I thought bad weather was a novelty in California not a consistency. Good thing we headed for the desert.
Day 1 – San Fran to San Luis Ibispo – Google Map
Weather looked questionable, so I gave it a 50/50 chance we would stay dry. Temperature was ok! We skipped hwy 9, 35, etc. All the good stuff south of San Fran. Once we got to the coast the rain began and stopped when we had lunch. As we finished lunch the rain started up again. It is going to be one of those days… Thankfully the weather was decent but as we approached San Luis Ibispo the sky opened up and drenched us. We stayed at what is now our usual spot The Quality Comfort Inn. 20% off the rates for riders plus free beer and free breakfast! After the first beer, I forgot about the rain.
Day 2 – San Luis Ibispo to Palm Springs – Google Map
What was supposed to be sun started out with questionable clouds. Just as we started the ride the skies opened up and drenched us immediately. Rain gear only does so much under constant rain. I wear a one piece rain suit and even water worked its was through. It’s bad when your crotch gets wet. There is NO drying that out until the end of the day. Since the weather was shite, it was a direct route to Palm Springs. No Ojai, no Muholland, just straight roads. Oh and did I mention snow! One pass we went through there were kids tobogganing down the slope. I almost gave up right then and there. The rest of the ride was interstates. Nice straight interstates, complete with LA traffic. Jealous? It took some Clase Azule Tequila to warm us up.
Day 3 – Palm Springs Day Ride – Google Maps
I woke up in the morning and there was SUN! Glorious SUN! I set off for a solo ride south of Palm Springs. Once on Hwy 74 the past two days were forgotten. A GREAT section of road wipes any and all bad riding away. Highlight and circle Hwy 74 on your map, it is a juicy one. Beautiful desert canyon scenery, racetrack surface, and stunning character. This is a sport riders dream road. Best to be ridden both ways. I went as far west as Dana Point but it was a waste of time compared to Hwy 74. I should have done it twice!
Day 4 – Palm Springs Day Ride – Google Map
We headed north into the San Bernardino National Forest and that was a mistake! More Snow. The Colder than average temperatures didn’t help either. We abandoned an attempt heading west to Crestline and rode for desert. Once we were back in the desert is was nice but very straight. A quick break in Yucca Valley and then into the Joshua Tree Park. I had low expectations riding through Joshua Tree. I knew it would be beautiful as I’ve been before. The last half of Joshua Tree was incredible. Medium sized high speed sweepers with a road surface SO SMOOTH I thought I was riding a futuristic hover bike. It felt great railing corners amongst the alien looking cacti. Pure awesome. For the final stretch home we detoured through Box Canyon Road for a prehistoric trip. It felt very old there.
It was a special dinner that night as it was Sarah’s 40th birthday. One of the best looking 40 year olds I know! We had a fantastic dinner at the Workshop kitchen + bar. Highly recommend it to anyone.
Day 5 – Palm Springs to San Luis Ibispo – Google Map
100+ miles of interstate, Latigo Canyon Rd, Muholland Dr/Hwy, 100+ miles of interstate. Both Latigo Canyon Rd and Muhulland were wrecked from the rain storms. It was a decent ride through but slightly disappointing. Ended up back in San Luis Ibispo and take one guess where we stayed!
Day 6 – San Luis Ibispo to San Francisco – Google Map
We woke up to Clouds and Fog and the whole coast was a challenge. Heavy fog with limited visibility. I rode visor up at 45mph most of time and it was like I was riding through a dream world. Very little traffic and visibility. Your eyes never really could focus on anything. I wish I took a picture. The last part of the day was spent on Skyline Blvd railing twisties. A nice end.
It was a challenging trip with some great roads that made it all worth while. I certainly have to adjust my expectations of riding in California. It certainly isn’t all fun in the warm sun. A big was Palm Springs. It’s a fun place to stay. We stayed at the Saguaro, had excellent coffee at Koffi, the dinners were impressive, and layout of Palm Springs is very nice. It certainly has a higher age demographic but who cares! Ha.