CA-OR-CA.. 3 Days 1626 miles Ride Report - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 6 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 1:17 am Thread Starter
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CA-OR-CA.. 3 Days 1626 miles Ride Report

I've posted this in ADVRider Group but just wanted to my friends over here to see too in case they don't visit that forum...
Even though now I am on a GSA, after all I discovered most of these routes on an RT first...

Well let me begin with answering the obvious question at everybody has in mind first:

- Yes my butt and my calves were sore.... What else you can expect at age 61.

I've had 3 days free time and decided to make a quick exploratory trip. I say exploratory because I tried to see the first time the Northern portion of Highway 1.
Those of you may already been on or heard of Highway 1 is one of the most scenic routes in the US mostly runs right on the Pacific Coast between San Diego and almost to Seattle.

Well, in the past I've been on San Diego to Los Angeles portion of it which is crowded, noisy and simply "yikes"!

Then comes to Los Angeles to San Francisco portion where you find the beautiful Big Sur coastline in addition to the interesting small towns like Solvang, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Monterey, Santa Cruz along the route.

Then San Francisco to Oregon Border section comes which is my favorite route. From Stinson Beach all the way to Crescent City. But the road goes too much inland and away from the ocean for my taste right after you pass few miles North of tiny town of Westport, I always skipped Eureka and Crescent City portions until this past few days.

So I thought how can I fit almost 1600 miles in 3 days and see all the portions of Highway 1 that I never saw before?

Day 1: I've left home at 8:00am and head for Astoria, OR on 5 Freeway passing thru Stockton, Sacramento, Red Bluff, Redding, Mt. Shasta, Grant Pass, Eugene, Salem, Portland and by 8:15 pm I parked in front of my Best Western in Astoria. It was 798 miles and took me 12,5 hrs. Not bad...

The bad news was the weather. It was overcast, cold and wet, wet, wet.... It looked like it was raining and after first 11 hrs in temperatures of 90+ last hr and a half at 50s were awakening and torturous.

Day 2: As my genius plan, I've left my hotel at 7:00 am to cover the coastal route all the way down to Eureka/Fortuna area and see these mysterious part of the Highway 1.
Long story short my final assessment for this portion of the Highway 1 is "meh"... Not bad but nothing to compare to L.A. to San Francisco portion of the route and doesn't even compare to SF to Westport portion of the route.
I've found OR to be an odd state in many way. Don't know why but it is what it is!

What makes this portion of the Highway 1 "meh" is because most of the route you can't see the ocean due to scenery either blocked by giant and dense trees or buildings of residents of these small towns or due to road being just enough distance away from the ocean and ducted behind a small hill all along the way.

Unlike Big Sur coast or SF to Westport portion of the route OR coast is filled with tiny little communities at every few miles and here's the magical part; almost all of these tiny towns speed limit is 20mph and cops were hunting the cars, bikes, RVs like swatting flies. I came a few close "wheeeeewww" moments but escaped that nightmare scenario thankfully.

The other point is between Astoria and California border highway one has a really heavy traffic due to these many little towns spread along the route and single lane roads are heavily used by timber loaded 18 wheelers and regular residence who seemed really enjoying their head spinning 20mph speed limit.

Almost every town I passed something was there impossible to miss... Each one of these tiny communities had a very delightfully lighted with colorful neons and huge signs had a "CANNABIS" business!!! "Best Cannabis", "Ocean Cannabis" "High-Way Cannabis" etc... No wonder 20 mph must be feeling like a warp speed to some residents probably.

Any who, by 6:30 pm I stopped at my hotel for night 2 and odometer showed 464 miles.

This morning I was tired and lazy. So I left my Fortuna hotel at 9:00 am and thru Ukiah, Petaluma, Benicia, Dublin, Gustine aaaand Home! Odometer added another 364 miles.

Total of 1626 miles... Ride time 28 hrs. including the fuel, bathroom and snack stops...

Along the last day's route first 100 miles were some nice scenery with Giant Sequoia trees and nice wide good surfaced roads with very light traffic. But that was it!

So if I have to grade the sections of Highway 1 , it should go as follows:

San Diego to Los Angeles... Actually this one doesn't even count as a bike route but still since a part of Highway 1 = *

Los Angeles to San Francisco... Specifically between Pismo Beach - Monterey = *****

San Francisco to CA/ OR border... Specifically between Stinson Beach - Westport = *****

Oregon Coast from CA/OR border to Astoria, OR (all the way) = **

So, my idea of what I could be missing by not experiencing the Highway 1 by Oregon Coast ended up being "not much"...
I was expecting to be amazed like I do every time I ride thru Big Sur or Mendocino coastline routes but it didn't happen.

