Any advice? WA to CA ride. Gear, destinations, roads?

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Mitch F, Jun 27, 2006.


  1. Mitch F

    Mitch F
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    i posted this over on SBN, but figured i'd get at least as good of responses over here, so...

    4 or 5 of my friends and myself are going from marysville washington to california (not sure where) for our kind of senior trip before college next year. one of my friends just bought his 2nd bike, a 1990 suzuki vx800, and i'll be on my cbr. everyone else will carpool in an old POS toyota van and carry all of our shit.

    we're planning on leaving the 18th of July and getting back in town about the 28th, maybe the 29th. i'm shooting for the "make plans, but not too many" kind of trip. not totally winging it, but have enough freedom to do basically whatever the fuck we want (within most federal and state laws :thefinge:)

    all i really know so far is that i want to perhaps leave early on the 18th and be able to eat lunch in oregon (set a good pace), and i want to ride highway 1 along the coast. ever since i started getting into bikes i've wanted to make this ride. i live on the water, and i absolutely love the ocean and the beach. i cant wait for this!!!

    anyways, without going way out of our way, are there any roads that we absolutely HAVE to take? any sights that we really need to see, or places we need to go? we're probably not going all the way to so-cal. what's a good final destination? or general area? any general tips on road trips on bikes, trips with cars AND bikes, etc? i'm so pumped for this trip....

    i dont want to totally ditch the van and have to wait up for them, and i dont want to go too far out of the way or make any big detours just for the bikes sake. hopefully some roads leading to our destination however, can be some nice twisties :mfclap:

    i've already been advised to take highway 36 in nor cal most definately, and that there is a moto GP race the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd. we'll definately have to hit that up! someone said san francisco would make a good final destination, what do you guys think?

    most of the sleeping will be camping style, in tents and all that for $$ and general kick-ass-idness. but hotels will be in the itenerary as well.

    so shoot... roads? destinations? scenery? necessary gear? i'm already looking for a good deal on a hot weather jacket, all i've got is my alpinestars tz-1 jacket. damn nice, but SOOO hot... so if anybody's got a good jacket for a good price in a 42 or a large maybe... hit me up!
     
  2. james1300

    james1300
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    Oregon, Cali, coast line. 101 to Hiway 1. The BEST! No need to thank me now. You looks of shock and wonder will be plenty of gratitude!
     
  3. Hyperbus01

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    You got to hit Hwy 3 & 36 in northern Cal. You'll have a blast. Twisty roads with very little traffic. This is a must for us when we go to the GP Races.
     
  4. Bill Anderson

    Bill Anderson
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    Go to Cave Junction, Oregon by whatever route tickles your fancy. Take a tour of the Oregon Caves, then head south on US 199. South of town turn east on Waldo Rd, which will turn into Happy Camp Rd, which will turn into Forest Road 48. If it is open, it will take you over the Siskyous and drop you onto California Hwy. 96 northeast of Happy Camp. Take 96 south to Willow Creek, then take 299 west to Eureka. South of Eureka find Hwy 36 and take it east Red Bluff. After that you are on your own.
     
  5. Lucky

    Lucky
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    The $75,000 Rider

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    Here's more more general trip advice, not so much cali stuff.

    1. If you have the money, chatterboxes are pretty sweet. They work on public bands, so you could communicate with your friends in the van provided they have radios as well!

    2. You probably already know this, but MP3 players are nice for long long long drives like that. Chatterboxes will allow you to pump music through them, cutting out when talking.

    3. BRING MONEY. Plan for the worst financially. Make sure you can get home if you have a flat tire, or if the bike just doesn't want to run at all. Make sure you can afford a Uhaul or something to tow it back home in if the worst happens.

    4. In the sense of money, don't skimp comfort-wise. If you're trying to keep up physically with your friends who are in the van, you will probably need more sleep and better food. They will get their rest in the van. You'll be crunched over in a racing position for hours on end. Make sure they understand that you might want to stop for more breaks. You might want to think about a nicer than normal motel/hotel room.

    5. You'll probably have to fuel up more often than your van buddies as well. Make sure they know that.

    6. Parking is expensive, and will cost more since you'll have multiple vehicles. Parking 2 bikes in a single parking spot may still cost you two parking spots. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran still costs like $5 a vehicle.

