Most people will have heard of this highway and as an immigrant to the USA, I had longed to ride this road for many a year. The last 10 days saw me do just that. My objective was to avoid interstates at all costs and I rode with my wife from San Francisco all the way up into Oregon. The road is fantastic, but I really didnt realize how cold it would be, so if you are doing it take warm clothes and I mean warm (this was mid July). What amazed me more was if you went 15 miles inland the temperature rose 45 degrees! We then road to the middle of Oregon via Galice road and Upper Grave Creek road which were very challenging, twisty roads with sheer drops (my wife wasnt impressed with this road) then on to Highway 42 and then Highway 138 to Crater Lake. Great scenic roads and Crater lake is awe inspiring, a bit like the Grand Canyon and it can never really be conveyed how beautiful it is.
We then made our way down Highway 97 and back into California, then 139 to Susanville again great roads. Then followed the 395 into Reno where cold beers were very much apprciated as the heat of the Sierra mountains took their toll. The 395 was a bit of a disappointmnet compared to the previous roads, or maybe we were just too hot. We then zigzagged over to Lake Tahoe using the 431, 28 and the 50. Absolute gorgous scenery and great roads (roads built for motorcycles for sure). We then picked the 50 up again and made our way westwardly across state via Yosemite national park (jaw droppingly beautiful). good roads but be prepared to go slow with the traffic, but that is no hardship. We then made our way over to Napa for the obligatory wine tasting tour (no riding that day).
From Napa we picked up many small roads and over Mount Diablo (this was the only time I got lost and I blame my wife
) and down to Monterey where the Moto GP was on (see Laguna Seca post). we then rode Highway 1 again down to Big Sur, great road with Ocean views, cliffs, scenery and cool bridges.
The last day after the Gp we headed back to San Francisco via the 101. we could have taken Highway 1 back which would have been more scenic, but we were beat after the GP and 50,000 people leaving at the same time would have choked up the 1 more than the 101 did. It was interesting to see that split laning is allowed in California and most drivers would move over a bit to let bikes throuh. I believe this saved me 90 minutes in that post race traffic (again my wife didnt like that part)
I used a map called Mad Maps and they were great as they are tear resistant and water proof. thankfully we never had a bit of rain.
This trip was for my wife and I's 20th wedding anniversary and we will never forget the venture!!