Well, I don’t think I am going out on a limb by saying, “Welcome to Summer”
in Arizona. We have already gotten a pretty good taste of what is
to come and by the looks of the extended forecast, it is here to stay. Looks
like we will be over 100 degrees for the next 25 days except for one day at 99.
So right after reading this newsletter might be a good time to start planning
your ride to cooler country.
Coming off of a couple of extremely hot days before Memorial Day weekend
we were looking to do just that by taking advantage of some cooler
weather by taking a ride up the Pacific Coast Highway to Monterey with our
friends Dan and Kathy. But before we even got going, a couple of quotes came to
mind, “timing is everything” and “be careful what you ask for”. Yes, we got our
cold weather all right, but our timing couldn’t have been worse and the cold
weather we got went way past the cold I was imagining when I planned this trip.
After 4 rides across Palm Springs in July over the last few years, I vowed
never to do that again after the last one. The last time we did it
a couple of years ago it was 119 going through Palm Springs and cooled to 112 as
we pulled into Tonopah. There is nothing good about that kind of ride. In fact,
it is dangerous as dehydration can creep up on you so fast, it is not even worth
it. Even though this particular weekend wasn’t too bad, we had made the plans
and decided to continue with our plans to trailer the 325 miles of I-10 each way
through the desert. If you ride, you can usually get to California unscathed by
the heat by leaving at 5am, but you still have to get back, usually on a Sunday
afternoon. That is where it can be dangerous. I actually had a friend make that trip in July. He started to feel a
little woozy and before he could get stopped, passed out on the shoulder of I-10
and the bike fell on him. Got banged up pretty good.
Pacific Coast Highway 2012
When we launched at Quaid HD in Loma Linda at around 1:30 PM we knew it was
going to be a cold one as it was only 60 degrees and cloudy. Our
destination that day was to be a 230 mile ride to Solvang, CA via Angeles Crest
highway 2. Great plan and very doable, unfortunately for us, Angeles Crest Hwy.
would take us to almost 8000 feet in elevation, directly through those clouds
that we were seeing from 1000 feet at Quaid. The farther North we rode, the more
windy and colder it got. By the time we reached Hwy. 2, Angeles Crest Highway at
5500 feet, it was down to 45 degrees and the fog was starting to roll in. We promptly pulled
over and put on the only other layer we had brought with us.
Not much further up the road the fog was getting thicker
and thicker to the point that we had only about 100 feet visibility
on this beautiful mountain road that we could not see. Every time we came around
a corner as we climbed, we would get hit with 40 mph gusts of winds and rolling
drizzle fog. As we crested the mountain at 7800 feet, my thermometer was down to
about 38 degrees. By the time we had ridden for about
40 minutes at an average speed of 20 mph, through the wind, drizzle and biting
cold, we pulled over at around 5500 feet just below the fog just to try and
regain some feeling back in our fingers. For those of you that have been in this
kind of conditions, you know what I mean.
Another 10 miles West down the mountain we stopped at Newcomb’s
, a popular biker stop, for a cup of hot chocolate to try
and break the chill and warm our hands. Angeles Crest
Highway is a a Scenic Byway, one of the best in the
state of California and shouldn’t be missed. (See my
report on it from last year). But much better when you
can see it. My original plan was to continue on to Solvang by way of Simi Valley
and Ojai, but since the unexpected slow travel on Angeles Crest, I decided to
just take the 101 to Santa Barbara and on up to Solvang. However, in hind sight,
I might have been as well off to go through Ojai as we were right in the middle
of 5 o’clock traffic on the 101 which isn’t pretty. I will give you maps of
both routes at end of story.
If you have never
been to Solvang, it is
definitely worth the detour to either spend the night there or just cruise the
streets. Solvang is An authentic Danish settlement in Santa Barbara
County. In fact, it looks as if it could be the "Danishland" section of
Disneyland. It was founded by Danish immigrants in 1911 by Danish educators
trying to escape the harsh winters of the Midwest, where the heritage, faces,
and customs of the Old World live on. There are a lot of wine tasting, retail
shops, inns, motels and restaurants available in Solvang. It is definitely worth
the effort to see and spend some time here. We stayed at the Wine Valley Inn, 1564 Copenhagen Drive, and it was fantastic. Our favorite breakfast stop is the
Belgian Cafe at 1671 Copenhagen Drive. Check out this waffle!
On this trip I decided to take a ride through more of the old beach towns
that we had never done before. In the maps below I will show you
some of the routes we took that were interesting. The alternative is just to
continue on the 101 up to Hwy. 1. Leaving Solvang take Alisal Rd. by the
windmill to the 101. This is an unknown road that you would never think to take
that is awesome and a really pretty ride. Go North on the 101 to Arroyo
Grande. Exit 186 will take you right to the heart of the
old historic town. A fun place to stop. From there go West on Grand Ave.
to Hwy. 1 which will take you through Pismo Beach and back to the 101.
