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Old 07-15-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
chrishsu OP
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Yosemite NP ride on street bikes?

After getting into Roseville and having our bikes serviced at A&S Powersport by taking suggested routes in this thread http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=903227, we'll continue on to Yesemite NP on our BMW K1300S and R1200RT street bikes. My planned route here is about 332 miles and we'll spend the night in Oakhurst. Will the traffic be bad in Mid-September? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 07-15-2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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The traffic will be lighter in September, because so many travelers have kids going back to school.

Here are some tips about the area:

Speed enforcement is strict in Angels Camp (shown as Altaville on your map). I know people who have been ticketed 2 mph over the limit. It is such a small town, I just go 3 under to be safe.

There are some great eateries along your route. Sonora has the Diamond Back Grill (gormet burgers, sweet potato fries, and wine pairngs), Koto (good sushi), Sonora Thai (be sure to try the Thai iced tea), and The Standard Pour on the east end of town (pub fare with beer pairings). Up the hill a bit in Long Barn, Mia's has brick oven pizza. In Lee Vining, the Whoa Nelly Deli is said to be very good, though I haven't made it there myself.

The best hot springs are near Bridgeport; Buckeye Hot Springs. They are flushed regularly by the nearby creek, and much cleaner than the well known Travertine Hot Springs.

If you aren't set on Oakhurst, there are some other good places to stay in that general area (not that there is anything wrong with Oakhurst). The Yosemite Bug Hostel (http://www.yosemitebug.com/) is interesting, and has a spa and restaurant on site. Bass Lake is also nice, but the rooms are probably a bit pricier on the lake.

The weather should be pretty good over the mountain passes, since we rarely get rain or snow that early. You may need some warmer layers above 8500 ft, however.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:01 PM   #3
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September will be OK, just because school will be in session and that limits a large number of people on vacation.

Just be aware that old retired people know that too and they all drive motorhomes. They like Oct.

I live in that area and usually just don't ride on week ends for that reason. In summer it makes a major difference.

49 can be busy anytime as it is a route to work for a lot of folks who live here but commute to the Valley

The traffic on 108 even on the busy days ends at Pinecrest. I rarely have a problem going over Sonora pass. Most cars will pull over and they are easy to pick off if they won't . Pray you do not get behind a pack of Harleys, they are brain dead.

No issues usually on 395. The speed limit in Yosemite is 45, so it really does not matter. Lots of motels in Oakhurst.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:20 PM   #4
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great route... we stayed at the best western in oakhurst last year..... highly recommended
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:42 PM   #5
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Do not speed on 395. Heavily enforced. Not even 5mph over, especially in the towns.

Good deli in Bridgeport:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/alberts-meat...eli-bridgeport

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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Pretty hard to go wrong with any route that includes 4, 89 over Monitor Pass, 395 108 or 120. If you can add 4 and 89 it would be nice but the loop becomes difficult for your end point and time constraints. Note that gas is very expensive in when you can find it. Also, two weeks ago I encountered had brief but strong thundershowers around Bridgeport (not a big deal, but a reminder that it isn't always dry in California in summer) and I have seen Tioga Pass closed due to snow on Labor Day. If you take 120 westbound, do stop on the way up the eastern slope and look back :)

Oh, and if you're familiar with the movie "Vanishing Point", take a side trip onto Hwy 167 north of Mono Lake. It is indeed as straight as it looks on the map. A side trip on 120 east from Lee Vining to Benton (cheap-ish gas) is also a nice ride.

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:22 AM   #7
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Take the side trip to Bodie, you can see it on your map...couple miles of dirt to get there, but I've done it on a cruiser two-up, just a little washboard, nothing a streetbike can't do.


If there is a long line at the toll booth to get into Yo'semite! don't forget you're in California...filter to the front, just be ready to pay quickly and get out of the way.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:08 PM   #8
chrishsu OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy View Post

If there is a long line ... don't forget you're in California...filter to the front, just be ready to pay quickly and get out of the way.
Can you do that pretty much when you get stuck in the traffic? Nice! When I figured that's what people expect the motorcyclists to do in Europe I was thrilled! It helped us getting out of traffic many times.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:19 PM   #9
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Nope

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
Take the side trip to Bodie, you can see it on your map...couple miles of dirt to get there, but I've done it on a cruiser two-up, just a little washboard, nothing a streetbike can't do.


If there is a long line at the toll booth to get into Yo'semite! don't forget you're in California...filter to the front, just be ready to pay quickly and get out of the way.
I would not do what you propose - you are not "in traffic" - you are in a "queue" to make a transaction
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chrishsu View Post
Can you do that pretty much when you get stuck in the traffic? Nice! When I figured that's what people expect the motorcyclists to do in Europe I was thrilled! It helped us getting out of traffic many times.
Like kiwi says, it would not be legal unless you go between 2 lanes of traffic. You aren't supposed to use the shoulder. If I remember right, all the pay stations have single lanes leading up to them. You would also have to cut back in line, then wait for the park ranger to finish with the car ahead before pulling up to the window. You would likely experience some road rage, as well as a lecture from the ranger.

In general, though, you can lane split in California. It might be useful in Roseville, but the rest of your route won't be well suited for it.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:46 PM   #11
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To minimize the pain of Yosemite, I'd suggest starting your ride just outside the park and heading E/B on 120, then N/B on 395 and W/B on 108. In either direction, anytime after 0730, you're going to have a line to get in the park. Sometimes it is stupid long.....this is an understatement. America's Best Value Inn Yosemite West is fairly decent and restaurant next door. Whoa Nellie Deli at 120/395 always seems to have nice eats (buffalo meat loaf).
Note that excuting this routing also minimizes the pain of assholes in motorhomes parked on the wrong side of the road looking at a bear. Unless, of course, you wish to be on that side of the road as they prepare to park where you are currently riding. The ADV salute seems to have no effect.
Either way, enjoy the Sierras!
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:58 PM   #12
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I'd suggest starting your ride just outside the park and heading E/B on 120, then N/B on 395 and W/B on 108.
I prefer eastbound over Hwy 108 (Sonora Pass). If you have an extra day, I would go east on Hwy 88, west on Hwy 4, east on Hwy 108, then stay the night in Bridgeport or Doc and Al's Resort near the Buckeye Hot Springs. Then you can enter Yosemite early from the east side. 4 mountain passes in 2 days. That would be awesome!
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:58 PM   #13
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Cannabinoid screwed with this post 11-05-2013 at 09:54 PM
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #14
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Mid September is a perfect time to visit Yosemite. Too late for the waterfall mob, too early for fall colors, fewer campers because school is in session.

Your route is fine. There are more routes from west to east vs the other way, but fewer foreign bus visitors, as SF is port of call. Just do it.

Once in the park the 45mph speed limit will be the deciding factor. The Rangers are anal about that and most drive pickups, so hard to see them coming.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:05 PM   #15
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I was there the first week of Nov. last year, spur of the moment because weather was nice. Good color on the oaks in the valley and 120 through the park was as empty as I've ever seen. Maybe 5-6 cars at Olmstead point. Shoulder season is the time to go, forget July/August.
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