L.A. to San Francisco Adventure Rally for Pyndon
I just couldn't pass up a chance to see Pyndon (Lyndon Poskitt) talk about his 2013 Dakar experience. He placed 9th in a stage as a privateer. And beyond that his KTM 950 experience and knowledge is legendary.
So I decided to create a predominantly dirt and broken blacktop ride from L.A. to San Francisco on my old 2004 Adventure to show my appreciation and attend his event "Rally Style".
Prepping the old gal for an adventure ride is always the least of my problems. Here I've replaced cleaned filters and skins. My big problem is getting time away from work.
I needed at least two days to make this trip interesting as well as feasible getting to SFO, and add another two days for the return. And I'd better throw on a fresh tire and HD tube.
Since I had just started a new work project, chances of getting time off were slim. And weather forecasts were for rain during the dates of the trip. Here's the storm passing through my route the morning of my departure, forcing me to a four hour delay.
As the odds continued to stack up against me... I decided to shine some positive light on the situation. Here I've added new auxillary lights just in case? And special thanks to Tom at Santa Monica Honda for rush order and set up help.
My riding gear for the 4 day trip consisted of water resistant Fly Racing Jacket and separate liner ( right to left). FR water resistent pants with CE knee/ shin pads, Nike ACG padded cycling cool johns, 2 pairs silver threaded moisture wicking socks, Alpinestars padded undershorts and coolmax undershirt, FR water proof gloves, FR coolflow jersey, Sidi onroad boots and Alpinestars compression jacket. I also brought a small back with additional non riding socks, pants, t-shirt, mx gloves, towel, firstaid and toiletries kit.
My travel gear consisted of ( right to left/ clockwise) Backcountry 2 tent, Micro sleeping back and Micro insulation bag layer, Micro Cot, Micro rocking campchair, Mini air mattress and pillow, IPad, Nikon J1, Garmin 660, Cable connections organizer, Micro cook stove, mess gear, waterproof matches, freeze dried food for 8 meals, hot tea bags, 1/2 gallon of water for cooking, tire irons and patchkit, electric tire pump, spare tube, coolant, clutch fluid, engine oil, nitril gloves, locking scissor clamps, metal wire, gorilla tape, heavy cord, zip ties and ratchet strap (easy access under rack), Giant Loop and Alpinestars backpack with 70 L Camel bak water, head flashlight, hunters knife and protein bars.
It helps that I keep my travel gear pre packed. When I received the O.K. from work it was the day before I needed to leave.
All loaded up and ready to head out.
This was the first section of my route which lead me to the entrance of the Carrizo Plain at approximately 110 miles and 3.5 hours minimum.
With the help of several Advrider inmates I created my route. 500 miles up to SFO in 2 days is fairly ambitious. My plan was to avoid major freeways. The catch was that I still had to get out of the city. Here's Malibu pier heading out along the coast.
One of the many tunnels leaving Malibu Canyon en route to Ojai.
My plan was to take country roads leading out of L.A... And this backway into Ojai cut through the steep mountainous gorge behind Moorpark, and down into the fragrant orchards of Santa Paula. Ojai still has the quaintness of an old Spanish mission town.
Having the bright idea of posting the trip live was somewhat spoiled when I had to delay leaving 4 hours later to avoid the rain. Here's highway 33 out of Ojai. This steep winding ascent reminds me of roads in Germany.
Overlooking the entrance to the Carrizo Plains National Monument Area. Most people would be surprised how quickly desolation emerges outside of L.A., and this is a PRIME example.
Southern entrance to the Carrizo Plain National Monument.
Section two of my route which runs from Carrizo Plains to Los Gatos Rd. and Los Gatos Creek Campground.
I arrived on this 40 mile dirt section in Carrizo Plains late in the day and was nearly traveling through it in the dark.
I managed to cover the first 125 miles before dark but the sun was dropping fast.
I knew I wasn't going to make it beyond the Plains before dark and there still was another 150 miles to the Los Gatos Creek Campground. And the last section of the Parkfield Grade is going to be all dirt and very winding. I decided to shorten my route to Coalinga and forego the camping. The road up through Bitterwater and Cholame Valley is nasty broken blacktop, untouched by our tax dollars for years. I was riding directly through a large black thunder cloud but luckily it has decided not to puke on me yet. My new auxillary lights proved their worth directing me into Parkfield, a charming hamlet in the dead of night. And as I reached the dirt section of the old Parkfield wagon road I hit a light sprinkling of rainfall. The decent into Coalinga takes me forever as I nauseatingly wind my way to the bottom of the valley floor at 10:00pm. I grab a fleabag hotel and dine on my supply of powerbars. A long day indeed.
