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Old 03-23-2015, 03:09 PM   #1
hunter151 OP
Joined: Jul 2011
Oddometer: 67
Quick ride from the LA area to San Francisco

I had some business to attend to in San Francisco, so instead of driving or flying I opted to take a bike. I have done the trip from the LA area a few times now, but never through the central valley, so I decided this would be remedied.

The trip started out early Sunday morning and followed this route:


V-Strom in its natural environment during a detour somewhere around CA-166:

Central California is really looking green these days with the small amount of rain we've had.

Stopped in Avila Beach to eat a few granola bars for lunch

One of the the main things I wanted to see during this trip is valleys covered by blooming wildflowers. I may have been a little early in the season, or maybe we just havent had enough rain. Some areas had pretty decent coverage, but no fully carpeted hills unfortunately.

Decided to cut across onto Highway 1 via Nacimiento-Fergusson road. Riding through Fort Hunter Liggett is very cool. So many tiny dirt roads going off in every direction. Too bad they all have no trespassing signs posted.

Took a little snack break in the forest. This kind of scenery is pretty unusual in southern california, so I took advantage.

Nacimiento-Fergusson road is incredible. It starts out by winding through a picturesque forest for a while, before turning out onto the pacific coast. Coming down to the coast on a one lane, windy road with huge drop-offs is an experience that cannot be conveyed in pictures.

Someone decided to claim this nice spot.

While in San Francisco, I took the time to explore the Marin Headlands. This area was once used as a front line defense for the San Francisco Bay. Now it is turned into a park, with a one lane winding road going along the coast.

The area is now riddled with abandoned fortifications that used to house giant artillery batteries. Very cool to explore through the myriad of trails.

This road also provides incredible views of the Golden Gate bridge and San Francisco.

Nike Missile site was unfortunately closed.

After I rode on to check out the Intel museum. Pretty cool if you are nerdy enough.

After spending Monday in the Bay Area, I booked it out of there early tuesday morning. The route for tuesay was like this:

I started out heading south on CA-25. Amazing road that was completely empty at 9am on a tuesday.

Pinnacles National Monument is directly off of CA-25, so I decided to stop by. There is a trail called Bear Gulch trail, which goes through a rather sizable cave.

Luckily before entering the cave, a nice couple lent me a key chain flash light. This was useful as in some places the cave gets pitch black, with creeks and dropoffs.

The cave trail ends at a beautiful water reservoir. A perfect place for breakfast.

More CA-25

At some point I was riding along and noticed a goat farm where a single goat was sitting by the fence near the road all by himself. I stopped to take a closer picture only to realize he got his head stuck in the fence.

I helped the little guy out and he ran off to join his pack.

Getting onto Bitterwater road which connects CA-46 with CA-58 heading toward Carrizo Plains, the farms went to an open pasture model. There were no fences and cows could roam free. Sometimes you would encounter packs in the middle of the road.

Most of them would scatter as your slowly ride by, but there was always 1 or 2 that would attempt to charge at me. Luckily the Vstrom is faster :.

Bitterwater road was very beautiful, and I was literally the only person there. Supposedly it gets great wildflowers, but during my pass everything was still yellow/green.

Finally heading out toward Taft on CA-33, the wildflowers started to come in nicely.

It was around here that my memory card was filled, so thats all folks! Hope you enjoyed the read.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:55 PM   #2
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Beautiful pics! The greenery is really outstanding this year. I drove back home to SF from Portland yesterday (in a car ) and even the boring straight stretch of I-5 in the Sacramento Valley was green and lush and beautiful.

Crape myrtle is blooming all over the North State too.

I really want to get out & do a wildflower ride down south - but my next opportunity won't be til mid-April, and I'm afraid that might be too late...
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:33 PM   #3
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Very cool. Those roads look like fun.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the report! I headed from SF to LA the week after next and I always go I5 or 101. Your route has inspired me to try some different roads this time.

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Old 03-26-2015, 11:31 PM   #5
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Makes me a little home sick. I used to have access to those roads whenever I wanted
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:58 AM   #6
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Great route and pics..thanks.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:15 AM   #7
hunter151 OP
Joined: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by gofargogo View Post
Thanks for the report! I headed from SF to LA the week after next and I always go I5 or 101. Your route has inspired me to try some different roads this time.

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Glad to hear it! There are so many great ways to get from LA to SF that avoid the highway. If you have the extra 2-4 hours it takes, it makes the trip much more enjoyable.
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:00 PM   #8
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Opening hours are in this photo so you can see it the next time you're up here.
Pics of whatever/where ever
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:55 PM   #9
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Great route and ride. On my last trip to California, I will ride that.

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Old 04-16-2015, 07:08 PM   #10
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Nothing like beautiful California! Thanks for taking us along.
The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. Theodore Roosevelt
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