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San Francisco area - route suggestions?


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Due to the massive unbearable amounts of snow in the Montreal area, I've decided to book myself a therapeutic 3 day ride in warmer weather. Flying into San Fran Sunday the 23rd and renting a R1200RT for 3 days. I will certainly do the Why 1 along the coast. I plan on doing an easy 300 to 350 miles/day. Any suggestions for nice twisty roads, sceneries and no traffic areas? Perhaps Death Valley?

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My favorite day off ride:


Take 101 or 280 south from SF. Take 84 West to Woodside Rd. The road starts to get twisty once you leave Woodside. This will take you to the intersection of Skyline Blvd and 84. Look to your right and you will see Alice's Restaurant. Stop and have a cup or breakfast. Continue westbound on SR84 for about 18 miles. You will be in redwood trees and ferns. You will come around the corner and smell the ocean and notice that you are now in rolling hills. Come to a stop sign and you are at highway one. Turn left(south). There are numerous state beaches and 99% of the time the lot guard isn't there. Pull off, look at some sea lions, seals etc. Ride south and you will see a lighthouse on the right. Also you will pass by Ano Nuevo where the sea lions hang out. This one always has a guard at the gate. Keep riding south and you will pass by Davenport. There is a good coffee shop and a Mexican taco stand there. Both are good but you can always continue on to Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is more than the boardwalk. There is a nice restored downtown. You can continue and make a north turn onto highway 35 which will take you through boulder creek. I'm not sure where but this road will eventually turn into Skyline Blvd. (same road only they change the name.) You will come back to Alice's Restaurant. Keep going straight and you will have a few more miles of redwoods before you come to the I-280 state route 92 intersection. You could be back in SF in about 15 minutes from there or you can make a left and follow 92 back to the coast and be in Half Moon Bay. Make a right turn onto one and you will come into SF by the Cliff House.


DO NOT take this route on a Saturday. You will be behind every squid and SUV in CA.


You might also consider crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and riding highway one up the coast. Just be warned that there isn't much north of Bodega Bay. Most people don't realize how rural California is once you get about 20 miles from the major population centers.


OR come over to the East Bay and ride SR 84 east, into Livermore and get onto Mines Road. This is 20+ miles of twisting roads with no guard rais. There is a restaurant called "The Spot." stop for lunch on any day but Tuesday. You can continue on to Mt Hamilton. This road is fun but sometimes has a light dusting of gravel.


Let me know if you need any more information or if my directions don't make sense.

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If you only have 3 days, getting to-and-back-from Death Valley may be pushing it a bit. The further South and East you go, the warmer it will be. I think Palm Springs was ~80 degrees a few days ago.


A nice loop would be PCH (Pacific Coast Highway/Route 1)South to Cambria, then East all the way to US 395, then North to Carson City/Lake Tahoe. Head back then to the SF Bay area. This route, too is pushing it for 3 days, and the temps on 395 and 50 will be chilly, though the scenery is spectacular.


The best advice I can give is to 'follow your nose' and think small geographically. There's alot to be said and seen just going up and down the Coast. Think: SF - Monterey - San Simeon. See the sights in those places, then head back and go a bit further North from SF when you get back there. Tool around the SF area ntil your flight leaves. Kick back, dude...it's California after all.

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You might also consider crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and riding highway one up the coast. Just be warned that there isn't much north of Bodega Bay. Most people don't realize how rural California is once you get about 20 miles from the major population centers.


JohnNorCal is right - and that's precisely why Rt 1 north of Bodega Bay is one of the best coastal twisties road out there. Less traffic and amazing roads - especially the last part from the coast over to Leggett at the very north.


If you're not inclined to go that far north, take 101 out of SF, up by San Rafael take Lucas Valley Road out to the coast and Rt. 1. Take Route 1 all the way to Mendocino. Lunch at Bones Road House in Gualala is highly recommended. Then head back south on 1 to 128 and head inland. Or you can head further south and take Stewarts Point-Skaggs Springs (another amazing twisty road) back inland. Once you're near 101 check out the wineries in Alexander Valley, head over to Calistoga and St. Helena and check out the north end of the Napa Valley and all the great wineries there.

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All of the above are good suggestions. And Death Valley is too far away to enjoy the trip.


Johnnorcal's excellent one-day-ride can be extended south on Hwy 1 to Cambria or San Luis Obispo. There are many motels in SLO. That would be one long day. Try to make it a weekday.


If your are craving the north coast, you can ride across the GG Bridge, then to Stinson Beach and points north on Hwy 1. You can find a motel in Garberville. There are alternatives to return to SF, notably through the Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley.


Either route can eat up your three days.


Last, feel free to PM me with more alternatives and/or a place to stay 30 miles E of SF.

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Thanks for the great info! Alices restaurant is a definite stop at some point smile.gifsmile.gif

I'm actually looking to do some kind of a loop for a 3 day period. Picking up the bike at Thunder Road Motosports (San Fran)on Sunday evening and bringing it back Wed. night. Any futher info will be well appreciated! Cheap motels and cool restaurant along the way. I might even prepare an alternate route inland in case of rain. BTW What are the chances of getting wet weather at that time of year (March 23-26)

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Muir Woods in Marin County, where you can see the giant redwoods. Head north out of S.F. to the Golden Gate Bridge. Stay in the right lane so that you can turn into the Vista Point (lotsa wind on the bridge). Stay on 101N to Sir Francis Drake Blvd and follow the signs (Mapquest is your friend). Then over to Hwy 1 and Stinson Beach. After that, head to Petaluma. If you aren't too tired, head back to San Francisco. This should take most of a day. Lots of twists and turns, good places to eat and great photo ops. wave.gif

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If you're interested in a loop, consider heading south for two days and north for one. I will try to send a PM to you with an MSFT Streets & Trips file (haven't done a PM before, so wish me luck). It includes Nacimiento-Ferguson Road, which Werner Wachter (owner of Edelweiss Bike Tours) lists as one of his top ten roads in the world. Note, though, that it goes through an active military base (Hunter Liggett) and you must stop, show license, registration, and insurance, and receive a pass. You may want to check to ensure that they let non-U.S. citizens pass through. Enjoy!!

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Here's a very scenic loop with great roads that will take you through the Napa Wine country, the coastal range, redwood forests and Pacific Coast. If you want to make it a leasurely 2-3 day trip there are B&B's and some good campgrounds along the way:


- north on I-80 out of S.F.

- Hwy 121 to Napa

- short jog in Napa on Hwy 121

- North on Silverado Rd through wine country

- Continue north out of Calistoga on 128 and follow to the coast.

- North on Hwy 1 to Ft Bragg

- Turn around and head south down Hwy 1 (or keep going as far north as you're inclined)

- Follow 1 back down coast to S.F.

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