US Road Trip Advice - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2009, 10:22 am Thread Starter
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US Road Trip Advice

Hi Guys

Been a beemer owner for a while now and am going to use my K1200R Sport to tour the states in June with the trainee Mrs Lister. Looking for a little local knowledge if people can help, this is roughly my route:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&so...,79.101563&z=4

The plan is to fly into Miami with the bike in June, ride up to Chicago, follow Route 66 to LA then up to SF, Sacremento, Seattle. Flying back from Vancouver at the end of August. I'm taking in the usual spots such as the Keys, Grand Canyon, Vegas, etc. but a bit of local advice on things along the way to check out would be great.

This is the bike, all ready to go:


Lister
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2009, 12:54 pm
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Middle of summer can be a problem for you "Over-the-Ponders." It get miserably hot around noon to 7pm. Route 66 takes you through some western deserts even the locals won't travel into. I knew a guy from Ethiopia who said the state was too hot compared to their African deserts.

That said, I'd try the National Parks in the summer. At least they are up in altitude enough where the heat isn't so bad. At 6,000-9,000 feet it's about 20-30 degrees cooler. Tioga Pass through Yosemite and Lassen Volcanic Nat. Park are pretty cool in the summer - just either side of them can get really hot.

I'd avoid Arizona, southern Nevada, and mid or central valley of California like the plague in those two months unless you plan to stop riding by noon and find a air-conditioned hotel. If you call ahead and tell them you traveling by motorcycle, they may give you an early arrival where you get into the first rooms the maid has cleaned.

Places I'd recommend in CA: Yosemite N.P. and Tioga Pass (SR-120). Stop in the Ahwahnee Inn on the Yosemite Valley floor and have a drink or dinner there (costs too much to stay there, maybe $600 per night). Others are SR-89, Lake Tahoe loop especially northern "artsy" areas, Lassen Nat. Park and stay in the cabins in Mill Creek (SR-176) just south of there. Maybe SR-90 too along the river by Happy Camp further north in CA. Nice road surface there and lots of rafters and gold prospectors in the water. There's always SR-1 along the Pacific too - although I think it's a bit over-rated as is SR-36 between Redding and the Pacific Coast (too hot!). Get's pretty foggy and damp in the summer and may clear out around 1pm. Northern CA "Lost Coast" is a nice Victorian area too (lots of B&B's).

Buck's Lake is also scenic and there is a really nice B&B just down and across the street from the restaurant. In winter, they use snowmobiles from Quincy to get there as the road is closed to wheeled traffic. There are housekeeping cabins there to that are rented at the market across the street.

San Fran. is pretty much 72 degrees year round. Go inland maybe 5-6 miles and it's also blistering on a bike.

Have fun!


Mack
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 2:25 am Thread Starter
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Thanks for that. Seems it's not the best time to be riding certain parts of 66 but due to work commitments it's the only time we can do this trip for so long.

Do you recommend a route to LA that avoids the areas too hot to ride?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2009, 12:51 pm
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If you want to change your route slightly, you can cut through Western North Carolina mountains, you got awesome scenery and twisties.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2009, 1:03 pm
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Go to the 5 National Parks in southern Utah, you won't be dissappointed. Do Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge MT/WY boarder. And swing through Glacier NP in MT. Watch the laser light show on the Grand Coulee Dam, Grand Coulee, WA. They open the emergency flood gates, make white water on the dam face and then have a 1.5 mile laser light show.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lister
Hi Guys

Been a beemer owner for a while now and am going to use my K1200R Sport to tour the states in June with the trainee Mrs Lister. Looking for a little local knowledge if people can help, this is roughly my route:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&so...,79.101563&z=4

The plan is to fly into Miami with the bike in June, ride up to Chicago, follow Route 66 to LA then up to SF, Sacremento, Seattle. Flying back from Vancouver at the end of August. I'm taking in the usual spots such as the Keys, Grand Canyon, Vegas, etc. but a bit of local advice on things along the way to check out would be great.

This is the bike, all ready to go:


Lister
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File Type: zip 090331 dave817_NPS_POIs.zip (991.9 KB, 17 views)

Thanks
Robert

2014 R1200RT Ebony Black--(deep Burgundy)
2012 R1200RT Tri-Color (traded for 2014 R1200RT see above)
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2002 K1200RS BLACK (Traded for RT)
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2009, 2:38 am
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There's a lot of nice roads in the Appalachians. I'm new to the east coast but even though it's busy the "tail of the dragon" is worth it. It crosses the boarder of NC and TN. I've heard there are a lot of good rides through the passes. I've covered a lot of the southwest and agree with a previous post about Utah, breathtaking. If you're taking 66 it will be hot. Bring a cooling vest. To get to LA you have to ride through a bunch of nothin'. No way around it.

