Help with city navigation - LA and San Francisco
My friend (wheelbass) and I are doing a fly and ride up the PCH/#1, Palm Springs to Alberta in June. Doing some route planning (pretty simple), because right now we're dealing with this:
Kidding aside, looking for some advice on the best, non freeway, scenic, nice ride routes through Los Angeles and San Francisco. Here's what I came up with from the maps:
Any advice, or other routes suggestions for our trip would be helpful.
Thanks in advance.
The SF route is good, that is how I usually get through the city and I'm a native (but no longer live there)
Have done your LA route by bicycle and it was a lot of fun
It would suck to get bogged down in traffic or blast through on the freeway and see nothing.
Back when I bought my first real motorcycle (Triumph Daytona 500), I really wanted a BSA 441, but chickened out. :bow
If it was me....
I would change the SoCal route completely. PCH and HWY1 sucks once you hit Long Beach and head North. I would go Rt74 in San Juan Capistrano to Elsinore, have a meal at the Lookout, then up Rt 15 past Ontario, CA to HWY2 West. This is the Angeles Crest HWY and eventually you end up north of LA. near Rt 5/118. Then head due west back towards the coast and back to the coastal beauty all the way to NorCal. It will take longer but so what, at least you will be moving and seeing the mountains, some high desert and then the coast.
The route through Palos Verdes is nice, however on either side there are a lot of stop lights and traffic. Use Google maps and the "street view" to pre-run the route.
In SF, see the Presidio
If you have the time I would stay off Geary Blvd. What I am suggesting takes you through some places where there is a lot of foot traffic and some route finding issues so don't do it if you're not ready to be very slow and careful.
When you get to the top of the hill after going past the Cliff House, do not proceed straight onto Geary, but take a left at the light on El Camino del Mar and then the first right on Seal Rock Drive which turns into Clement St.
Turn left into the Golf Course at 34th Ave. and pick up El Camino del Mar again by turning right just past the Legion of Honor entrance and fountain.
Stay on El Camino del Mar until it enters the Presidio and becomes Lincoln Blvd. You can get right onto the GGB from Lincoln Blvd. but the Presidio is a National Park and you might want to look around.
If nothing else, drive out to Fort Point and touch Hopper's hands for luck on the rest of your journey.
All I can say is... 'traffic'. :deal
If you're starting in Palm Springs then I would avoid LA all together unless there's something in particular that you want to see. 20 million peeps in the LA basin.
Ride in on the 10 and take it all the way to the beach, start there, north on PCH thru Malibu. It's all freeway from Palm Springs through LA, all kinda boring, with the mountains and canyons being a lot more entertaining. Some routes to look up as you work your way north from there...
Frazier Park to Pine Mt. Club
33 out of Ojai
154 out of Santa Barbara
Out of Paso Robles through the Naciemento Lake area
Then take the 1 north through Big Surr, Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz.
Although the coastal highway is a nice ride, you might be interested in a change in scenery by the time you reach Santa Cruz. For some mountain twisties, you can take Highway 9 out of Santa Cruz up to Skyline Blvd. Heading north on Skyline, you will come to Alice's Restaurant at the intersection with Highway 84. If you are there on a weekend, it will be jam packed with sportbikes. This is the motorcycle mecca for the SF Bay Area. There is nothing special about the restaurant, per se, other than tradition, but those hill top roads are usually in tip top shape, and loads of fun. You can drop back down to Highway 1 via Highway 92.
North of the Golden Gate, there are two great culinary experiences:
1. The Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma has live music almost every night, the best beer in the state, and food. There is a $55 motel just a couple doors down, and a KOA campground less than a mile away.
2. The area around Point Reyes National Seashore produces some of the best oysters in the...world?...Drake's Bay Oyster Company is far and away the best.
Those two spots are only about 30-45 minutes apart via rolling country hills.
Thanks folks, so much, for the input and ideas. We'll definitely be incorporating some side trips, although sadly, time and money is not unlimited :cry
We a both roots/folk/country rock musicians, so will be keeping an eye out for interesting(small) live venues. We're considering carrying ukuleles so we can play a bit - :lol3
I'll do another route draft on the weekend and dream, because my 690 is still trapped in the garage by 2 feet of snow!
(I think we left Palm Desert a month early)
You HAVE to change the through LA route.
First thing you do when you leave Palm Desert is go straight to Pioneertown near Joshua Tree and go to Pappy and Harriets (Musicians heaven and Mecca).
Then you go the back way out of PTown and make your way to the 138 that crosses the 15 freeway at the base of Cajon Pass.
Take 138 to Lone Pine Canyon. Wiggle through Wrightwood and take 2 to La Canada (half way there is a motorcyclist Mecca...Newcombs Ranch).
From La Canada you can wiggle down to Malibu through the canyons, if it's the weekend you can visit the Rockstore, another local motorcyclists Mecca!
Your route 1 routing through Orange County and Long Beach is all City.
In Long Beach PCH is actually 17th street. You are 17 blocks from the ocean and it is basically ghetto. LB has 11 miles of beach....non of it at all can be seen from Pacific Coast Highway. After Long Beach you go through the most horrible parts of city you can imagine on PCH...and you don't see the ocean AT ALL.
Skip it and go through the mountains to Malibu. Trust us on this. You will be riding roads even many Los Angeles people have NEVER seen or heard of.
Keep in touch. We are always up for a ride/guide. If you get to our town Claremont/Los Angeles County...do yourself a BIG favor and check out 'Folk Music Store in Claremont village.
You could take the Pioneertown (motel there is awesome) then even spend the night near/in Claremont on your way to route 2 Angeles Crest Hwy.
We rent rooms to travellers, but of course don't always have ROOM!
I would say the same, basically. Change the Los Angeles plan. The Peninsula is ok, but not worth the slow ride.
The San Francisco ride is good, only possibly just go straight up 1 to the bridge. You are just in city traffic there, with no real view or attraction.
Also, further south, be sure to include Skyline, and also 9 north out of San Cruz, then up Skyline. Or loop back around to get both Skyline and the coast road.
Through San Francisco, go up Sloat (35), to Portola, and then up Twin Peaks Boulevard. After enjoying the view from the top, go down the north side of Twin Peaks, drop down Clarendon to Laguna Honda/7th Ave, into Golden Gate Park, then back out to the ocean and through the Presidio as you noted.
You'll enjoy the detour. :deal
Hello ADVrider! WheelBass here. This is my first post! (been lurking too long) Thanks for the suggestions. There will be some work to do to locate these tips but they sound right up our alley. I'm sure we're not looking for more city than necessary. I do prefer the steady rollin' secondary hwy so your ideas are welcome. Keep em coming...
South Bay Area
You will love the scenery along the south end of Redondo Beach thru Palos Verdes.
Do it in the summer months and take a coastal ride thru Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, then Thru Redondo to catch some of the hottest women on earth strolling along the strand area.
The ride along the Palos Verdes coast is a real treat. Just watch for the uneven road along an area called Portuguese Bend. Shifting of the land makes road repair a yearly operation but you will almost never experience a delay due to road crews.
Continue along Palos Verdes Drive South until the road turns into 25th. street thru San Pedro. At the bottom of the hill there is a street called Walker. Turn left and go about 100 feet to the Busy Bee Deli. It's a great place for a sandwich and it well known in the area as "The" place for sanwiches. Don't miss it.
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