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Thread: Another California coast tour

  1. #1
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    Another California coast tour

    My wife and I just returned from our loop tour of the central California coast. We logged something like a thousand miles, including almost the entire length of the Pacific Coast Highway from Ft. Bragg to Cambria. We did this for our fifth wedding anniversary, and it was my wife's first long tour as my pillion. It was my first long tour with a passenger. It was also our first long ride on the '87 K100RT.

    My main point is this: this ride is not to be trifled with! I was unprepared for the relentless tight curves and constant mental effort this trip required. I know I'm a better rider for having done it, but more training would have helped. My thanks to my wife for being such a trooper (she really loved the ride), and my apologies to the drivers behind me who wanted to go faster. Thanks to CalTrans for all the paved turnouts!

  2. #2
    Midnight Rider 41077's Avatar
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    First hurdle cleared

    Sounds like you made it home without incident,,, first hurdle cleared.
    RELAX... when you get tense your passenger will get tense. There has been a lot written about two up touring but here are a couple of quick tips.

    Make sure your passenger is comfortable this may mean more stops than you would normally make. (you do want her to keep going with you right?) You can build up to longer distances on future rides.

    On my K the best position for the passenger in corners was for her to look over whichever shoulder was in the direction of the curve. Right curve look over right shoulder, no leaning required.

    We sat close when "sport riding" I would be up against the tank knees in, toes on pegs.
    She was tight behind me thighs against mine, gives you good feel for what is going on. (Bonus firms those flabby thighs :-)

    The more you ride together the more non-verbal communication you will develop, be sure to ask (if she hasn't already told you) how she felt during the ride, and promise to do better next time if you screw up (cross the center line, blow a curve, get wobbly at a stop, go too fast...

  3. #3
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Time for track school to raise your comfort level.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  4. #4
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    Good tips from everyone. I especially like the track school idea. Honestly, my wife loved every minute of the trip. Her reason? "I didn't have to drive!"

  5. #5
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    +1 for track school, for technique that makes speed more relaxing. Do it often enough and going way into triple digits is as relaxing as your living room.......

    As a guess, I'd suspect two skills that might make that ride more relaxing for you are more use of countersteering and safe, correct use of the front brake to aid turn in. It is also possible your vision skills need development. New students I teach on track (in cars) are vision deficient nearly 100% of the time- they don't look far enough ahead and they don't see what matters/ignore what doesn't. Its extremely easy to tell that by the way they drive the car. They start out jerky and tense because things in the near vision field are going by rapidly, overloading the brains normal visual processing speed.

    (Not everyone will agree with the front brake statement- some safety writers claim one should never trail brake on the street but I think any vehicle skill is fairly employed anywhere as long as you are confident in its use. Trail braking on track is mostly used to protect position in a race and because it is the fastest way around- the more relaxed cornering is merely a side benefit of the technique. That benefit is greatest on slow tight turns.)

  6. #6
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    Visual skills, huh? That might relate to the constant instructor comment I got during the BRC..."DON'T LOOK IN FRONT OF THE WHEELS!" Look THROUGH the turn. When I try to do that, it does get a little easier. I'm looking into track schools now, but I think I can get better soon if I just find a twisty road to practice on, at least weekly. Thanks for the input.

  7. #7
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Thought I'd bump this one to the top since I made this ride Thursday (05/06/10). We stopped at Nepenthe's for lunch; great view from the back veranda eight-hundred feet above the Pacific. Try their Ambrosia Burger with a Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale

    Road conditions on 05/06/2010:

    LOTS of heavy construction at the moment as a result of the heavy storms this winter; watch for large double-trailer trucks and concrete mixers. Stretches of broken, and uneven pavement, with loose material. Two "stop-light-controlled" one-way stretches due to construction, and several areas with "Flagman Ahead". Expect five minute delays in these areas (to enjoy the view). Expect the unexpected.

    North bound traffic was heavier than south bound. Lots of Lookie-Lews driving land-yachts, so don't expect this to be a "quick" ride. Mid week days are better than weekends.

    Keep in mind that the highest gasoline prices in the entire United States have, for the past two years, been in Gorda (about half way through this ride). I didn't stop to check the prices, the line was too long. . . .

    ..."DON'T LOOK IN FRONT OF THE WHEELS!" Look THROUGH the turn.
    This is the most beautiful stretch of highway in the United States to ride; let your passenger do the looking.... If you're prone to watching that patch of asphalt immediately in front of the bike you'll be exhausted by the time you get through it.

    I'd also add that it's the only stretch of highway I've ridden where drivers (of the two and four wheel variety) ride their brakes UP HILL!!! Guess they never realized how good of a brake gravity is...... . .



    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
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  8. #8
    advrider.com
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    I'm quite tempted to ride this stretch this summer. In case I don't want to do it all (because of the aforementioned reasons), are there any stretches that are "must see"?

  9. #9
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    The road from Eureka over to Redding is pretty neat.

  10. #10
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JStrube View Post
    The road from Eureka over to Redding is pretty neat.
    That would be CA36.

    Pretty much the entire stretch of 1 from SF to Eureka is "must do" IMHO. It's no longer PCH up there and is, if I recall, the Shoreline Highway or something.

    The southern section, while pretty, isn't nearly as raw as the northern section.

    If you're going to ride it, bring your electrics. It can be quite chilly, even in the summer. The water off the beach comes down from Alaska and keeps the coast chilled. Inland, it might be 80F, but it can be a damp 55F all day long, which will chill you to the bone.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  11. #11
    El Cid franze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude View Post
    I'm quite tempted to ride this stretch this summer. In case I don't want to do it all (because of the aforementioned reasons), are there any stretches that are "must see"?
    here's two threads that discuss this area

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=44419

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=44975


    If you need a pit stop in Sacramento area, let me know.
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