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Old 04-28-2015, 11:10 PM   #1
Joined: Aug 2014
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Laugh A week from San Diego

Off to a conference in San Diego in May and have managed to tag a week's holiday to go riding.

So, I have a full week. Potentially with my flights back to Asia, I could start in San Diego and finish in San Fran. However, I'm sure this would significantly hike up the rental fees, so likely will do a round trip starting and finishing in San Diego.

The problem is, what do I do? (Appreciate this is a nice problem to have).

I have only been to Chicago and NYC in the US.

Thinking about options like doing a week's tour of California including a hop over to Vegas, but then Mexico and the Baja peninsula are tempting too.

What's the deal with wild camping? Completely frowned upon / illegal or doable?

Any suggestions of unmissable roads would be welcomed. I've got in touch with a few places renting bikes, I'd rather rent something so I could include some dirt riding but as it's quite last minute may end up having to stay on the roads.

Thanks in advance for input...

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Old 04-29-2015, 09:15 AM   #2
the famous james
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Location: Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA.
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For a week if you don't do Baja you could just stay in San Diego/Los Angeles/Riverside Counties.

Lot's of great rides, many, many mountain roads. We did a 5 day from our home in Claremont and never got more than 125 miles away! Rode all the good stuff and stayed in motels.

Check if you can take your rental to Baja. If so you could ride to Guerro Negro and back in an easy week.

Another loop is what I call the 'casino ride' staying in casinos you ride Laughlin/Las Vegas/Pahrump/Beatty....I stick Shoshone in there but a motel no casino.

Or from San Diego I have taken the USA border road to El Paso Texas. Easy doable in a week there and back. Just try and hug the border and minor roads all the way...a nice challenge and quite interesting. You can come back on the freeway and even take in New Mexico.
James and Colleen Tucker.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:02 AM   #3
CA Stu
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Location: Riverside, CA
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It's your first trip to California?

Stay local, there's an absolute ton of great riding around here. There is absolutely no way to even scratch the surface of our local excellent riding in just one week.

No reason to turn your vacation into some kind of forced march, enjoy your trip!
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:28 PM   #4
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Hawaii, So. Cal.
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If you're starting in San Diego I'd recommend route 78 and 74 north through the mountains in eastern San Diego County and Idyllwild and then up through Big Bear. This will allow you to avoid most of L.A. Coming from Asia, you probably don't need to experience the congestion on overpopulated places

Once past Big Bear, follow route 395 north through the eastern Sierra taking in some side roads as you like. Death Valley is worth a visit but will be hotter than hell. There are several passes over the Sierras, the best is probably Tioga pass going through Yosemite, which is worth a visit even if you head back out the same way. You can take any of these depending on how far north your time allows, then cross the mountains and head to the coast. The California coast between Monterrey and Santa Barbara should not be missed - although you'll have plenty of company.

"Wild camping" is not that big a deal although getting much more difficult in California, especially west of the Sierras. Get a map that shows the National forests - you can camp anywhere in those, it's called "dispersed camping" and perfectly legal. No wild camping in National parks, or California State parks, otherwise use your head, be discreet, leave no trace, and you should be OK. Wild camping is my favorite way to travel by bike.

Following this plan, you'll still wind up traveling some dismal stretches that really suck, but the places you'll see are absolutely worth it.
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