    7. When looking for rides, find motorcycle shops in the area and ask them about where to go! They will have maps and routes handy.

    8. If you'd like to go exploring for routes, GPS's and tank bags are really handy.

    9. Hot weather or no, a backup thin cheap rain suit over your normal gear (make sure it doesn't burn on the exhaust pipe) could be handy for heavy rain days. Probably not too hot either. On light rain days you're probably better off just braving it, as cross country will get you out of the rain quickly.

    10. Don't forget your camera!

    11. San Francisco would be a great final destination! The piers are nice to walk along, with a lot of good places to eat and explore. I didn't think Alcatraz was the greatest, but just because it's good history and it's there makes is a must see. It might be booked, so check online for advance tickets.

    12. DO NOT PLAN ON COVERING TONS OF GROUND IN A SHORT TIME PERIOD UNLESS YOU MEAN IT. It's easy to take a 24 hour no sleep trip in a cage. A little bit tougher / more unsafe to do it on a bike. If anything, plan for extra days with little distance covered and be pleasantly surprised if things improve. Don't plan on making it down there in one day/night.

    Bah, hope I haven't bored you too much. It should be a great and memorable trip! Best of Luck to you!
     
  6. Mitch F

    Mitch F
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    dang lucky, thanks! i odnt know about the chatterboxes, i'm not looking to invest much money in the trip, other than activities, gas, food, board etc. as far as riding/driving, we're planning on making it a 2-3 day trip down and the same back. no point in killing ourselves, as the trip is half the fun.

    bill anderson... that is a pretty detailed route! about how long is it overall would you guess?

    thanks guys, keep it coming. i'm so pumped for this
     
  7. Roger

    Roger
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    Lock up your bike good if you come down here, especially in the city. When your in the area, you MUST RIDE HWY 9. It is a great road to ride and most likely the most famous moto road on the west coast. If you need any specific info about the bay area, let me know. I'll see what I can get for you. Not sure what you are looking for on the ride, but there is a ton of bike stuff around here.
     
  8. Mitch F

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    looking for scenery mainly, with a little bit of twisties. i figure scenery will suit the bikes and the car seated folk well.
     
  9. CATCH THIS... =)

    CATCH THIS... =)
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    RED WOOD FOREST!!!

    DISNEY LAND!!!


    MALIBU!!!![/B]
     
  10. LV2BWO

    LV2BWO
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    We just went down and did the fam-damnly Disneyland vacation and I wanted to drive up the coast in No Cal into Oregon and see the Redwoods. Well, we saw the smaller Redwood stand but oh, that road in N Cal from I-5 to 101 in the shitville Chevy Mini-van woulda been oh so sweet on a bike!! Take it!!
     
  11. Roger

    Roger
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    If you are wanting to take a cruise down Hwy 1. I can not say do not do it. It is beautiful, but not very "bike challenging".

    If you take the trip down Hwy. 1 all the way into Santa Cruz, the you can walk the boardwalk. Enjoy the Santa Cruz area and then take River St. north of town and follow the 35 plus miles of Hwy 9 all the way to the top (4-Corners) and down the other 10 miles of Hwy 9 into Saratoga (antique shoppers heaven).

    There is a 20+ mile section in there that is very technical and a blast on a bike. If you do this on a Saturday, you will have a ton of others to ride with.

    Take a look at the maps section of SBR and you can see some of the great roads.

    Our regular Saturday ride (to an extent). We usually start at the second link and then end at 4 corners in the last link.
    http://www.southbayriders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14390
    http://www.southbayriders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8956
    http://www.southbayriders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14393
    http://www.southbayriders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14391
    http://www.southbayriders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14392

    Feel free to send me a PM if you need anything more specific about the area and what is kind of a neat thing to do.

