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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
in 2 weeks i'll be taking my 'new' Chief Dark Horse from Austin, TX up the California coast and then wind my way back home. i've always dreamed of riding a bike along the coast up the Pacific Coast Highway. i've never even been west of Texas before. i'm not going to be sticking to any itinerary, but i plan on averaging about 500 miles a day and have picked out some of the top rated roads and routes in each state along my path for a round trip of 5,000 miles. i'm not one to stop and take a bunch of photos and do sight-seeing, but i want to make an exception this time since this is pretty much my bucket list bike trip. so i'll document my travels here as much as i can. below is the tentative route i'll be taking. Google Maps is real finicky when you put in too many destination points (i had to 'hack' 3 maps together) so it's not exact, but pretty close. and the specific destination points listed aren't important, that's just what i had to mark to choose certain roads i want to travel. i may have to alter my route on the fly since there are currently some wildfires raging and road closures in Northern California right in my way.

MAP ROUTE

645941


these are the main destination roads that i picked out that defined this route, mostly picked from :
Valley of Fire Loop, east of Las Vegas
Death Valley Run, through Death Valley National Park
Caliente to Kernville on County Road 483, east of Bakersfield
The Lost Highway 58, Bakersfield to San Luis Obispo
Hwy1 up the California coast from Morro Bay to Fortuna
Rt. 36, 140 miles of twisties
Reno to Lake Tahoe loop
Hwy50, "the loneliest road in America"
Hwy9, Zion Canyon Utah
The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Mexican Hat to Bryce Canyon
San Juan Mountain Skyway
Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Road - CO 141, dubbed "greatest road in America" by Car Trek youtube series

most of these were picked from motorcycleroads.com which has more information about each and which ranks the top roads in each state. i plan on mostly using my Beeline device to guide me along the way - Beeline - smart navigation for bikes | Beeline
love this navigation tool. you put in a mapped trip you want to take and then this compass tells you which direction to go and what distance until you need to make a turn. it also tells you if it's an upcoming ramp, roundabout, or other notable road structure. much simper and easier to follow than a map, though you can also follow along with your map on your phone as well.

not sure what i'm doing for sleeping accommodations each night. will probably just find the cheapest motel in any area when i'm tired of riding for that day, pretty much the strategy i used the last time i took a cross country bike trip. what do you guys do on long trips? find campsites? pull off on the side of the road somewhere? find a 4 star hotel? if any of you have any comments or tips or questions, feel free to share. i see some of you use this Relive app or whatever to share some of your rides. if it's not too much of a hassle for me to figure out and use, i might use that to share the trip.
 

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Many years and a lifetime ago I rode Hwy 1 south from Seattle to the redwood forest before turning east to go home. I can’t tell from your map how far north you are planning to go but it looks like a great route. One I’d like to do again. I’m also planning a trip starting on the 6th next month. I bought a trailer and plan 2 nights in a tent then 2 nights in a hotel. My wife will be with me for most of the trip but will fly home after “Road to the Sun” because of obligations with her new business.
If available, I’d mix it up as much as you can. We’re in our 60’s so a week of camping in a tent and riding all day, every, day gets tiresome so a shower in the same room becomes a necessity.
Don’t be afraid to be a tourist and stop to see the sights and take a few pics though, especially if this is a bucket list ride. You didn’t list your age, is this a once in a lifetime trip? Also, watch out for the crazy people, there everywhere!
 

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in 2 weeks i'll be taking my 'new' Chief Dark Horse from Austin, TX up the California coast and then wind my way back home. i've always dreamed of riding a bike along the coast up the Pacific Coast Highway. i've never even been west of Texas before. i'm not going to be sticking to any itinerary, but i plan on averaging about 500 miles a day and have picked out some of the top rated roads and routes in each state along my path for a round trip of 5,000 miles. i'm not one to stop and take a bunch of photos and do sight-seeing, but i want to make an exception this time since this is pretty much my bucket list bike trip. so i'll document my travels here as much as i can. below is the tentative route i'll be taking. Google Maps is real finicky when you put in too many destination points (i had to 'hack' 3 maps together) so it's not exact, but pretty close. and the specific destination points listed aren't important, that's just what i had to mark to choose certain roads i want to travel. i may have to alter my route on the fly since there are currently some wildfires raging and road closures in Northern California right in my way.

