"Tour de' California - September 2010"
Friday, September 17th, 2010

Thursday's Mileage ended up being approx 430 Miles... not bad after working a full 8 hours at work.

I believe it was around 12:30 AM to 1:00 AM when I'd stopped at the Best Western for the night... I did not get up as planned on Friday morning. The alarm went off and I'd rolled over to turn it off. No big deal, today’s route is only approx 420 miles and there will be plenty of sun light. I’d finally pulled my arse out of bed, took a shower to wake up, grab a Coke for a kick start… that and I am quite Grouchy if I do not have my morning Coke. I didn’t unpack much the night before so there’s not much to re-pack. I load the bike up, and headed to the front desk to check out. It sure is a beautiful day out. A Great Day for a Ride along the Pacific Coast Highway.

I head over to I-5 North to ride up to Frazier Park so I can cut across Frazier Park Road. As I pull off of I-5, I decide to fuel up and grab a breakfast fit for a champion:


As I enter Frazier Park I came across a LEO sitting at their one Red light… the GoPro’s didn’t capture him, but I did get the Frazier Park sign...

Below are just a few pictures zipping along Frazier Park Road… I’ve always enjoyed this little stretch of road. I only wish it were a bit closer to my home:

One of the items that I know that I need to work on is my leaning technique. I know if I learn to lean off of my seat more that I’m I would enjoy the ride more and achieve that great roller coaster feeling. Man, I really love roller coasters. I’ve thought about getting the following for my License Plates: “MPRC” aka “My Personal Roller Coaster”. I like the following picture for it makes me feel as if I’m leaning off of the bike. I know it can’t be so, that this has to be an illusion of how the sun is position in relation to the angle of the bike… however I still like the picture, it allows me to fantasize a bit. The GoPro’s have captured a few pictures like this throughout the trip:

As with anything in life, all good thing must come to an end... at least for a little while... coming up to the intersection of Cuddy Valley Rd and Hwy 166.

Hwy 166 is kind of a snooze except for maybe the last 10 to 12 miles before it connects to Hwy 101. Nothing technical, but there are some nice sweepers toward the end of Hwy 166.

Time to jump on Hwy 101 to head up to San Luis Obispo where I plan to connect to the Pacific Coast Highway:

Around noon I’d pulled into the Shell Gas Station in San Luis Obispo which seems to be the common fuel stop for bikers riding up the PCH. I ended up running into a group of 10 Harley Riders:

Most of the riders are on Full Dresses Harley’s… except for one. The youngest rider was riding this bad boy. Now I’m not much of a Harley guy, I’ve seen some nice looking Harley’s and quite a few of the Executive Weekend Harley’s. For some reason I really like the appearance of this Sportster:

I chatted with the riders a bit before they took off. We discussed our route plans which turned out pretty much the same except these guy’s planned on stopping in Monterey for the evening. They started in Orange County that morning, planned on visiting Yosemite on Saturday and spending Saturday night in Mammoth Lakes, returning back to Orange County on Sunday. For some odd reason they were impressed that I was riding as far as I am on the Daytona. All I could do was “Smile”.

As we are talking, it dawns on me that there will be plenty of day still to ride and that my original plan of stopping near Chowchilla, CA may be a bit premature. I know that I would not be ready to stop for the evening once I arrived there. So I mentioned to the Harley riders that I’m thinking of heading up to San Francisco to get pictures of the bike at the Golden Gate Bridge. The goal would be to get there by sunset. They all thought I was nuts. We said our goodbyes & wished each other luck in our weekend journey.

As one of the last riders mounted his steed, he turned around and asked since I was coming up behind them if I could pick up any parts that fall off of their bikes. I started laughing and said “don’t you mean avoid it so I don’t hit them”. We all had a good laugh and they were on their way.

While at the hotel earlier in the morning I’d realized that I only had 4 GB cards for the GoPro. So I decide to take some time to transfer some of the images over to the Notebook that I have with me. I’d grab a cold soda and start the transfer process. After a bit I decide it is time to get going.

As I’m cruising up the PCH I expected to catch up with the Harley riders in no time. As I passed Cambria I’d noticed their bikes on the North end of Town. What stood out was the Sportster I saw earlier. I started laughing to myself… no wonder they are stopping in Monterey, it will be dark before they even get there.

One thing that amazed me on this trip up the PCH was the amount of fog that I’d encountered. On the combined previous three trips up the PCH I did not have as much fog as I did on this trip. The following picture is from the beginning of the trip. I know it doesn’t seem like much fog here, but it did get worse:

Since this trip was for me to enjoy the PCH and to snag a few pictures of my bike, I’ll pull over in the clear vistas to capture a few images:

While flying up PCH, I’d come across quite a few of these rider’s wearing the same Orange jacket. It had to bike some riding group for it was too much of a coincident for that many to be wearing the same jacket's:

Here’s another vista that was in the clear. It was a superb day for a ride...

