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California Roadie with LB

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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...42921240_10215370228941683_7305885399384064_n.jpg.48043a8453dc7c1dbf2600e4fc7f5b42.jpg42756570_10215370227941658_7491738791879639040_n.jpg.4e2238ecfd4aae92b71456769be67286.jpg42899068_10215373099253439_7033785146574635008_o.thumb.jpg.ec06cf7ce655e56a6744d2b1f72328f0.jpg



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Some fool lady was stopped in the opposite lane feeding a deer from her car window.  The deer she lured up to her driver's side window was standing in my lane.  Had enough room to avoid the deer but gave the old biddy some dirty looks for being an idiot for stopping on a blind corner.

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Nicely done boys! Sounds like a great trip! Bummer on the bee sting...I got stung by a wasp while riding in Baja one time...no fun!

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Wow, that is great stuff!!  After a couple days, you both must have felt like you were at one with your bikes, I wish I could of seen you both (from a helicopter :)  ) ride Sherman Pass from Kernville to 395 (next time :) ).  I am sure it would have been impressive, just like the rest of that loop you did.  Good road choices! And,  Looks like you were traveling pretty light for bigger bikes too, for a better zip, zam, zoom!!

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It was a great ride, thanks for joining me Mikey. I'm ready for another roadie already. 

Day one we rode almost 400 miles. And since we had a 2 hour mechanical delay, we were kinda behind schedule. So we made up some time splitting L.A. traffic and hauling ass where we could so that we could take our time enjoying the twisties between Gorman and the coast. 

Normally we put a lot of planning into our rides, but this time was different. Our plan was to basically to have no real plan. To wing it if you will. Ride the coast than hit the Sierras. 

Here's were we ended up at the end of day 1. Not to shabby:


One cool things about roadies, is eating at different places. We make it a point to eat at local establishments. No franchise restaurants etc. After asking around Morro Bay, we were told for the best burger in town, it's got to be Sylvester's. The burgers were amazing and the onion rings were even better. Probably top 5 I've ever had. Oh, you might find this surprising, but we also had a couple cold beers...


Back to camp for sunset, more cold ones, and some Glenlivet 18 year old single malt scotch....


Saturday we were up early and heading northbound on the 1. It was almost magical. No tourist on the road yet...we basically had it to ourselves. If you haven't done the 1 on a bike, you are missing out. It's so much better than being in a cage.


After making it to San Fran and spending a night with my brother, we headed east across the central valley and up into the Sierras.


If you want to look skinny, stand next the the largest tree in the world. The 2200 year old General Sherman:


After another long day, Mikey went out for some firewood and beer while I set up camp.


Next day onto Kernville. More beer, Taco Monday, and hanging by the river. Not a bad way to end a day of riding some amazing mountain roads.


As we rounded for home, we found ourselves in the Anza Borrego desert and we could resist getting our tires dirty. It was Tuesday afternoon, 91 degrees, and not another sole in sight. There is nothing like riding a fully loaded big bike in the sand. I love it.


So all rides must come to an end. I pulled into Ramona at 2:59pm on Tuesday and went straight to my son's 3 pm water polo game at the high school. I stood around in full gear and cheered him on. One guy came up to me and said "do you ride?". I almost said "duh" but decided to be nice. Turns out he just picked up a 500 exc so we chatted about that. I directed him to look into SDAR for some riding buddies.

Peace out, The Oracle.

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We call this the California loop. From beach, to mountains, to desert. We covered it all. I can't wait to do it again.

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