MAP ROUTE

View attachment 645941

these are the main destination roads that i picked out that defined this route, mostly picked from :
Valley of Fire Loop, east of Las Vegas
Death Valley Run, through Death Valley National Park
Caliente to Kernville on County Road 483, east of Bakersfield
The Lost Highway 58, Bakersfield to San Luis Obispo
Hwy1 up the California coast from Morro Bay to Fortuna
Rt. 36, 140 miles of twisties
Reno to Lake Tahoe loop
Hwy50, "the loneliest road in America"
Hwy9, Zion Canyon Utah
The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Mexican Hat to Bryce Canyon
San Juan Mountain Skyway
Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Road - CO 141, dubbed "greatest road in America" by Car Trek youtube series

most of these were picked from motorcycleroads.com which has more information about each and which ranks the top roads in each state. i plan on mostly using my Beeline device to guide me along the way - Beeline - smart navigation for bikes | Beeline
love this navigation tool. you put in a mapped trip you want to take and then this compass tells you which direction to go and what distance until you need to make a turn. it also tells you if it's an upcoming ramp, roundabout, or other notable road structure. much simper and easier to follow than a map, though you can also follow along with your map on your phone as well.

not sure what i'm doing for sleeping accommodations each night. will probably just find the cheapest motel in any area when i'm tired of riding for that day, pretty much the strategy i used the last time i took a cross country bike trip. what do you guys do on long trips? find campsites? pull off on the side of the road somewhere? find a 4 star hotel? if any of you have any comments or tips or questions, feel free to share. i see some of you use this Relive app or whatever to share some of your rides. if it's not too much of a hassle for me to figure out and use, i might use that to share the trip.
My husband and I ride Northern CA for our honeymoon 4 years ago. We rented in SF and rode up to Fortuna and across 36. Couple notes for you. Make sure you get gas in Fortuna. There’s nothing on 36 until Red Bluff. Although it looks like you’re getting off 36 and taking 3 and 299 up to Redding? 299 around Whiskeytown is very pretty. If you go just past the turn for 36 in Fortuna you’ll find a gas station. Also, I would suggest slightly modifying your route to go around Tahoe on 89. The view from the south end is spectacular. I see there a TON of closures at the moment out there, I’m guessing due to the wildfires. Breaks my heart. Have a good trip. Enjoy this one off your bucket list and ride safe.
 

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I would think that 500 miles EACH day is going to be tiresome. I would lower it to 400 each day, with maybe the odd 500 and 300. When in Phoenix/Mesa, I would take the trip up to Payson, Strawberry(stop for a breather at the Natural Bridge) over the Jerome, (gotta stop in Jerome) to Prescott, and then carry on. I guess it also depends on your direction of travel.

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Gordon
 

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in 2 weeks i'll be taking my 'new' Chief Dark Horse from Austin, TX up the California coast and then wind my way back home. i've always dreamed of riding a bike along the coast up the Pacific Coast Highway. i've never even been west of Texas before. i'm not going to be sticking to any itinerary, but i plan on averaging about 500 miles a day and have picked out some of the top rated roads and routes in each state along my path for a round trip of 5,000 miles. i'm not one to stop and take a bunch of photos and do sight-seeing, but i want to make an exception this time since this is pretty much my bucket list bike trip. so i'll document my travels here as much as i can. below is the tentative route i'll be taking. Google Maps is real finicky when you put in too many destination points (i had to 'hack' 3 maps together) so it's not exact, but pretty close. and the specific destination points listed aren't important, that's just what i had to mark to choose certain roads i want to travel. i may have to alter my route on the fly since there are currently some wildfires raging and road closures in Northern California right in my way.

MAP ROUTE

View attachment 645941

these are the main destination roads that i picked out that defined this route, mostly picked from :
Valley of Fire Loop, east of Las Vegas
Death Valley Run, through Death Valley National Park
Caliente to Kernville on County Road 483, east of Bakersfield
The Lost Highway 58, Bakersfield to San Luis Obispo
Hwy1 up the California coast from Morro Bay to Fortuna
Rt. 36, 140 miles of twisties
Reno to Lake Tahoe loop
Hwy50, "the loneliest road in America"
Hwy9, Zion Canyon Utah
The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Mexican Hat to Bryce Canyon
San Juan Mountain Skyway
Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Road - CO 141, dubbed "greatest road in America" by Car Trek youtube series

most of these were picked from motorcycleroads.com which has more information about each and which ranks the top roads in each state. i plan on mostly using my Beeline device to guide me along the way - Beeline - smart navigation for bikes | Beeline
love this navigation tool. you put in a mapped trip you want to take and then this compass tells you which direction to go and what distance until you need to make a turn. it also tells you if it's an upcoming ramp, roundabout, or other notable road structure. much simper and easier to follow than a map, though you can also follow along with your map on your phone as well.

