How much California can one man, or should I say two men, see in three days? I’d say quite a bit if they maintain a good, law abiding pace and are cautious in timing their stops. Most of my riding has been limited to one day forays, where I’ve ridden upwards of 12 hours and 500 miles in a single day. In the fall, I ticked off 700 miles in two days. Why not go a bit further?
The original plan was to head north and visit Newport, Oregon. Jamie’s grandparents have a condo on the beach where we could take advantage of free lodging. Having never been to Oregon and a long time fan of free lodging, I started planning this trip months ago. I would ride north on Friday ahead of Memorial Day holiday traffic and spend the first night in Humboldt Bay. Day two would marry epic northern California roads with top Oregon sites like Crater Lake and “that road that follows the Umpqua River,” eventually depositing me in Newport. I’d rest for a day, then make the long slog home on Monday. Jamie would drive up in the car and meet me for two nights. I even talked my trusty riding companion, Ryan O’Nell, into joining me. Alas, the forecast calls for showers and caution dictates scrapping the trip. Which leads me to the South.
Forecast to the South is for Sunny skies, highs in 70’s and lows in the 50’s, which pretty well equates to perfect riding conditions. Three days in the saddle would allow for further exploration of roads I’ve heard whispered about at Alice’s Restaurant and touted on web forums like Pashnit. As usual, I’ve been somewhat ambitious in selecting a route that covers 1,100 miles. I’ve put a few shortcuts in there as well should we hit traffic or get tired, so that we can shorten a day if so desired. As we plan to leave Friday and return on Sunday night, we also have the option to grab a motel room along the way and extend by a night if so inclined or fatigued.
Destination: Bakersfield. Why on earth would I choose to rest two nights in Bakersfield? It’s not quite the swinging hot spot it once was, but that means there are more than a few reasonably priced hotels right off the highway. That’s right, our luxury suite at the Holiday Inn Express will be walking distance from Denny’s and the local Hungry Hunter! But the real destination is the road, and of that we have plenty. Twisty, smooth, uncrowded road. We’ll pass near Pinnacles national monument and King City on day 1, through Los Padres and Angeles National Forest on day 2, and the plan for day 3 is a romp through Yosemite. Plans. Makes me laugh to consider the idea of planning something like this, but as I mentioned we have some alternate routes laid out as well.
Of course, we’re limited to packing only what can be carried on the bikes, so those packs will be light. I’ll have my trusty camera and will try to write a good summary for you on Monday as I lay there in a post adrenal haze of soreness. This is going to be good. Oh yeah.
I’ve included a few recent riding pictures for your enjoyment along with route. Don’t worry Mom, I’ll be fine!