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Southern California Back Roads trip with Edelweiss


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Some of you riders might be wondering what it is like to go on an organized tour rather than travelling on your own. Hopefully this account of one such trip will be useful for you.


A few months ago Edelweiss Tours was advertising a Southern California Back Roads trip through Farewell Travel in Toronto. The good part was that our own bikes would be shipped as part of the package price. That was a bonus and three friends and I jumped at the opportunity. We delivered the bikes to Toronto on October 2nd; of course it was cold and raining badly. It made us look forward to the warmer California weather.




We flew from Toronto to Las Vegas on October 8th so that we could have an extra day in Sin City. I had never been to Las Vegas. The bikes arrived at the Flamingo Hotel on Saturday October 9th early in the morning.




We took advantage of the extra day and went for a ride. We rode out to visit the local BMW dealer; what a great bunch of guys. They recommended a quick run to Red Rock.




The weather was nice and warm and the scenery quite spectacular. In the afternoon we explored Las Vegas a bit. We went to the Venetian where I took a picture and sent it to my wife who promptly questioned where the heck I was. It looked too much like the real Venice/Italy. Later in the evening we had dinner and took in a show. We learned that nothing comes cheap in LV.






On Sunday morning the official part of the tour started, we had a bit of a briefing and then loaded our suitcases in to the truck and off we went.


Raymond, Yvon, Egon and Pierre are ready to roll.




The group was made up of eleven riders, seven guys from Canada with our own bikes and two couples from Tennessee and Germany who were renting their bikes. Steve and Scott were our guides. They took turns in leading the group or driving the truck with trailer.




A lot depends on the individuals to make riding in a group a great experience. We were lucky; the chemistry was great all the way through. Most rode BMW RTs or 1200GSs and one F650GS. The two riders from Quebec were on their Goldwing and Yamaha Cruiser. At times they had a hard time keeping up, especially through the twistys. But everyone looked out for them and made sure they reconnected. Nobody got lost. The evenings were spent at some decent hotels and restaurants.






The tour took us through Red Rock into Death Valley where we stayed at the Furnace Creek resort.


What a view from Dante's View near Badwater.




On Monday morning we got up early and rode to Zabriskie point to see the sun rise.




And there it was, awesome!




We had a lunch break at the Crowbar Bar and Grill.




Tuesday the ride went further through Death Valley to Big Bear Mountains. Quite a change in scenery, it was a bit cooler there too. We rode through some spectacular winding roads.




View of Lake Elsinore.




Great lunch at the Look Out.




My friends Bill, Egon and David at the Look Out above Lake Elsinore.




On the way to San Diego, we split into two groups and Steve took us on a 2 hour ride through some very twisty back roads. It was the highlight of the day. As one can see on the big smiles after the ride.




In San Diego we had a rest day and my friend Egon and I took the opportunity to visit the San Diego Zoo. We watched the rather sleepy Pandas.

Later in the day we visited Old Town.




Leaving San Diego we went by Cabrillo Park. Unfortunately the fog hadn’t moved out yet.





We carried on to Palm Springs. It was a hot day and the first "cold one" went down well.




Very good dinner, wine and great conversation at the Fisherman's Market and Grill.




The next day we carried on to Joshua Tree Park and through some long desert road to Lake Havasu City where we stayed at the London Bridge resort.






We took a short detour on the old Route 66 to Oatman.


BTW, I enjoyed riding my R1200GS, especially with the new Russell on it. No more butt pain!




Oatman on Historic Route 66 where donkeys roam. And lots of bikers.




We had a great Mexican lunch at Sarape Restaurant near the Parker Dam. Later some of us took a refreshing dip in the Colorado river.




We rode about 2300 kms in total. The pace was easy with lots of fun in the twisty mountain roads. The scenery was amazing and the company was great. Steve and Scott, our guides, were easy going guys who seemed to enjoy the trip as well. My buddies and I would go on a similar trip again. For more details on this particular tour, you can check it out here. LINK


We arrived back at the Flamingo on Saturday night and later were treated to a great dinner at Buca di Beppo. We caught our flight back to Toronto on Sunday morning.


Leaving Las Vegas.





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Great pictures and some familiar sights. Looks like a nice tour. I and a bunch of other bicyclists were stranded at the Crow Bar on the Death Valley Double back in October 2001. The proprietor was kind enough to let us warm up inside. Freezing rains made return to DV over Salsbury Pass impossible. In spite of that it's great country on a bicycle or MC.

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Very nice report.

I usually like to travel on my own. That way I can go where I want, when I want.

But sometimes it's nice to travel with the pack, where the decisions are already made for me, and I can just follow along and enjoy the ride.


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