not sure what i'm doing for sleeping accommodations each night. will probably just find the cheapest motel in any area when i'm tired of riding for that day, pretty much the strategy i used the last time i took a cross country bike trip. what do you guys do on long trips? find campsites? pull off on the side of the road somewhere? find a 4 star hotel? if any of you have any comments or tips or questions, feel free to share. i see some of you use this Relive app or whatever to share some of your rides. if it's not too much of a hassle for me to figure out and use, i might use that to share the trip.

If your able too! The 254 (avenue of the giants) runs parallel with the 101 is a beautiful ride, and a must do IMO
 

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I love the route and have this on my bucket list too. (only starting / ending in MN of course)
500 miles per day would get old quick for me. I would recommend picking a couple locations along the way that you really want to see and holing up there for a day or 3 to break up the trip.
If all you see is road then you're really not seeing what the trip has to offer.
I like camping so would plan to camp along the way but again, once a week or so I would be looking for a hotel/motel to get a real bed and shower.

How many in your group? Solo? This will also determine how much freedom you have to change plans on the fly.
Sounds like a fantastic trip!
 

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Looks like an amazing trip. Have not been on some of those roads in AZ. However, if you get the chance to ride the Coronado trail there from alpine down to i10. I highly recomend it and it would be only a slight alteration of your route thru AZ. But still sounds awesome. My group wants to ride out the pacific coast soon. Eagerly looking forward to any insight you develop. Be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Although it looks like you’re getting off 36 and taking 3 and 299 up to Redding? 299 around Whiskeytown is very pretty. If you go just past the turn for 36 in Fortuna you’ll find a gas station. Also, I would suggest slightly modifying your route to go around Tahoe on 89. The view from the south end is spectacular. I see there a TON of closures at the moment out there, I’m guessing due to the wildfires. Breaks my heart. Have a good trip. Enjoy this one off your bucket list and ride safe.
i plan on taking 36 from Fortuna all the way past Red Bluff, but the Google map doesn't like to play nice. but this is the area where i may have to alter my route due to fires and road closures. will have to just find out once i get there.

i was originally going to take 89 south of Tahoe, but the 431 above it is part of a highly rated loop so i'm not sure what to do. have you ridden it? if so, do you still recommend South Lake Tahoe over it?

645976
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would think that 500 miles EACH day is going to be tiresome. I would lower it to 400 each day, with maybe the odd 500 and 300. When in Phoenix/Mesa, I would take the trip up to Payson, Strawberry(stop for a breather at the Natural Bridge) over the Jerome, (gotta stop in Jerome) to Prescott, and then carry on. I guess it also depends on your direction of travel.

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Gordon
the 500 is just a tentative average. i plan on doing about 700 on both the first and last days of the trip where there is about 1,000 miles of just straight interstate travel, so it'll average itself out. and i have plenty of extra days if i decide i want to take it easy on some days or if i get a breakdown.

i'm trying to get to Vegas as quickly as i can, but i'll consider your tip and look at that detour to see if i want to add it. thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If your able too! The 254 (avenue of the giants) runs parallel with the 101 is a beautiful ride, and a must do IMO
didn't even notice that before. thanks for the tip. is it all that different from the 101 right next to it?
 

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Looks like a great trip. I did the PCH ride about 10 years ago with a small group of 5 couples. 18 days, 3400 miles. The coast part of the ride went from Portland, OR to San Diego, CA. Great ride. We started/ended with most of the group from Salt Lake City.

My only suggestion would be to reverse your trip if you can... We did the PCH from north to south. One advantage to that is if you want to stop along the way, it's always a right turn to pull off, and back on the road. Plus, you would have the coast to your right instead of across the on-coming traffic... But, any way you can ride it works! Looks like a great ride.

Enjoy and be safe!
 

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I would second the Coronado Trail (rt 191) in AZ. Don't know how old you are, but I rode from NY to AZ when I was 40, and 300 miles a day was comfortable. You're from TX, so probably don't have to tell you to hydrate often along the way. Gonna be really hot through AZ! Enjoy!
 