Follow the 101 up to exit 200A (Los Osos Valley Rd.). This will take you to
Morro Bay through the State Park that will drop you off right in the old beach
town of Morro Bay for an up close look at Morro Rock. Cool little town.
From Morro Bay get back onto Hwy. 1 and you will be 20 miles from beginning
motorcycle riding nirvana. Pacific Coast Highway 1 aka, PCH 1, aka,
Big Sur Coast Highway is one of the best motorcycle or car rides in the United
States, certainly the best on the West Coast. While Hwy. 1 stretches from
Southern California to Washington, having traveled the entire road from top to
bottom, the 100 mile section from Cambria to Monterey is by far the most
desirable in my opinion and should be a must do trip for anyone that hasn’t
ridden this beautiful stretch of American roadway highlighting the beauty of the
Pacific Ocean and the sheer rock cliffs that hold it in.
There are several
viewpoints that you can stop along the way to get excellent views of the ocean and landscape. You can also stop at a sea lion viewing area as well just North of
Cambria. Another favorite stop is the Hearst Castle. We had done that on a previous trip. If you have not Hearst Castle, it
would be worthwhile. But for us, this was solely for the purpose of escaping the
heat of Phoenix and taking one of the finest routes in the states the way it
should be done, on a motorcycle. We headed directly to the Nepenthe
Restaurant in Big Sur that is perched on a hill
overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the South. I
would highly recommend stopping here to see the view and certainly planning your ride to eat
there as well. The food is exceptional and the view is one of a kind on the
patio. This place is a real treat. With some stops along the way for photo ops,
this 70 miles took us about 2.5 hours. You don't want to rush this ride at all.
We had dinner here on the patio while being blessed with beautiful sunshine and
blue skies. Sometimes this is a rarity on this trip.
for our Photo Op with the ocean and bridge in the background.
By the time we got done eating and enjoying the sunshine and
view of the ocean from the patio at Nepenthe, it was about 6 PM, so we saddled
up and enjoyed the last 33 mile ride into Cannery Row in Monterey where we
stayed the night.
After a good night sleep, we were up early the next morning for breakfast.
My original plan was to head inland on the Carmel Valley Rd. to
Lake Nacimiento, but the lure of the morning OCEAN
VIEW was calling. The
typical marine layer was covering Monterey, so I decided to call Nepenthe and
see how the weather was there. She told me that it was an absolutely beautiful
morning there with sunshine, blue skies and the marine layer was way out. That’s
all it took to change our plans as we decided to take advantage of perfect
weather and enjoy this road in the opposite direction at least for 60 miles to
Nacimiento Rd. where we would head inland.
Nacimiento-Fergusson is a mountain road, providing the only
automobile access within the Big Sur region between Highway 1 and
the inland US Highway 101. To say that this road is a little curvy would be like
saying water is a little bit wet. The road quickly climbs up and across the
Santa Lucia Range in the Central Coast of California to as high as 2700 feet
before passing through Fort Hunter Liggett and ending at Mission Road in Jolon.
The views of the Pacific Ocean and road below on your way up on a
clear day are spectacular. But be advised that this is a fairly rough, narrow road that is pretty demanding at times,
albeit exciting, for the first 16 miles. Then it levels out and is an excellent
ride through the golden rolling hills of California. Once you pass through Fort
Hunter you will reach Mission Rd. Turn South on Mission to Hwy., G14 and follow
that to Nacimiento Lake and Paso Robles where you will meet up with the 101
again. There is a sign once you get close to Fort Hunter that says local traffic
only. There was no one at a guard gate and I have read where there hasn't been
for a couple of years. So we were able to ride straight through with no problem.
On this trip we ate lunch at Lake
, a good place to take a break and eat while enjoying a nice
view of the lake. From there we crossed central California on Hwy.
58 through the rolling hills on our way to Pine Mountain Club on Forest Hwy. 95,
aka Cerro Noroeste Rd. off of Hwy. 33. THIS IS A GREAT ROAD that will take you
back to I-5 that passes through a beautiful mountain community called Pine
Mountain. There is a nice little biker stop called the Pine Mtn. Roadhouse. Take
this road if you can, you will not be disappointed. There are a couple of small
accommodations there if you are inclined to stay. Take a look at this
interesting sign on your way into Pine Mountain. We stayed in a Motel 6 right on
I-5 just East of Pine Mountain.
