BMW Motorcycles (aka Beemers) and the Competition
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w00t... Just finished planning my September ride.
The SoCal Extreme! Ok, it's more of a "Central Sierras" extreme, but that doesn't have the same ring to it.
Pashnit lists his 5 favorite motorcycling roads in the state.
1) Oroville-Quincy Hwy (We missed this one on Sierras I because we were too tired)
2) Mosquito Ridge Rd (We did this on both Sierras I and Sierras II)
3) Cottonwood Rd: We will do this one on Day 5 of this ride
4) Angeles Crest: We will do this one on Day 3 of this ride
5) Mammoth Pool Rd: We will do this one on Day 4 of this ride
Route Map (1268 Miles):
Day 1: Ride after work on Wednesday down 101 to Paso Robles (159 Miles)
Day 2: Paso Robles to LA (277 Miles)
This section of Hwy 229 is probably unlike any other portion of road in the entire state. The reason why this very text is buried in the midst of this webpage is the locals would probably like to keep this section of road to themselves. A narrow undulating hyperactive stretch of pavement. Nothing quite like it in all the state.
Imagine a variety of curves, high speed straights, and great views of the Central Valley. It's a combination of all these- that middle of nowhere feeling, the big sky country and quality pavement. And my personal favorite- length. 72 miles of motorcycle nothingness.
Soda Lake Rd (this includes 15 miles of dirt, but it's supposed to be REAL GOOD quality, no washboarding or anything):
During the ride in the middle dirt section, I waved at a couple of cars that passed by going in the other direction just because they were fellow travelers on an otherwise deserted road. After a couple friendly mutual waves, it occurred to me as I was cruising along that this must have been what California was like in the early days. Everybody waving like that.
That first time I rode this, I was absolutely amazed! I just couldn't get enough. Ode to joy! Maybe the only thing that compares to this ride is Mosquito Ridge or Angeles Crest (here in CA).
Little Tujunga Canyon:
If God had a motorcycle, this is where he'd be.
He'd be riding (insert your bike here) back and forth, up and down the mountain, absorbing the view, basking in the marvel of his creation. He'd be looking down on his sculpted and molded mountainous land of divine intervention, a blessing of a greater power. He'd revel in the notion of modern man having carved this wonder of motorcycle goodness into his mountain. This is the 'Little T'.
Day 3: LA to Lindsay (near Visalia) (309 Miles)
Angeles Crest Highway:
Few highways in all of California inspire this much exhilaration.
This 66 mile - one hour long thrilling ride is a motorcycle dreamland in its sustainable speeds, nonstop curves, outstanding road conditions and vistas.
Caliente-Bodfish is one of those rare roads where you can guarantee there won't be any smokeys around and there is no center stripe. The only limitations are your skill and your common sense. The curves on this ride are never ending, tight and grin-inducing.
By the time youíre 6-7 miles east, this climbing, twisty road has become seriously fun; complete with sharp curves, switchbacks, and large boulders lining the shoulder providing zero "run-off" room along much of it.
Day 4: Lindsay to Oakhurst (229 Miles)
Youíre at an elevation of about 4100 feet, and itís probably no coincidence that the pavement through here is as nice as youíll ever see!
Auberry Rd/Powerhouse Rd:
Powerhouse Rd continues northward to the river valley and back up. And what a wondrous stretch of curvaceous pavement it became! Okay, so admittedly, it wasn't exactly a racetrack. The road heaved and tossed to and fro. It was like riding a 600 lb. bucking bronco, except it had two tires and the word Ninja painted across the side.
Mammoth Pool Rd:
Any mountain road that will easily sustain 40-60 mph speeds is dreamy in my book. You know what it feels like to be flying around a corner say, 40, 50 mph? Full tilt, you are really flying. It feels wonderbar. The bike flows back forth, right left. And the curves just keep on comin'. It feels so fluid. You were made for this. You don't even hear the roar of the exhaust. You are lost in the moment.
Day 5: Oakhurst to Home (280 Miles)
CA 49 (The Little Dragon):
You want to ride some fantastic curves- basking in the sensation of super-smoothness rotating beneath you, to climb to the top of the mountain and suck in some air as you draw a gasp at the view- which stretches on for miles across the foothills. Like that sound of that? Want to wet your whistle on a dreamy slab of blacktop designed, thought up, and intended for motorcyclists?
Cherry Lake Rd:
No middle line for the entire 24 miles and some wicked curves- this ride winds up, winds down to the Tuolumne River, winds back up and heads on over to the Cherry Lake Reservoir.
Rides like this are what make the hundreds of roads I've ridden in search of this perfection all worth it. Years ago, when I discovered Mosquito Ridge, I was beside myself and didn't stop grinning for a week. There were so many non-stop curves on Mosquito Ridge I was begging for a straight section after awhile. I would go out on a limb and say so far- these two roads are by far the curviest-high speed-out of the way-deserted-middle of nowhere-pure sportbike bliss rides.
Wards Ferry Rd:
...and I ordered this to document the trip:
Last edited by KrisL; 08-24-2009 at 03:07 PM.
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