In the last couple years, LB, CiD, and I were able to do the Arizona and Utah BDR. Due to scheduling conflicts, LB and I were not able to get away to CO this year. So LB texts me with the idea of doing a freestyle roadie through California hitting some killer scenery and epic roads. In!
The basic plan was 5 days of riding and camping off the bikes and trying to get in some dirt if time allowed. We left on Friday 9/28 and headed north after some emergency repairs to LB's leaky fuel lines and my loose gear shift lever. Day 1 route was 5 N. to Gorman and then took the 95 over to 166 into Santa Maria. The 95 goes through the Frazier Park area on the Los Padres National Forest, past Mt. Pinos, and into the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge. We were riding on Friday during the day and had the road pretty much to ourselves. 95 is epic with big sweeping curves and is an awesome motorcycle road. A must do road if you are in the area.
From the 166, we hit the 101 and went up the coast to Highway 1. We camped in the Los Osos area at Islay Creek Campground. The campground was full when we arrived in the early evening but we noticed three bikes in a campsite, a new KTM 1290, a BMW F800 GS, and a KTM 525. Our kind of people! LB asked if there were any other campgrounds in the area and they kindly invited us the throw down tents at their site. Turns out they are all from San Diego and SDAR members!
On Day 2, we got an early morning start and went up Highway 1 through San Simeon, Big Sur, Monterey and into San Fran. Just past San Simeon we came around a blind right corner and were greeted by a big horn sheep in the middle of our lane eating vegetation. We were moving pretty fast (50+ in a 30 mph curve) and both LB and I went into emergency braking. LB got all squirrely and I went into a rear wheel slide. Luckily, we were able to dive into the inside and avoided hitting the ram or piling into each other, but it was a close one. Up the coast we went to San Fran. We spent the night in San Fran with Loren's brother who just finished his one year probation with the San Fran Fire Dept.. I got some urban camping in since his brother lives in a small studio in the City.
On Day 3, we went from San Fran back down the 1 and rode the 35 south along the SF peninsula. Nice ride through the redwoods and stopped at Alice's for breakfast. From there were went down the 101 and made our way over to Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park in the westerns Sierras via the 99, 180, and 198. The 180 and 198 are also epic motorcycle roads. Traffic was light and we had a good time gettin' after the twisties on the way up. We camped at Lodgepole Campground in the Sequoia National Park.
On Day 4, we rode the 198 to 190 and camped near Kernville on the north fork of the Kern River. The 190 area is amazing and is deep in the Sequoia National Forest. We saw lots of dirt fire roads in this area that look like a good place to come back to for exploration. I also got stung by a bee under the eye when it flew into my helmet. Ouch.
On Day 5, we woke up to thunderstorms and waited out the rain in our tents. Once the storm cleared, we took the 178 over to the 395 and rode home. The 178 is another epic road as it goes across the Southern Sierras. Overall, the trip was just over 1440 miles.
A few pics...