    Other touristy things in SF:
    Alcartaz - a must just so you can see it. I have some of the pictures from our last trip in my blog on Myspace. Get tickets ahead of time from www.blueandgoldfleet.com
    Pac Bell Park (AT&T now) - Giants Game.
    The Cable Cars - Get a full day pass. do not get ripped off with a one trip pass. Both are $5, but the full day pass is good for other transportation.
    Golden Gate Bridge - $5 per vehicle to get into the city.
    Napa Valley - Nothing big for me, but a lot of vinyards.
    North Beach/Fishermans Wharf - A lot of shops and places to visit. Rain Forest Cafe, Ripley's Believe it or Not and so forth.
    Pier 39 - Honestly, nothing special. A lot of small shops of all different kinds though. SUPER TOURISTY place.
    Castro district - Can you say alternative lifestyle capitol of the world.
    Union Square - Just a spot with a bunch of big department type stores.

    Outside SF:
    Paramounts Great America - duhhh
    Six Flags Marine World - another Duhhh
    Redwoods - Nortyh of the bay area, but a ways away.
     
  12. johndr83

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    Me and a buddy of mine took leave and rode down to Los Angeles last year. I will never do that again! Well, at least not on my R6. This was in August of last year. We took I-5 all the way down and back. After the first 5 hrs, my ass and neck were hurting. We stopped every 100miles for fuel and about a 15 minute break. I really recomend a warm weather jacket. I was suffering in my leather dainese. I'd really recomend you take a camelpack for your trip so you can drink while riding. Take a tank bag, as a backpack will get very tiring after a while. Oh, and a throttle rocker will be very good to have. Have fun man!
     
  13. Ralph

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    Stay away from LA unless you like danger...freaking traffic is horrible there..go thru the redwoods if you want an off the track ride ...east of San Fran up in mtns..pretty impressive stuff and Ive not seen it to bad for crowds unless you head up into Yosemite...
     
  14. james1300

    james1300
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    From Try-me's post"If you take the trip down Hwy. 1 all the way into Santa Cruz, the you can walk the boardwalk. Enjoy the Santa Cruz area and then take River St. north of town and follow the 35 plus miles of Hwy 9 all the way to the top (4-Corners) and down the other 10 miles of Hwy 9 into Saratoga (antique shoppers heaven)."

    The Sunsets on the beach in Santa Cruz are awsome.
    Park at the marina, take your folding chair, a bottle of your favorite vine, something to snack on, and enjoy the quietude.
    13 million people behind you in the bay area, and maybe a dozen on the whole beach.
    You the sunset, the roar of the pacific, baby its magic!
     
  15. Mitch F

    Mitch F
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    johndr - i've got a tank bag already with a place for a water bag, which i'll pick up at work. also, i've got a corbin seat which is very nice, and i think it will help my ass a LOT. plus, r6 seats are just like leather covered planks. gotta love the corbin "fat boy" seat as i call it. and i've already checked out throttle rockers online, and i'll get one for sure. same with a hot weather jacket. thoes are actually 3 of the 4 things i've already written down as "must haves".

    i want to ride 101 for the scenery, not for twisties or anything like that. just some easy cruising and some looky-loo-ing.

    so far it looks like 36, 101, and the redwood forest are must see's. also planning on the moto gp race down in seco.
     
  16. Roger

    Roger
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    101 is nothing but a freeway from way north of SF to way south of Hollister. Make the jump over to Hwy 1 where it starts at Leggitt, CA. The views going through the area are great. It will be a longer trip, but a much nicer view and ride than 101.
     
  17. Bill Anderson

    Bill Anderson
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    You can do Seattle to Grants Pass or Cave Junction in a day if you just slab it down I-5. I guestimate the rest of the route to Red Bluff can be done in one long day. The best thing is to meet up with the van in Eureka and check your time to see if you want to continue on Hwy. 36 for the day or spend the night in Eureka.

    If you want a place to just hole up for a few days of riding, I recommend Weaverville. All roads out of Weaverville are twisty.
     
  18. Mitch F

    Mitch F
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    well... we all got together last night to try and figure all this stuff out. turns out everyone is poor until august, so the trip looks like it won't be until some time in august. just as well i suppose. i kind of like the idea of meeting the van somewhere, but that just means we have to carry all of our extra crap WITH us instead of in the van.

    oh, also... another one of my friend's probably buying a bike. maybe 3 bikes on the ride....
     
  19. Bill Anderson

    Bill Anderson
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    If your friend will be a first time rider, I would not bring him along. Your trip will be too much for someone with only 2 months riding experience.
     
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