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I would think that 500 miles EACH day is going to be tiresome. I would lower it to 400 each day, with maybe the odd 500 and 300. When in Phoenix/Mesa, I would take the trip up to Payson, Strawberry(stop for a breather at the Natural Bridge) over the Jerome, (gotta stop in Jerome) to Prescott, and then carry on. I guess it also depends on your direction of travel.

--
Gordon
What?! And miss the scenic grandeur of the place pictured in my avatar over there to the left here, dude? Sedona?
I like your suggestion of going up AZ Hwy 87 from Phoenix to Payson, but then instead of taking AZ 260 to Cottonwood and over Mingus Mtn to Prescott, I'd suggest once he gets to Cottonwood, take scenic Hwy 89A north to Sedona and then up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff, and then I-40 west to Kingman and where he can get on Hwy 93 to Las Vegas.

Have yourself a great ride here, Bevo. I used to ride up PCH from my old stompin' grounds of L.A. to Monterey for many years with a bunch riders and to watch the World Superbike races at Laguna Seca raceway. Always especially enjoyed the Big Sur portion of it. Gorgeous part of Calfornia.

Btw and speakin' o' which...make sure the portion of PCH you've routed your ride on IS actually open, as I believe there's still one section of it along Big Sur somewhere that might be closed due to a landslide across it. Not sure where that is, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
i think the 500 miles/day is messing with a lot of people. it's an average because i plan on doing 5,000 over a week and a half. and the beginning and end of that is just a bunch of interstate miles that i plan on doing about 700/day so it evens out. might be more accurate to say that i plan on putting about 8-10 hours a day in the saddle for the 'meat' of the trip.

from your suggestions, i'm definitely adding Avenue of the Giants to the list, and strongly considering the Coronado Trail. i don't want to spend too much time in Arizona because i really don't want to take more than a couple days getting to Vegas which is the first 1300 miles on my original map route. if i add the Coronado and whatever you guys are suggesting about Payson/Strawberry/Jerome then that would add about 4 hours to my trip, according to Google. so i'll think about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Btw and speakin' o' which...make sure the portion of PCH you've routed your ride on IS actually open, as I believe there's still one section of it along Big Sur somewhere that might be closed due to a landslide across it. Not sure where that is, though.
they actually got that fixed in just a few months.
 

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I did a two week trip from western Washington south along the coast through Oregon, camping all the way to the Bay area, stayed at a hotel for a couple nights and caught a couple ballgames in Oakland, then hit the road East to Reno/Tahoe area, then just blasted miles on I80 to Salt Lake City, then 89 and 26 to Idaho Falls and Crater of the Moon area, then a bunch of Interstate miles back into eastern Oregon and finally north again up into eastern Washington and it's wide open roads, and finally with the hourglass nearly empty, I90 west and back home to the southwest coast of Washington. I was 30 and solo on that trip on a Suzuki 850GS with the Vetter fairing, trunk and saddlebags.

The Oregon coast is beautiful riding, northern California and the redwoods are spectacular, Lake Tahoe unforgettable, Idaho has more great riding than I thought, and eastern Oregon and Washington are hot and dry and windy, but the roads were pretty good. I'm 66 now, and my Springfield wants to make a similar trip which I am planning for next summer. Your map looks like it will be a wonderful time, just stay loose, and be ready to adjust as necessary due to the fires.
 

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A couple of big active fires in the Greenville areas north of Lake Tahoe, causing closures and a lot of smoke/haze. Suggest staying well south and west of it and you'll be fine. The coastal routes are awesome this time of the year, but can get busy in some parts. Looks like a fun ride, enjoy.

 

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in 2 weeks i'll be taking my 'new' Chief Dark Horse from Austin, TX up the California coast and then wind my way back home. i've always dreamed of riding a bike along the coast up the Pacific Coast Highway. i've never even been west of Texas before. i'm not going to be sticking to any itinerary, but i plan on averaging about 500 miles a day and have picked out some of the top rated roads and routes in each state along my path for a round trip of 5,000 miles. i'm not one to stop and take a bunch of photos and do sight-seeing, but i want to make an exception this time since this is pretty much my bucket list bike trip. so i'll document my travels here as much as i can. below is the tentative route i'll be taking. Google Maps is real finicky when you put in too many destination points (i had to 'hack' 3 maps together) so it's not exact, but pretty close. and the specific destination points listed aren't important, that's just what i had to mark to choose certain roads i want to travel. i may have to alter my route on the fly since there are currently some wildfires raging and road closures in Northern California right in my way.

