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Old 11-20-2006, 01:10 PM   #1
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CityBikeMike and Karayzieho do the Central Coast

I'm not sure how the whole trip came about. I think it started when Christie / Karayzieho IMed me about different routes to Southern California, prompting me to volunteer my services as a tour guide.

After thinking about it, we figured it would be better to start with something a little more reasonable. While Christie has been progressing along nicely with her riding (she was promoted to B group at her last trackday after a Code school, instruction at two Zoom Zoom days, and some one-on-one help from me and Holeshot), she's still fairly new - we figured a shorter trip would be better to start with.

With that in mind, we decided on a two-day trip to San Luis Obispo and back:

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:12 PM   #2
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The first leg was Highway 25 out of Hollister. With good flow and lots of transitions after the "high speed testing ground", we went by a group of around 40 some odd riders from SBR, who I believe were headed out to Coalinga and back.

If they would have arrived at 198 just 5 minutes earlier, they would have been treated to a very pleasant surprise as Christie did a quick but daring change from her cold weather underarmor into warm weather gear

Post-quick-change @ the south end of Highway 25:

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:14 PM   #3
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We made our way up and over a couple of grades on 198, which was made up of longer, looping turns. After a short break in Kettleman City, we headed south on I-5 before heading west on 58.

That stretch between Buttonwillow and Santa Margarita is one of the most entertaining stretches of road anywhere. Roller coasters rule!

After the dunes, a pair of big bore GSXRs came by on on the flats in the valley, geared down with saddlepacks and tailbags. As much as I wanted to stay close so we could "play" in the technical section, I kept the speeds mellow, as the windblast from high speed runs can do bad things to soft luggage.

The original plan for the afternoon included a few backroads in the Atascadero / Cayucos area, but after rolling into San Luis Obispo, I was feeling a little sluggish while Christie was starting to cramp up. We decided that soft beds, warm food, cold beer, and hot tubs sounded a lot better than any roads or motorcycles did
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:15 PM   #4
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The next day, we made our way north. Heading out Los Osos Valley Road, we took my old "scenic route" to and from school when I attended Cal Poly SLO years ago. We then headed North on Highway 1 up to Cayucos, where we took our first side road - Old Creek Road. Gentle curves on top of super scenic hills before plunging into a transition-laded canyon, we were having too much fun to stop for pictures.

We eventually made our way over to Highwa 46, crossing it onto Santa Rosa Creek Road, the scene of many automobile commercials and magazine spreads:

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:16 PM   #5
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Afterwards, we heading up Highway 1, where we figured one more change of gear from "warm weather" to "cool weather" at the start of the fun section would be worth the effort.

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:18 PM   #6
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There was a bit more traffic on Highway 1. As a nicely paved ribbon of tarmac carved into cliffs 1000 feet high with spectacular ocean views, Highway 1 can be a bit overwhelming for first timers, prompting us to take a few breaks. The rest stops let us catch our breath, only to lose it again at the sight of the California coastline.

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:19 PM   #7
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Christie enjoys the view:

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:23 PM   #8
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The bikes enjoy the view too:

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:24 PM   #9
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Onwards to Big Sur, where we stopped for a few shots at the Bixby Bridge.

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:25 PM   #10
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The view looking down:

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:26 PM   #11
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The view to the North:

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:28 PM   #12
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I look at this shot and think "Laurel and Hardy"...

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:35 PM   #13
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From Carmel, we took Carmel Valley Road east before crossing the ridge on the super-scenic Laureles Grade. From there, we made our way to Salinas before slicing traffic on 101 to Gilroy. Once traffic opened up, we cruised back to civilization.

Total mileage of the trip was 668 miles. I'm already planning out the next one, although winter conditions at higher elevations could postpone it until spring.

The roads we travelled were incredibly fun. The views, absolutely breathtaking. It had been a while since I had done such a road trip, but I couldn't help but think about how lucky we were. Both of us figured that moto adventures like the one last weekend are both as fun and as memorable as vacation packages costing regular people thousands of dollars. But for us as motorcyclists in California, it's as easy as hopping on the bike and taking off for the weekend.

Til next time
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:27 PM   #14
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Mike - When did you make this trip? It looks like the weather was still pretty good for a nice ride down there.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by CityBikeMike


But for us as motorcyclists in California, it's as easy as hopping on the bike and taking off for the weekend.
Amen!
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