This day was making our way back to Loma Linda by 1 PM so as not to get
back to Phoenix too late. We stumbled upon a couple of excellent
roads that will keep you off of I-5. We took Hwy. 138 East to County Route N2
that was an excellent road that took us through some beautiful ranching and
farming areas past Lake Elizabeth and Lake Elizabeth Rd. into Palmdale. From
there we followed 138 through Palmdale to Fort Tejon Rd. that led us to the
fantastic Big Pines Rd./Co. Hwy. N6 through the Angeles Crest Forest. This is a
great road. Put a star by this one. This will take you to Big Pines which is
where we originally caught Hwy. 2 for the Angeles Crest Hwy. From here you can
catch 138 again that will take you over to Big Bear Lake or I-15 back to Loma
All together we rode 910 miles on this trip. It included one of the best
100 miles of road in the United States and through some beautiful
roads of Southern California. Our days ended at 8 PM on Day 1 & 2, 7 PM on
Day 3 while getting back to Phoenix at 6 PM on Day 4. We had just done almost
the same route over 4th of July last year and was just as thrilled to do it
again. If you are looking for a good 4 day ride, this would be it. (We actually
did it in 3 days last time.) Just follow our map and I’m sure you would be
pleased with your trip. However you plan to do it, I would encourage putting the
Pacific Coast Highway on your “roads to do” in the near future. I give
it 5 spokes out of 5. Click Here for Story and Photos from PCH
2011 Ride. This one will give
you a little different story and route.
I have included some links below as well as 185 photos and google maps for
you to follow. If you have any questions about this ride, feel free
to email me at email@example.com .
Click Here for Story and Photos from PCH 2011 Ride
. Here you will see some great pictures of the Angeles Crest Hwy. with blue
skies and more editorial of the ride.
Tidbits and Updates:
Many of you remember that there is a noise ordinance in Jerome that was in
the news a few years ago. Even though we haven’t heard much about
it over the last few years, they still have it. About 10 days ago a buddy of
mine, Jim Moore from Biker Information Guide, was reminded about that noise
ordinance to the tune of a $240 fine. Next week I plan to go into much more
depth on this subject as I have spoken with the Police Chief in Jerome to
refresh us what the rules and policies are on this ordinance. My warning to all
of you with extremely loud pipes such as fish tails, cannons, crack pipes,
straight pipes with no baffles, etc. that make excessive noise just by design, I
would probably find some place else to ride as those types of exhaust will
surely be in violation and it would be very tough to tame them to the point of
not attracting attention to yourself, especially now that locals are complaining
and they are looking for it. All others, you should be fine.
Other pipes presumably should not have a problem unless you
are trying to make noise. Stay tuned for next week as I will have more
background information on this story and a quote from the Police Chief as to the
enforcement of the ordinance. One other nugget is to be sure to stop at the stop
sign right next to Spirit Room. They are definitely cracking down on the rolling
stops due to all of the pedestrian traffic.
** ”Act of Valor”
The movie Act of Valor is now out on DVD. This is the movie about our Navy
Seals that came out about 8 months ago. I talked about this movie
at the Memorial Day tribute at the Cyclerides.com Westgate Bike Night presented
by Law Tigers and showed the video done by Keith Urban who did the title song
“For You”. This is an excellent video that shows clips from the movie. Listen to
the words of this song, it preaches. Click
Here to View. Be sure to rent this excellent
movie that will make you proud to be American and that we have these guys on our
side. This has made my top 5 movies of all time.
Every Tuesday Night
Dog Saloon Tuesday Bike Night
in Mesa. I am really excited about Mad Dog
Saloon as it is a perfect stand alone bike night location with a huge
patio. For those of you that live in the area you will recognize it
as the former Salty Senorita’s. The patio is huge with an outdoor bar, the
inside is huge as well with garage doors that open to the outside and TV’s
everywhere you look. And plenty of motorcycle parking. There will be food and
drink specials including $1.00 tacos on Tuesday’s. Mad Dog Saloon is located at
1860 S. Stapley, just 3/10 of a mile South of U.S. 60 on Stapley. Stop by and
check it out. See you there for opening night on Tuesday, May 8th. Click Here for Details,
Map and Photos of the Mad Dog
Every Thursday Night
Where: Westgate City Center,
Loop 101 and Glendale Ave. SE Corner. Next to Jobing.com Arena.
When: Thursday nights
beginning March 29th – June 28th
Time: 5 PM – 9 PM
What: Bike Night. Live Music,
Food, Fun, Vendors, Motorcycles and Sturgis Style Cruising down Coyote Blvd.
will enjoy Live Music with “Legend City”.
and drink specials include: Calico Jack's -
$3 Tacos, $2 Bud and Coors Original, The Shout House -
$7 Burger, Fries, and a Beer,
Rib Shack is offering a FREE 10 piece Traditional Chicken Wings
Basket with the purchase of any Full Rack Rib Plate. Value $7.99.
Saddleranch - Chicken Tacos for $5.50, Classic Pints of
Draft Beer only $2.50, Large Pilsners of draft for only $4.50.
Margaritaville: 15% Off Food with “M” class license.