Oh well, still 3 days on the bike beats any other alternative I could've been doing during that time.

Ride safe friends,

P.S. One more thought just flashed back to me that I think I am right on my assessment because at this time of the year no matter what day you ride at Big Sur or Mendocino routes you come across ton of bikers. Groups, couples, individuals.... At every vista point, cafe, gas station you see ton of bikes loaded with bags and goodies as an indication that they are on a road trip. But, on my OR route throughout that 464 miles I think I saw not more than a dozen of bikers and half of them were local guys riding choppers in sleeveless shirts look like going to the local weed shop
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Capt.Jim
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post #2 of 6 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 9:42 am
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Re: CA-OR-CA.. 3 Days 1626 miles Ride Report

Thanks for the report, Capt. Curious, as you have apparently done this route on an RT previously, how did you like doing it on the GSA, particularly with the rain? And, what rain gear do you prefer?
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post #3 of 6 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 10:19 am
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Re: CA-OR-CA.. 3 Days 1626 miles Ride Report

I'm familiar with both the Oregon and California coasts. I completely agree with your star ratings.

On the other hand, I spent 8 days ending last week touring the eastern parts of Oregon and Washington. I came away from my trip thinking that I had stumbled upon the best kept secret in United States motorcycle touring. I posted a lengthy (long windedness is a genetic thing in my family) tour report on the BMW Sport Touring forum. As part of that tour I also rode the North Cascade Scenic Loop which almost gets to Canada. It's in the Ride Tales section and titled "The eastern side of west". When I began planning my tour I was going to do the return leg on the coast. But, feeling the same way that you do, I did it inland and was very glad that I did. https://www.bmwsporttouring.com/topi...h-tour-photos/
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Last edited by RJPsRT; Jun 20th, 2019 at 11:28 am.
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post #4 of 6 Old Jun 20th, 2019, 11:08 pm
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Re: CA-OR-CA.. 3 Days 1626 miles Ride Report

Yeah, me too. Having grown up in Nor Cal and rode/drove/pedaled Hwy 1 many times it is the absolute pinnacle. Oregon and Wash are just as you describe.
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post #5 of 6 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 12:12 am Thread Starter
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Re: CA-OR-CA.. 3 Days 1626 miles Ride Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockitcity View Post
Thanks for the report, Capt. Curious, as you have apparently done this route on an RT previously, how did you like doing it on the GSA, particularly with the rain? And, what rain gear do you prefer?
First of all, rain gear??? C'mon man I am no wuss!!!
Real man don't use that kind of sissy stuff. LOL
I have my leather CHP or what they call is the moto-cop leather jacket. That's it!

Kidding aside I am getting old and becoming more of a fair weather rider. If there is rain in the forecast I am at home on the couch and not on the bike!
The last leg wasn't rainy but the fog was so thick and wet that it almost felt like rain. It was just for 15-20 minutes. If I come across a surprising rainy condition for more that 15-20 minutes from my destination, I pull over wherever is the nearest dry area weather a gas station, hotel, barn.... I don't care!

Torturous trips were fun when I was 20-30 yrs old.

As for GSA compared to RT or my other bikes... I don't know what it is but this bike wants me to go out on a longer trips. I think it is something emotional level. I've felt the same thing with my other 2016 GSA too...

GS, RT, GTL, GL1800... none of the bikes made me feel that way. GSA wants me to plan and plan and go to Alaska or just for the sake of it cross the border to Canada, go to Death Valley etc...
It is really comfortable especially after the risers installed. Because of sitting position it makes me feel like I am on top of the world.
with my RT I wanted mostly go around the town or 2-3 hr away locations.
But with GSA I want to go 1 or 2 week long rides. Unfortunately summer is the busy season in my business and hopefully after Labor day I'll be able to go for rides longer than 3 or 4 days.

Hopefully,

Ride safe all,

Capt.Jim
2018 R1200 GSA
--------------------------
'18 R1200RT
'18 K1600GTL
'16 R1200GSA
'14 R1200RT
'12 K1600GTL
'06 R1200GS
'03 R1150RT-P
'07 K1200LT
'05 R1150RT-P
'99 HONDA Valkyrie
'06 R1150RT-P
'05 K1200LT
'05 HONDA Goldwing GL1800
'99 HONDA Valkyrie Interstate
'98 HONDA SHADOW
'98 YAMAHA Super Tenere
'93 HONDA CBR 1000F
'91 HONDA Transalp
'88 JAWA 500
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post #6 of 6 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 1:17 am
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Re: CA-OR-CA.. 3 Days 1626 miles Ride Report

"No wonder 20 mph must be feeling like a warp speed"
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