So, will I make it all the way to San Francisco tomorrow to see Pyndon? Stay tuned.
So far, so good! The weather should be pretty good for the rest of your trip!
Very nice, keep the pics coming, great looking bike.
Are you sure SFO is this way???
I just went through this Clear Creek trail with loads of water features... I can't remember if inmate SFMCJohn said "do this one" or "don't do this one"?
This would be the start of my 3rd section of the trip from Coalinga heading out Los Gatos Creek Road heading to Hollister. I leave the fleabag hotel, grab a quick breakfast at Mickie D's and hit the road. Once I ride the 5 miles up on Derrick road ( which is littered with oil wells and looks like a disgusting land raping) I catch a nice country road on Los Gatos Creek. Some 45 miles later I turn onto Clear Creek.
Entrance to Clear Creek.
Clear Creek was once a fully operational OHV park with numerous staging areas and camping facilities until the EPA closed it down in the mid 2000's. It's a huge loss for those who vacationed here with their families over the years. It's such unique and beautiful landscape.
Looking back on the trail through lower Clear Creek.
A nice turquoise lake to have a break. The phrase BF Egypt comes to mind. The dirt jeep trail takes a steep long decent... which could have been slick and treacherous had the ground not soaked up the previous day's rain. The track is made more difficult with the deep ruts.
The trail empties out into the abandoned mining ghost town of New Idria, with delapidated homesteads spread out over several blocks.
The exit route out of this god forsaken area is a nasty single wide 40 miles of broken blacktop to Panoche Road and the Hollister Valley.
Watching carefully. Hoping to ride up to Superplush soon.
Ooh, following this! Looks like a fun trip! Gotta google map of the route? Or is impolite to ask? :rofl
Dude,glad you got on the road OK.
That bike is STILL way too clean....looks like you're working on it, tho!
I am seriously jealous as although it's raining here, everything we like to ride, which is, of course, "up" from here, looks like it's getting more snow.
Ha, ha! :ricky
Think what I said was that Clear Creek would be a lot more adventurous than Elkhorn Road or Parkfield Grade ... :D
Did you camp on the ridge over Clear Creek? Guess I'll find out tonight ...
see you soon,
Did I miss Pyn rocking a full house?
After a great 2 days of adventure riding... Could it get any better? Oh Yeah!!! 3 full hours of Pyn's riding history and full year in review. His presentation answered the questions before you could ask. Very thorough, very Pyn like. Worth every penny!
What a cool venue Piston & Chain is. Matt has created the ultimate club shop environment and displays his refined appreciation of motorcycles like fine art lining his walls.
The shop-like work bays for club members.
The ever gracious Pyn staying after to answer questions from Advrider inmate Cyborg.
I love the creative vibe going on in San Francisco. Daniel hosted this event to introduce the adventure riding community to his brainchild SocialNav... a website for sharing ride routes. I suppose there might be a person interested in my four routes on this trip?
All 3 were great suggestions!!!
But the journey is far from over. Since I bailed on my part four route I'll do that tomorrow when I leave. I promise to take more photos. And I'll add the ones from my Nikon to replace some of these IPhonies.
And I owe a huge shout out to Alleycatdad Steve for walking me through my Garmin and Base Camp innocence. Thanks Steve!!!
No worries. Just wish I coulda joined you!
The Pyn Rally Pt. 2. The Return
I started on the reverse section I scrapped yesterday. Outside of SFO city I caught Skyline/ Summit which straddles the ridgeline between Santa Clara and Santa Cruz County.
This area reminds me of the canyons above Malibu behind my house in Santa Monica. Los Angeles and San Francisco are so similar (damn long names for starters) yet so extremely different at the same time.
I absolutely love high scenic ridgelines. And as luck would have it I skirted behind the clouds and rain to an unobstructed view of Santa Cruz pier and the Pacific to the west. And the San Mateo valley up to Silicon Valley to my east.
Then things got interesting as I connected to Loma Piedre and Old Mt. Madonna.
Dropping down into Santa Cruz county toward Hollister the narrow single wide old road cuts through a California redwood forest. All of this within the back door of San Francisco.
Looks like fun, enjoy the ride.
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