Originally Posted by LTExfisher
Any of you veterans have tips on camping, motels, parking, lap day, stuff you'd like to share or warn of?
Check the Laguna Seca website, but I think all of the camping is sold out on the grounds. There are probably other camping areas around but I don't know where they are.
Motels are completely jacked up expensive and you may not be able to find much within 20 or so miles of the track. I book my rooms at the same hotel in Salinas every year and I do it as I check out Sunday morning the last day of the races. I'm in a BW that's usual $79 and am paying $168, and that's a "we like you and you come back a lot" rate. Don't count on the Internet to find a room, get the direct numbers for hotels/motels and call the front desk as some will hold a few rooms for regular travelers and you may be able to sweet-talk one of those.
Preferred bike parking is sold out so you'll either need to park outside of turn 5 (if they let you around there) or you''ll be on the dirt hill above the track with everyone else. Just follow the crowd and you'll be fine.
The parade lap is a waste of time IMHO. You're on the track in a pack of about 250 bikes (they send them out in waves, about 5 last year) you have escorts front and back, and you never get about 35 mph. And invariably someone still throws their bike away during this event. If you want to ride Laguna sign up for a track day, trust me, it's alot more fun.
Other tips -
Wear comfortable walking/hiking shoes, lots of ground to cover and lots of hills. I probably walk 3-5 miles a day when there.
The best time to see and buy stuff is Friday morning. Go get your t-shirts and all that then. Also if you like to take pics (I shoot a lot while there) Friday practices are the least crowded and it's easier to get close to the track to see the bikes at speed.
Drink lots of water.
Go with the flow. The crowds are huge and it can take a while to move through some areas, like the Dunlop Bridge. Just relax and move with the crowd and it will be much less stressful.
Most of all - Enjoy yourself!