I would like to give special thanks to our Sponsors of the Westgate
Please visit their booths at the event and click their links
below to learn more about them.
Law Tigers is a professional association of motorcycle
injury lawyers who help riders every day. Our association of motorcycle accident
attorneys consists of a skilled group of personal injury lawyers whose mission
is to support and promote the well being of motorcyclists. Dedicated to rider
safety, awareness, and education, we are committed to the riding community. Find
an attorney near you from our network of motorcycle accident lawyers or call Law
Tigers, toll-free, at 1-800-529-8443. Our lawyers are available -- 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week.
Your local Harley-Davidson dealership and proud sponsor of the
Cyclerides.com/Westgate Bike Night. Stop by and see the latest in what
Harley-Davidson has to offer. Speak to one of our trained sales staff about what
Harley-Davidson motorcycle would be right for you. We are located just South of
83rd Ave. and Bell Rd. 623-247-5542.
Curly's Customs is a full service Custom Paint & Body
Shop for the motorcycle enthusiast. We refinish Harley Davidson and Metric
motorcycles. Our goal is to provide high quality workmanship & materials at
a very reasonable price. Curly's is located at 12030 N. 111th Ave. in Youngtown,
AZ. 623- 977-0339. Stop by and see them at Bike Night.
Stop by and talk to our staff at bike night or at one of
our many valley locations. We feature many brands including Polaris, Yamaha,
Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, Can-Am, BMW, Victory, KTM, Spyder, and Ski-doo. Click
Here for a list of our locations.
Mesa Riverview Bike Night
Cancelled! Mesa Riverview is ceasing bike night for the summer and through
construction. Look for it to come back after the renovation is
complete. However they will still honor those specials if you come in on Friday
Saturday, June 16th
Harley-Davidson Indoor Bike Show
. Have a cool bike you want to show off?
This is the place to do it. We clear out the show room and display
your bikes inside where it is cool. The bike show is FREE to enter and
registration begins at 10 AM. Custom trophies will be awarded to category
winners. There will be Music – FREE Food – Raffles – Bike Wash – Father’s Day
Specials throughout the store on licensed Harley-Davidson products. 9 AM – 4 PM.
Show Special! Purchase a Harley Motorcycle and receive up to a $500 Gift Card
good towards Parts and MotorClothes Apparel. Arrowhead HD is located at 16130 N.
Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. in Peoria, AZ.
Saturday, June 16th
Harley-Davidson Hog & Dogs
. Take summer for a ride and head up to Buddy
Stubbs Anthem Harley-Davidson for Hogs & Dogs on
Saturday, June 16th. Festivities will run from 11AM till 2PM and will
include FREE food & drinks on the misted patio, a bikini bike wash, and a
great summer sale! Catch up to 75% off Women’s leather jackets, gloves, and
Men’s functional riding jackets! Beat the heat this summer with sizzling deals
at Buddy Stubbs Anthem Harley-Davidson, located at 41715 N. 41st Drive,
Anthem, AZ or online at www.anthemhd.com. For more information or questions call
Saturday, June 16th
Harley-Davidson 12 Year Anniversary Party
. Join us from 9 AM – 6 PM as we
celebrate our anniversary open till close with: Our Anniversary
Special. Purchase a new or used Harley Motorcycle during our Anniversary Party
and receive up to a $500 Gift Card to use in Parts and MotorClothes apparel.
Also enjoy an Indoor Bike Show with Trophies, Live Band, Free Food, Raffles,
Bike Wash by the Chandler Harley Girls, Watermelon Eating and Seed Spitting
Contest and More. Chandler HD is located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler,
Thursday, June 21st
* The family of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.
* The JUMPSTART Experience.
* The pre-ride walk around – what you need to do before
* Custom helmet fitting and riding gear.
* How to pack for a weekend trip.
* Proper technique on how to pick up a fallen
PLUS: Light Food and Drink is provided, Raffle Prizes and
More, Representatives from T.E.A.M. Arizona will be on hand with rider course
You must RSVP for this event by calling 480-496-6800 or email:
Harley-Davidson is located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler,
Mid Week Updates will be made on
the Cyclerides.com Facebook. New
Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to
Facebook. Over 3800 FANS! Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall.
If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the
you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for
Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!
Ever seen what a battle for the last beer looks
Here to View
premier performance and service center, will take care of all your
bikes needs. Get ready for your Summer trips. We provide routine service,
maintenance, dyno tuning and emissions service are just a couple of examples of
what we can do. From mild to wild, we can create a custom build to suit your
needs contact us for more info at 623-879-8488 ask for James or Nick
Video of the Week:
Wow! This is what stressed out to the max looks
like. Anger management classes? Click Here to
View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the
If you would like to sign up for the Cyclerides.com Weekly
Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"
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Information may be used only with permission.