Suggestions to Ride the West Coastline - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    Daboo's Avatar
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    I'm planning on riding down to Stanford in mid-August to see our youngest daughter's PhD defense on the 15th. I thought it was an excellent opportunity to take the bike down from the Seattle area and follow the coastline on 101 and CA-1.

    I'm wondering if you have suggestions on things to make sure I see on the way? And maybe things to avoid? How bad are the RVs? Do I need to leave at the crack of dawn to avoid them?

    Also, where to stay? I could do the entire trip on I-5 and make it in one day...but I imagine this route will be much slower and will take several days. What's a good mileage estimate for each day's travels?

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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  3. #2
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    Looks like 960 miles on the Bing maps. Yeah, it's slower but on a motorcycle there are better passing options.
    It's a nice ride but there may be fog along the coast. That makes for no sight seeing to speak of. Best coast weather is like October.
    There are so many communities along the way that finding a place to stay might be too bad but pricey since it is tourist season and the coast demands the big bucks.
    I paid $50 or so for a crap camp at the KOA near Ft Bragg a few years ago.
    At a leisurely pace it might take 4-5 days especially if you research and find those need to see places and stop for a gander.
    Like Ft Ross so you can see what Russia looks like.

  4. #3
    Daboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notacop View Post
    ...Yeah, it's slower but on a motorcycle there are better passing options...
    Yeah...passing options like 2nd or 3rd gear.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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  6. #4
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    A couple of weeks ago I rode home to Pacifica along Highway 101 from Grants Pass. 101 has been improved by Caltrans quite a bit in the northern section of California recently. Lots of new pavement and areas to pass. I had no problem being held up by slowpokes and that was on a Sunday afternoon. There are many state campgrounds along 101 and Highway 1, all you have to do is find one that isn't packed. Taking the route on a week day, between Monday and Thursday will offer the best chance to obtain a camping spot if that is what you want to do. Gas prices are quite high along the coast. One nice spot to visit is the Point Arena Lighthouse, on Highway 1, just south of Fort Bragg. If you turn off 101 at Leggett and pick up Highway 1, you will have a great ride south, provided you don't happen to hit too much fog. However August can be a foggy month along the California coast. You should have no problem making that trip in two days and it sure beats I-5. I would post some photos of the route, if I could do so from my computer files - which unfortunately, I can't.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  8. #5
    Daboo's Avatar
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    Thanks, Richard.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    I'm planning on riding down to Stanford in mid-August to see our youngest daughter's PhD defense on the 15th.

    Chris

    Congratulations to your daughter. You must be very proud.

  10. #7
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    Somewhere below Ft Bragg I got behind a local delivery truck who knew the road. He was moving at a pleasant rate and I just stayed behind him enjoying the countryside. Early in the morning there wasn't much traffic. I Was thinking about a book I read about a fellow that drove that route back in the early part of the century in a horseless carriage. The road hasn't changed much since then...'cept for maybe being paved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runmyownlife View Post
    Congratulations to your daughter. You must be very proud.
    +1
    2013 F800GT Graphite Metallic
    Not a 2nd childhood, still in the 1st 

  12. #9
    Daboo's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm very proud of her. Both daughters actually. The one getting her PhD has worked extremely hard all her life. She's a slow reader...maybe a result of being extremely good in math where every little letter and number mean something. In high school, she'd be up till 1 or 2 am...then get up at 5:30 am to go to school where she played bass in the elite jazz group. There's a nicer sounding name for what she's getting her PhD in, but I just think of it as biological statistics.

    I think she was in pre-K when we went on a field trip to take a ferry ride. As we're waiting for the ferry to come, the other kids were running around playing. She was looking up at the billboard and adding the numbers of the phone numbers together in her head...for fun.

    But I'm probably most proud of the loving heart she has. She was going to take a vacation this spring to someplace cool with her sister. Then changed her mind. Her grandparents are now in their nineties and she decided she wanted to go somewhere with them.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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  14. #10
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    I just rode back on 101 to Nor Cal from Sisters, OR on July 2nd and took two days to do it. Other people mentioned the possibility of fog, but we didn't have that problem. We did have some scary high winds between Brookings, OR and Crescent City, CA so that kept the fog away. Traffic wasn't a problem for us either (on a weekday), because they've added a number of new passing lanes. And the paving is improved as others said. Dress in layers or wear electric clothes, 'cause it gets cooooollld on the Coast even if the sun is shining.

    Don't know if it will fit your plans, but there's a decent Motel 6 on Jerry's Flat Rd. as you enter Gold Beach, OR. And within a short walking distance of the Motel 6 there's a restaurant/pub right on the Rogue river.

    If you have time, the Lost Coast road (211?) between Fortuna and Petrolia is a nice scenic detour, but it would add a few hours to the day.

    And if you're near Arcata/Samoa, CA around meal time, check out the historic Samoa Cookhouse. Good food, decent prices, cool building and grounds.

    As you may know, 101 commute traffic gets nasty around Santa Rosa, CA and doesn't get any better as you get into Marin and the SF Peninsula. You'll get to use some carpool lanes on parts of 101, but not all of 101. It might be worth it to time your day so that you're not traveling southbound on 101 in those areas until after 10AM. Or maybe you're more patient than I am ...

    Have a great ride.

    Ran Bush
    Nor Cal

  15. #11
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    I think curvy Highway 1 is now open from Stinson Beach to Mill Valley, which is only a few minutes from the GG Bridge. If you take Highway 1 all the way from Ft. Bragg, you will bypass that nasty freeway traffic south of Ukiah, although it will take you longer to reach SF using that route. But it sure is a lot more scenic and a great motorcycle road.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  17. #12
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    I live in the Willamette Valley, but used to live on the coast, Brookings and Myrtle Point. I just got back from 4 days up and down the coast. Stayed in Port Orford, great motel, eat at the port, cheap seafood and watch the boats lifted out of the ocean! Really big boats too!! Traffic on the coast is sometimes good, sometimes not so good, worse around Newport/Florence/Lincoln city, good further South. Cold as heck 55 degrees in Brookings, especially if it is hot in the valley. Brookings has good restaurants, but motels in Brookings and Gold Beach are expensive. That's why I stayed in Port Orford. You should make a reservation ahead as summer is busy everywhere.

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