About half way up Hwy 1 I'd encountered the dreaded Construction Area’s. There ended up be 3 areas under construction and wouldn't you know it, I hit all three red lights. The only good thing out of this was the fact that I was able to move to the front of the line. Now usually these constructions sites aren't too bad... however, as I pull up to the 2nd area, I had this lovely fellow pull out in front of me:

Crap and in front of him was an RV... isn't this lovely. Why I didn’t pull to the front of this line still baffles me. Now I will have to behave a bit and we are only half way up the coast. Quite a few times I would drop back a bit just so I could speed up through some of the sweepers. The RV was driving so damn slow it was not even funny. I have never had the urge so desperately to pass on a Double Yellow as I did following these two up the coast. If for nothing else but to give the CHP some paperwork to do on the side of the road while freeing up traffic ahead. It has been a little over 2.5 years since my last Performance Award in the Great State of California, I could take the Traffic School to wipe this out... nah, I better save that for another day.

Why hasn't he pulled the RV over so the rest of us could get by & enjoy the coast? After following Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee for 40 miles I'd decided I could not take it anymore. So I decided to pull over for a few more pictures.

I no more pull over when these 3 riders pulled up and asked which way I was heading...

Once they found out that I was heading North, they wanted to Warn me about the CPH that just pulled over an RV up the road... you got to be kidding me. Now he pulls the RV over... what a load of sh*t. And now I bet he is up there sitting waiting for me to come zipping by. Nope, not today, I decided to hang out here a bit talking to these guy's and taking in the beauty that is the Pacific Coast:

After spending some time soaking in the scenery I'd decided it was time to get moving, especially if I were to make it to San Francisco before sun set.

After fueling up in Sand City, I decided it would be best to use the GPS to make sure I get to the Golden Gate Bridge as quickly as possible if I were to make it in time. Especially since I was not that familiar with the area. The GPS ended up being very helpful in navigating through the traffic as I inch closer to the Bay Area.

While heading up Hwy 280 I was so ever thankful for Lane Splitting for I knew that time was against me. Everything was going great until... BAM... where the heck did he come from? How did he not see me? I have lane split many times in California so I knew to watch out for anything and everything. Even with my Hi-viz Yellow Jacket and what I thought was a safe speed, the driver did not see me. My right knee impales the door, my right foot bounces off of the road and I thought for sure I was going down. Some how, some way I'd kept the bike up. I bounce off of his driver side door and veered into the last two left lanes of traffic. Thankful there was a gap large enough for me to slip through. My foot is killing me, swells up a bit... no, it can't be broken, and I’m not ready for the trip to be over. Once I was in the Emergency Lane I'd put the kick stand down and slide off of the bike trying to put weigh on my right foot. I look up to see where the car was that I hit... image that, no where to be found. He must have been stuck in traffic and could not get over. Yea, that's what happened. ???

One kind motorist did pull over to see if I was ok and if she needed to call CHP. I'd politely said no, that I was fine. She could see that I was having a bit of trouble walking and insisted that she call someone. I'd smile and said thank you, but it was necessary. I'd inspected the bike and surprise there was no damage. I could feel my knee swelling up so I know the car had a nice size dent in his door. After about 10 minutes of walking around I was able to remount the Tona and continue my quest to make it to the Bridge before sunset. The lady that pulled over was kind enough to stay with me until I was ready to leave. Too bad there weren't more folks like her in this world. It would be a better place. ;)

With the help of the GPS, I was able to navigate the lovely traffic and arrive at my destination without anymore incidents... especially arriving at rush hour. I use to work for a company in Phoenix that sent me out to the Bay area about once every 3 or 4 months so I had some what of a clue of where I wanted to go. Below are a few pictures of my short 2 hour stay this time in San Francisco:

What a "Handsome" Little Devil...

As I'm sitting down resting for a bit, I knew that I had to transfer some additional pics off of the SD Card's that I had. Then I'd figure why not head over to Best Buy and pick up a couple larger SD Cards so I would not have to hassle with it anymore. Type Best Buy into the GPS and off I go. Of course as I get closer to Best Buy, I'd missed the turn and had to circle around to get to it. After leaving the store, I knew that I should pick up some dinner before heading down to Chowchilla. On the way to Best Buy, I'd reUser passing a burger joint that looked interesting so I decided to head back to it. The place was called Tony's Cable Car Restaurant:

The food wasn't awesome; however it did beat McDonalds or any other fast food joint. While eating, I was enjoying the cooler weather that San Francisco had to offer. On this particular evening, the fog was pretty thick, sort of looked like it was raining - misting sideways. As I'm sitting here taking it all in, I broke out the GPS to see how far it was to my next stop. Hmm... how far did I want to go. I'd figured I would head over to Hwy 99 and head south until I'd felt like it was time to pull over. I knew I wanted to get as close as I could to Merced or Chowchilla as I could so I would be closer to Yosemite the next morning.

I ended up going all the way down to Chowchilla to check into the Day's Inn for the night. Another great day of riding... even with the little incident along Hwy 280.

Friday’s Mileage turned out to be approx 590 Miles.

Tomorrow morning would be Yosemite National Park... I can't wait...

>>Saturday, September 18th, 2010

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