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Old 04-08-2014, 08:01 PM   #1
BluesCruiser OP
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Day Trip to Panoche Valley

Most of us who ride around the Central Coast of California know about Hwy 25 between Hollister and points south. We also know about the local LEOs who lurk along that great stretch of smooth twisty road. However I think many are like me in that we sail past the little junction at Paicines except maybe to stop at the store for something refreshing.

It happens that there is a sweet ride up county road J-1, or Panoche Road. It starts at the historical marker for the New Idria Mine...and I decided to try it out last Sunday.



The road starts straight and level, but that begins to change after a few miles.

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Old 04-08-2014, 08:09 PM   #2
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Here is a link to a map if anyone is interested.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Waln...37.9100783!3e0

Even with the drought we are having it is still green this time of year. It sure won't be like this in a couple of months!





Found a nice place for lunch and took the obligatory selfie!



This whole time there were maybe 3-4 other vehicles that passed. One stopped, rolled down his window and had a friendly chat for about 5 minutes. Everyone loves springtime!
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:16 PM   #3
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Eventually you come out the east side of the Panoche Valley and the road straightens out a bit.



But there are still some spring flowers around.



Way too soon you hit I-5 and start the slog back home playing dodge with these bad boys.



Riding a Wee-Strom into a big headwind in 80 mph traffic basically sucks...and my mileage dropped from 50+ down to about 38! Still it was a nice modest day trip and I recommend it to anyone, especially before everything dries up this summer!
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:40 PM   #4
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Panoche Valley Road

Hey BluesCruiser, thanks for the RR on this route. I've just relocated to the area and was wondering about this route. I was thinking about riding it last sunday but wasn't sure if there was any dirt involved and hesitated about which bike to ride. Is there any dirt? Which is not to say that's a bad thing, I'd just take the 640. Why didn't you ride the same route home. I hate slabbing.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:38 PM   #5
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Planning to ride there later this week. Panoche, Parkfield-Coalinga, Santa Rosa Creek, Nac-Ferguson, Old Coalinga, Carmel Valley Rd and 58, 198, 33, 1...ect.

California is big and empty if you know where to look!
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:22 AM   #6
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There are several really nice roads in this general area. Hwy 25 is very nice from Tres Pinos all the way south. If you continue on Peach Tree and Indian Valley it gets pretty goaty but never on dirt (dirt might be smoother!). The only issue I have had on 25 is that it gets patrolled more than a minor highway probably should be...so be warned.

Panoche Valley is also paved all the way, with only about a mile of single lane, but it is very rough in places too.

Brad's route is also a very nice one. Riding Carmel Valley all the way over the top and down the other side is really pretty, but more traffic than some of the others.

If you are looking for some dirt on a gorgeous ride near Monterey, try the Old Coast Road. The north end leaves Hwy 1 right at the north end of the Bixby Creek Bridge and the south end is down at the Andrew Molera State Park. It is not for street tires or sprotbiles (unless you are a better rider than I am), but I have been through it on my DR650 with Shinko 705s...and the views are drop-dead gorgeous!

Like Brad said, this area is rider's heaven!
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:18 AM   #7
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I've ridden 25 South and yes that's a great ride, also Carmel Valley and the Old Coast Road. This weekend, the plan is to go down to Los Burros road. I haven't done that, so I'm looking forward to it. Like the saying goes, "Too many roads, not enough time."
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:12 AM   #8
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I forgot to answer you question about why I took I5 home. I feel the same way about slab, but I am gearing up for a long-ish (for me!) ride to Texas and back for my 50th reunion. I just put an Omni-Cruise on my Wee and wanted to see how it worked...it works OK...give the right arm a break. I also wanted to see how well I did in what I consider adverse conditions on slab...strong wind, heavy traffic and high speeds.

I'm avoiding super-slab as much as possible on this trip but there will still be some that is unavoidable.
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