It will be a great trip. Enjoy.

Friday
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2009, 7:23 am Thread Starter
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All good stuff, cheers fella's.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2009, 9:27 am
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If you tire of riding along the west coast looking at the Pacific Ocean, (after all it's like all the others, it's big, it's wet) as you get into northern California you may want to swing inland around Fortuna and ride some wonderful roads in that area. You could take 36 heading east then hook up with 3 heading NE-ish and pop out around Yreka, CA. Then up I-5 and go to Crater Lake in Oregon. You could then swing back over to the coast if you still need more ocean. Once you get up to Portland, Oregon you may want to head east for Stevenson, Washington. From there you can pick up the Wind River Rd and ride that all the way to Randall, WA. Wind River Road will take you along the back side of Mt. St. Helens. If you take a short side trip you will be able to look into the crater of this still active volcano. From Randall you could take a ride into Mt. Rainier National Park for $5.00 entering from the west and exit to the east. From the east exit of Mt Rainier take 12 to highway 97 and go north to 20, then head west taking you into the north Puget Sound area where you can get I-5.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2009, 7:06 pm
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Calif roads not to be missed

Lister,

While there are great roads all over the US and California in particular (yeah, my local bias!), following are some you should do your best to ride if you have the time:

In Southern California since you are heading north, take 101 up the coast to Ventura and then head East on Hwy 33 thru Ojai (pronounced O-Hi). 33 is a biker's paradise of a road. Closest I've seen in Calif to an Alps pass.

Then ride north on 33 (gets a bit boring once down in the flatlands, but it is fast) until you get to 58. Take 58 West back to the coast. You will be very glad you took this road.

Take 101 north and just before San Luis Obispo, take the cut off for hwy 1. Hwy 1 is wonderful almost all the way to Monterey.

From Monterey you have a couple options. (1) Ride the coast and then cut inland north of santa cruz, stop at Alice's Restaurant on Skyline Blvd and then on into San Francisco and from there north. There are a number or roads north of SF that cut between 101 and hwy 1 that are a blast; or (2) ride east and check out the mighty Sierra's. A lot of good passes whether 120 through Yosemite (slow with tourists in the summer tho'), or Sonora Pass/108, Hwy 4, hwy 88 and etc. Hwy 108/Sonora is the most varied and technical. Then back to the coast possibly through Sacramento (stop by for a beer or riding companion if you do) and then take hwy 12 past Lake Berryessa to Hwy 128 through the Wine Country and back toward the coast.

However you get there, you must do yourself the kindness of riding Dry Creek Road from Healdsburg (on 101) up past Lake Sonoma where it becomes Skaggs Springs Road. You can take that road to the coast, but it gets a bit goat tracky. There is however a stretch of 10-12 miles just west of Lake Sonoma on SSR that is world famous and locally infamous. Wonderful bit of road to run up and back a few times.

Further north, Hwy 235 between 101 and 128 is superb, Hwy 20 from 101 to the coast is fantastic and once you are even farther north, you must ride Hwy 36...another world famous road. Here is a link to the hwy 37, north coast area rides:

http://gilbeck.net/regional/roadtrips.html

ENJOY!

Rob T

2006 K1200GT Silver (the fastest color)
2000 R1100RT Gone, but not forgotten
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2009, 1:05 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacrider
While there are great roads all over the US and California in particular (yeah, my local bias!), following are some you should do your best to ride if you have the time
Agree with all of that! My first thought on looking at the google map was "wow, that's a lot of superslab."

From Vegas to LA it's going to be hot no matter where you go, so you might as well go through Death Valley or Mojave, it'll be a lot prettier than the freeway, and the routes into LA from the North are nicer.

+1 on taking the coast up to SF, and tooling around the Santa Cruz mountains on the SF peninsula.

+1 on Skaggs. Don't take 80 from Sacramento to Santa Rosa either, 128 will be a lot more fun, and there's a little tiny road from St. Helena to Santa Rosa that's very pretty.

101 at the very top of CA and in Southern OR isn't really anything special either. Might consider 299/96 or 199 over to Medford OR, then head up to Crater Lake before cutting back to the coast. Beautiful stuff up there, and you might even see bigfoot.

I've done that same route from Chicago to Flagstaff before. It'll eat up the miles, but that's about it. I don't know enough about the area to say whether any of the backroads are worthwhile.

Be prepared to wait in the heat in traffic crossing the Hoover dam on your way to Vegas. There's really no place to stop there either -- take water, it could be an hour or two of stop and go depending on the day of the week, and lane sharing isn't legal until you get to California.
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