San Jose and get onto hwy 130 San Antionio Valley Rd to top of Mt Hamilton. (route just used by the Amgen Bicycle Tour)
    On top visit the Lick Observatory.
    Follow hwy 130 east to Mines Rd looping north to Livermore.
    From there head to Yosemite and stop at my ranch for a break.
    Tioga Pass may still be closed but hwy 88 up an over to Hwy 395 south is beautiful.
    South on 395 have a Walker Burger in Walker and visit Bodie Ghost Town just south of Bridgeport.
    Stop in Mammoth Lakes (we like the Alpenhof Inn) and then pass thru Death Valley (go up to Dante's View as you leave Park) on your way to Las Vegas.
    Hover Dam is a fun visit the NorthShore Rd along Lake Mead exiting thru Valley of Fire to hwy 15 to Zion, Bryce, Hwy 12 to Torry.

    Sorry for so long but I enjoy reliving my many rides over these roads as I write.
    Hope you and others enjoy some of these suggestions.

    Safe Travels
    #30
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  11. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    That’s a lot to do in 12 days! :D

    If it were me I would ride highway 1 to Morro Bay, take the 101 to San Luis Obispo (fun college town), cross the valley to Yosemite then make my way to Vegas from there (if you have to go to Vegas). There are all kinds of state parks, conservation areas (Point Reyes and the little towns around it are neat) and towns to keep you more than busy.

    The other thing you could do is ride highway 395 north from the east entrance of Yosemite and ride the different Sierra passes east to west and back.

    When I’m traveling I usually figure out where I’ll be the next day the night before and make reservations.

    North of San Simeon on the 1 there’s a hotel called Ragged Point, it’s not terribly cheap, but their view rooms look over a cliff down the coast.
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  12. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

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    thank you all for ur input!

    we have a rough idea of what and where we are gonna go now........ i still think 10 days is doable, but we have allocated 12 days of travelers insurance just in case.


    we usually ride 800-1,200km's(500-750miles) a day when we go on multi day trips, and we never really find ourselves stretched for time. our trip to Montana last year took us 2,500km(1600miles) in 2 days and we still saw everything we wanted. mind you we did ride into the night.

    we dont really stop for gas much since my ATAS gets around 700km's (450miles) a tank and her versys 300 x gets around 650km's, we both carry aux fuel to extend that range to easily 1,000km's+(600miles)+. we obviously stop at rest stops and POI vistas for 5-10 mins usually, just to stretch, drink, and photos. but our average on most trips is about 80km/hr(50mph). california that average speed is gonna drop to probably 60km/hr(35mph) just due to all the stops we will be doing.


    for this trip we want to start riding early morning, get most of the riding done in the morning/ after noon, that way from 3pm onward we can just sight see and bum-around. plus riding in 30C+ heat after 3pm in full sun is a little silly.



    we have been watching the major city traffic like a hawk. looks like all major cities (san fran, los an, port, seattle, etc etc). the traffic goes from 2pm well into 7-8pm. this could be a problem for us as wifey does not feel comfortable lane splitting , ( u lucky Californians lol). we will probably just avoid majoir cities as much as we can as per most of all u have recommended.
    #32
  13. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    On a motorcycle ride I would avoid:

    Vancouver
    Seattle
    Portland
    San Francisco
    Los Angeles
    San Diego
    Las Vegas
    Salt Lake City

    all the city centers you mentioned

    there are some GREAT motorcycle roads outside of those cities

    actually I would probably go to Las Vegas or Laughlin.
    #33
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  14. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    Awesome trip and great that you both enjoy riding as a way travel. So many great tips and for the most part, the "must see" bits of the Cities you mentioned are very low on my effort to value meter, but we all like what we like and that is as it should be. Keep temps in mind as was mentioned previously, you WILL be missing out on some beautiful riding with your itinerary as set, but the nice thing is if your fun meter gets pegged you can easily adjust your compass heading. I would suggest grabbing a motel or B&B not too far from the city and take an Uber or similar to see the show, dining experience, museum, etc. It may help offset the cost with the likely more reasonable lodging costs and a the bonus of being assured your bikes are in a "safe spot" while you explore with more peace of mind. I've been riding a long time and have never "worried" about my gear being molested even when I couldn't see my bike, but these last few years there have been more and more places I have had to accept I can't always be that way due to numerous factors and a few incidents that certainly could occur anywhere, but those factors and indents were always present in the "Shit Holes" as described above.

    One can never see everything on any ride and wetting our appetites for more is the real joy (for me) as I always have a good time and start planning for another trip as soon as I return. I hope you guys have a blast with good weather and safe travels!

    :beer:lurk
    #34
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  15. FTL900

    FTL900 White and nerdy

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    I've been through Laughlin half a dozen times, and haven't found a reason to stop yet.
    Oatman is a much more interesting cow town to visit. Wild burros walking the street, and shoot-outs at high noon.

    Also, if you find yourself passing through Kingman AZ on I-40, stop at Mr D'z diner, great food and good prices and it's on Route 66.
    [​IMG]
    #35
  16. MoikonaBoik

    MoikonaBoik Subway Fugitive

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    As a current resident of the SF bay area and a former resident of Los Angeles I agree with those who say avoid cities altogether. I would go one step further and say skip Southern California south of the Grapevine. Yes there are some interesting things to see, but I get sweaty palms planning trips down there. Rush hour traffic is to be avoided at all costs. This would not be a problem except that rush hour starts at 5 am and ends at 3 am. Outside of rush hour you only have to contend with 5000lb SUVs piloted by soccer moms catching up on email at 80 mph. There is so much to see elsewhere, you won't miss out.
    #36
  17. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

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    trip was a complete success!!!

    apart from a Blown left fork seal, the trip went off without any mechanical issues.also my action cam was having issues near the end of the trip, had to resort to using the phone.

    we got to vist every place we wanted to apart from yosemite NP as the road was closed for 2 weeks for some reason???


    from the both of us, thankyou for all ur input. the scenery and food was breath taking.



    this is my first ever video edit/creation. so please let me know if its any good lol:

    #37
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  18. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Most likely the road closure was due to snow at altitude, there was something like 160% of the average snow fall this last season. Glad you had a good time.
    #38
  19. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    An excellent reason to stop in Laughlin Nevada is $25 rooms Sunday through Wednesday. We like the Pioneer because you can park outside your room door motel style. You only go in the Casino once (to get your room key.)
    #39