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Old 01-14-2021, 07:42 AM   #1
NoneMoreBlack
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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Furlough: A Socal-Norcal Ride Report


Here we go again! I spent the holidays in San Diego since I figured if I was quarantined and unemployed I might as well do it eating fish tacos and drinking Estrella de Jalisco on a beach. Built in a three day loop of some Socal sights I wanted to take in, and then a scenic route home, also three days of riding. So with a quick break in SD in between, I spent 6 out of 8 days in the saddle.

Major takeaways: I am definitely not doing this in the winter again, not only was I often feeling wooden on the bike from cold, but leading up to departure I had to keep a close eye on about six different websites to figure out what roads are closed. (Side note: this is some sort of low hanging fruit for purveyors of moto software or the like, it is absurdly difficult to find this information in a concise, up to date, and accurate fashion)

Also, SoCal has plenty of nice roads and scenery, which are only linked to eachother and populated areas via mile upon mile of mind numbing/traffic dodging slab. Glad I did it but I'm not necessarily recommending the route below.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:57 AM   #2
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Day 1: San Diego > Lyons Valley > Cuyamaca Rancho SP > Anza Borrego SP > Cleveland Nat'l Forest > Mt. San Jacinto SP > Palm Springs
Mileage: 215
Elevation change: 16448

Headed inland with the goal of getting off the freeway asap. Lyons Valley Road into Cuyamaca Rancho State Park was plenty nice, reminiscent of the Sierra foothills but with very different flora, smells very different from the Redwood/Eucalyptus mileu I usually ride in.


A recently burned area


Up looking down


Down looking up


First snow spotting at Lake Cuyamaca


Coming down out of the mountains


This appears to be the desert


There wasn't really any explanation for these sculptures out in the middle of nowhere


Up up up again, now heading to the pass between Anza-Borrego and Palm Desert


This is the "Pines to Palms Highway" which descends into Palm desert. Pretty great, think the descent on 29 into Calistoga but, you know, sandy
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:18 AM   #3
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Day 2: Palm Springs > Joshua Tree > Yucca Valley > Bernadino Nat'l Forest/Big Bear > LA
Mileage: 240
Elevation change: 15,526

This was the riding day that had to flex the most as I was planning on account of winter weather. It was originally slated to end with my staying in Big Bear, but the threat of being trapped up there by a surprise snow had me choose yet another freeway slog to stay at a family spot in LA instead.


There is randomly a George Patton tank museum out in the desert east of Palm Springs


Yes, this is definitely not Sonoma


I had considered building some dirt roads into my adventure, after the 20 yards of loose sand I had to navigate to take this photo, I made the correct decision



I wonder what they call these funny looking trees


Do not pet


Out of the desert, across the floor of some other desert, and Big Bear rises up in front of you


I'm cold


Still cold


So cold


You can see the whole Inland Empire from up here


Cold and lonely so I made a friend
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:19 AM   #4
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Great photos. I have been in the area a few times, but only by car. I would suggest to visit in spring or maybe fall. In the summer it becomes blazing hot in the desert, in the winter you get ice in the mountains.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Day 2: Palm Springs > Joshua Tree > Yucca Valley > Bernadino Nat'l Forest/Big Bear > LA
Mileage: 240
Elevation change: 15,526

This was the riding day that had to flex the most as I was planning on account of winter weather. It was originally slated to end with my staying in Big Bear, but the threat of being trapped up there by a surprise snow had me choose yet another freeway slog to stay at a family spot in LA instead.


I wonder what they call these funny looking trees

Cold and lonely so I made a friend
These funny looking trees are named after the national park, yoshua trees, or the other way around ...

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Old 01-14-2021, 08:38 AM   #6
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Day 3: LA > Topanga Canyon > Malibu > Venice > SD
Mileage: 180
Elevation change: 7598 (but this basically all took place in the first 40 miles)

This was the day I had originally planned to do Angeles National Forest. The thing is, Angeles Crest Highway is still mostly closed due to fire damage, and while the bypass does indeed look scenic, I had kinda gotten to the end of my endurance the day prior between the cold and the heavy traffic. So I decided to trace some squiggles in the Mulholland area, although THE ONE TRUE SNAKE is also still closed due to fire damage, there are miles and miles of great roads in...what do you call this area, the Malibu hills?

So this is just a quick jaunt in the hills followed by yet another slog back down to SD.


Seriously this area is pretty great, it does of course have a reputation for being a squidfest and I'm not sure how often I would patronize it if I lived in the area, although this was a weekday and it was quite chill. Basically the LA county equivalent of the Santa Cruz Mountains.