MAP ROUTE

View attachment 645941

these are the main destination roads that i picked out that defined this route, mostly picked from :
Valley of Fire Loop, east of Las Vegas
Death Valley Run, through Death Valley National Park
Caliente to Kernville on County Road 483, east of Bakersfield
The Lost Highway 58, Bakersfield to San Luis Obispo
Hwy1 up the California coast from Morro Bay to Fortuna
Rt. 36, 140 miles of twisties
Reno to Lake Tahoe loop
Hwy50, "the loneliest road in America"
Hwy9, Zion Canyon Utah
The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Mexican Hat to Bryce Canyon
San Juan Mountain Skyway
Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Road - CO 141, dubbed "greatest road in America" by Car Trek youtube series

most of these were picked from motorcycleroads.com which has more information about each and which ranks the top roads in each state. i plan on mostly using my Beeline device to guide me along the way - Beeline - smart navigation for bikes | Beeline
love this navigation tool. you put in a mapped trip you want to take and then this compass tells you which direction to go and what distance until you need to make a turn. it also tells you if it's an upcoming ramp, roundabout, or other notable road structure. much simper and easier to follow than a map, though you can also follow along with your map on your phone as well.

not sure what i'm doing for sleeping accommodations each night. will probably just find the cheapest motel in any area when i'm tired of riding for that day, pretty much the strategy i used the last time i took a cross country bike trip. what do you guys do on long trips? find campsites? pull off on the side of the road somewhere? find a 4 star hotel? if any of you have any comments or tips or questions, feel free to share. i see some of you use this Relive app or whatever to share some of your rides. if it's not too much of a hassle for me to figure out and use, i might use that to share the trip.
Looks awesome, I’m riding next Thursday from Denver to Reno then to the Bay Area and will take PCH all the way down to orange county and it’s my first time on PCH from Bay Area as well and I grew up in Southern California. This is my first trip solo and normally my buddy and I do the crazy iron but 1000+ mile rides in one day so I’m gonna be splitting it up 500 miles a day to get to Reno then the rest of the trip is not so many miles in one day. I’m not much of a sleep on the side of the road in a tent guy so I would do the hotel thing if I was you. have a safe ride
 

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What?! And miss the scenic grandeur of the place pictured in my avatar over there to the left here, dude? Sedona?
I like your suggestion of going up AZ Hwy 87 from Phoenix to Payson, but then instead of taking AZ 260 to Cottonwood and over Mingus Mtn to Prescott, I'd suggest once he gets to Cottonwood, take scenic Hwy 89A north to Sedona and then up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff, and then I-40 west to Kingman and where he can get on Hwy 93 to Las Vegas.

Have yourself a great ride here, Bevo. I used to ride up PCH from my old stompin' grounds of L.A. to Monterey for many years with a bunch riders and to watch the World Superbike races at Laguna Seca raceway. Always especially enjoyed the Big Sur portion of it. Gorgeous part of Calfornia.

Btw and speakin' o' which...make sure the portion of PCH you've routed your ride on IS actually open, as I believe there's still one section of it along Big Sur somewhere that might be closed due to a landslide across it. Not sure where that is, though.
They opened PCH up a few months earlier then expected so enjoy
 

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I concur with others about not missing the Ave of the Giants. You would regret that.
If you can, try to plan the Big Sur area of the PCH on a weekday. LOTS of traffic if you do a weekend. If your schedule puts you there on a weekend, just plan on lots of traffic, but the scenery is still just as good.
Form Carson City all the way to St George, UT there is nothing to see except desert. It is it's own type of scenery but nothing exceptional to me, so eat up as many miles as you can through there in short order. But plan you fuel stops carefully. there is long distances between everything out there. But, if you are into trains, the Northern Nevada Railway is in Ely, NV (pronounced eelee) and you can take a ride on a steam or old diesel train up one of the canyons.
Looks like you already have Utah State Hwy 12 from Bryce to Torrey. That's a fun road.
Not sure if your plan is to stop at the Four Corners monument while you are down there, but you are that close so you may as well. Its $5 bucks to get in there, and it is on Native American property so you are paying them. Any National Parks pass wont work.
One suggestion i would make in Moab is to take 128 from Moab to I-70. It is a nice winding road with the river on one side and sheer cliffs on the other. Much better riding.
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If you have ever seen the movie Wild Hogs, you will not be far from Madrid and Maggie's Diner. It's not really a diner, they sell souvenirs out of there, but a fun photo op.

646070


Looks like an awesome route you have planned and i wish i could tag along. Have fun.
 
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