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Old 06-24-2013, 12:32 PM   #1
Fun Lovin' Criminal OP
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Nottingham, England.
Oddometer: 79
Help a Brit plan 4 day trip

I'm renting a Harley (yeah, I know) in San Diego in a couple of weeks. Got it for 4 days and dropping it off in San Francisco.

I need some local advice on route planning, places to see, places to avoid.

I want to miss out LA if possible. Done a bit of the PCH around Monterey before and happy to do it again. Also open to going north of SF on the PCH for a while too.

As I understand it the coast road from San Diego is nothing special, and there are better routes inland. Somebody on another forum suggested picking up the PCH at Santa Barbara, so I really need some advice on where to go between San Diego and Santa Barbara.

Thanks in advance

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Old 06-24-2013, 03:21 PM   #2
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Location: Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA.
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Get to the 15 fwy and exit 131 at the base of the Cajon Pass and take Hwy 2 around most of Los Angeles.

When you get to the end of 2 it's the shortest distance to the Pacific on the map.

Email us and we'll meet @ Cajon Pass and ride if it's OK and convenient.

Google 'Newcombs Ranch Restaurant.'
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:57 PM   #3
Fun Lovin' Criminal OP
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Location: Nottingham, England.
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Thanks for that Tuckers
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:14 AM   #4
Miss Demeanor
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Oddometer: 307
From Santa Barbara, take N. San Marcos Rd. to 154 to Foxen Canyon and then Tepusquet Rd. and 166 to 58, 46 to 1 into Cambria. Route looks something like this. Stay at the Cambria Palms - owners are moto friendly, rates are reasonable. Restaurants within walking distance.

From Cambria, come up the PCH (stop off and see the elephant seals along the way). If you're lucky, you may see some of these right off the side of Hwy 1 near Hearst Castle... really!

It's less that 100 miles from Cambria to Monterey but you will most likely want to take all day as the views are breathtaking, lots of photo stops, and look for the waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer State Park, about 10 miles south of Big Sur.

A few images from the last time I came up the PCH in May...

Lunch at the Big Sur River Inn, sit out back in the big Adirondack chairs and dip your feet in the running stream out back. They also have a hotel there too - pricey but very nice. Monterey isn't too much farther from Big Sur so I'd recommend visiting Big Sur but stay in Monterey.

Coming through the Bay Area, there are a tone of fun roads in the mountains - 9, 35, 84, Alice's Restaurant (a well known moto haven), Tunitas Creek, Stage Rd., Pescadero Rd., and tons more! Hwy 1 north of Santa Cruz isn't nearly as scenic as the more southern part that you will have just traversed so if you went inland to hit some of those roads, you wouldn't be missing a whole lot of the coast.

Immediately north of SF, just as soon as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, take 2nd exit which comes up very quickly, just past the vista point. Turn left and cross under the roadway, then go up the hill on Conzelman Road. Very shortly you will see a number of turnouts on your left which give you great photo ops. From there you can backtrack to Highway 101, or you can fart around the area called the Marin Headlands. Nice riding, a lighthouse, old battery, beaches, a marine mammal rescue place. From there, you can visit Muir Woods or consider riding to the top of Mt. Tamalpais - great road and awesome view (as long as it's not foggy!). FYI, the Golden Gate Bridge has the toll southbound only and has now gone electronic:

Next place of note is Point Reyes Station. There's a cafe, a bakery, a market, and if you time it right, motorcyclists to visit with. Also the option to visit Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Miles of secluded roads, forests, a gigantic empty beach, and a lighthouse. Fun place to visit, but it will impede your forward motion as the only way back out is through Pt. Reyes Station. (My personal 2cents is to forego the lighthouse. It's a crapshoot if you will even be able to see the lighthouse because of the fog and the road out is fraught with high winds, rough road, and cow pies all over the place... very treacherous.)

Stay at the The Bodega Coast Inn - very nice place, ocean view rooms, etc. There is a link to restaurants on the site.

Next motorcycle spot of note is the store at Stewarts Point. There is a road coming in from the right called Skaggs Springs Road. This is a well known local motorcycle road - loads of fun... first part is fairly goaty but then smooths out for some of the best sweepers around (note: speed limit is ridiculously low and is generally well patrolled). It will take you all the way to Hwy 101, though, so don't take it unless that's where you want to go. You can just pay homage as you pass. Or you can take Stewarts Point/Skaggs Spring inland, and then hit 128 out of Cloverdale back out to the coast.

Further north is Avenue of the Giants, 36, 299, and 3 but with only 4 days, you most likely won't make it that far!

Okay... that's a few bits for you to digest... there is enough to keep you busy around these parts for weeks!!
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:47 AM   #5
Fun Lovin' Criminal OP
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Nottingham, England.
Oddometer: 79
Thanks for that Tyler - great information
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
Joined: Jun 2013
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There's very few times that you'd ever get from SD to LA via hwy 5 (the most direct way) without hitting a good bit of traffic. The coast road doesn't avoid it very well and passes through so many high population towns/cities that there's not much hope in having an enjoyable ride that way either.

Depends on how much time you can devote to just being out there riding of course, but here is the route I'm doing next week - gets me from SD to North of LA without ever using a congested freeway. 330 miles instead of the 130 it would take going direct, but that's the whole point!
I'm doing the ride with the specific challenge/purpose of getting up there without ever touching tire to a freeway, but given that you aren't restricting yourself that way, you could shorten/speed the ride up a bit - once you're out East, there isn't nearly as much traffic.

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