It's funny when you're in somebody else's backyard thinking "wow I am a genius for discovering this road" right before a bunch of 911s and Ferraris fly by


Malibu


Not pictured: Deus Ex Machina. Why? We all know the reputation this brand has, but I figured hey why not, it's on my way. I knew something was amiss when I showed up and there is neither designated moto parking, nor a single moto parked. Just a bunch of Venice dads in flip flops buying graphic tees.

It is however where I discovered that my rear tire that I was hoping to eke enough mileage out of to make it home was down to the cords (you can actually see this juuust starting in the last pic by the beach if you look carefully). All this freeway had just shellacked the center. Anyway found this shop who got me sorted and back on the road asap and for a reasonable price.

For the tire nerds keeping track at home, that was about 6,000 miles (accounting for the fact that I should have changed them around 200 earlier) on a set of Metzeler Z8s. The front had a little life left but I didn't want to repeat this experience somewhere in Big Sur so I changed it too.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:45 AM   #7
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Nice photos, yea, So Cal and the desert have some great vistas and nice riding.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:51 AM   #8
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Day 4, northward bound: SD > Ojai Los Padres NF > Carrizo Plain > Santa Maria
Mileage: 311
Elevation change: 13205

A couple days' rest in SD then back in the saddle, slab it to Ojai then what is definitely one of California's great roads, 33 through, I dunno the Maricopa Pass? As an example of the difficulty of figuring out what is going on with roads, right up until the morning of this day, the Caltrans website showed 33 as having chain controls and being off limits to bikes, when in reality it was clean and dry pavement the whole way and no checkpoints.


Ojai: Valley of the Hippy


Seriously tasty


Top of the pass, around 5K feet IIRC


Coming down off the mountain


Ok maybe I did buy one thing at Deus, a handy reminder of the kind of pace you should be setting in a world with 0% ICU capacity
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:54 AM   #9
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Excellent pictures. Love the trip so far. More !

Mad
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:07 AM   #10
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Day 5: A bit of a mess. Santa Maria > Lake Naciemento > Fort Hunter Ligget > (turn around) > Cambria> (mechanical failure) > Big Sur > Monterey

In the ongoing saga of road closure, obviously Caltrans can't tell if you if Naciemento-Fergusson is closed, because it's technically a Forest Service road, so you needed to check the NFS website, you silly goose!

I lost about 2.5 hours to that.... detour, and then my clutch decided to make a break for it. The eagle eyed among you may perceive my on-the-fly conversion to a vented cover, which I did not volunteer for.

Anyway while sitting on the road waiting for my tow I figured I'd take a crack at it and hey, got it working again. Always carry tools folks (and secure them properly since I actually lost my toolkit on the way down and had to replace it while in SD, which felt like an almost unnecessary expense at the time)

This means I passed Hearst Castle and entered a wall of fog at about 3PM even, which left me around 1.5 hours of what passed for daylight in the mist. So I didn't really get to stop and enjoy the scenery as much as I would have liked.


The damn over Lake Naciemento


[literally 5 hours later]





Sometimes, things are worth it in the end
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:47 AM   #11
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Day 6, home: Monterey > 9 > 35 > 84 > 1 > SF
Mileage: 145
Elevation change: 9718

Monterey to SF is of course a short day, so I figured I'd spice it up as best I could manage, especially with my weary bones at this point.


I had missed green


I actually never really ride 9, it's a bit out of the way coming from SF. Pretty nice view at the top there!



Skyline


Gotta go to church


Never gets old


Grey is ok
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:08 AM   #12
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Dude! You get around. Great pictures and nice little write ups, looking forward to more of your adventures.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:36 PM   #13
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Dude! You get around. Great pictures and nice little write ups, looking forward to more of your adventures.
^^This^^
Fun read. Fun read.
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Old 01-14-2021, 01:37 PM   #14
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Re: SoCal / NoCal

Nice report - thanks for sharing. Great bike, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoneMoreBlack View Post


Here we go again! I spent the holidays in San Diego since I figured if I was quarantined and unemployed I might as well do it eating fish tacos and drinking Estrella de Jalisco on a beach. Built in a three day loop of some Socal sights I wanted to take in, and then a scenic route home, also three days of riding...
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Old 01-14-2021, 01:57 PM   #15
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And thanks for not posting any or many pictures of Salton City, speaking of apocalyptic wastelands...

Oh, and I've been to that Patton museum . It's there because that was the area that he trained US Armor for Africa in WWII.
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