For those of you living in the Phoenix area, hang in there, it can't stay this hot forever. Only 38 days until September and we will start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. But in the meantime, when you are not riding at night or heading North and dodging monsoon storms, you can read the latest installment of our California Trip 2008 and scroll through the hundreds of photos from Day 1 and Day 2 stories.
On Day 2 we ended the day at the Otter Inn in Monterey. I have been to Monterey at least 4 times now and have yet to see the sun shine on this city. But the locals tell me that it happens from time to time, although it wasn't on this morning. After a quick stop at the HD Dealership on Cannery Row for a t-shirt, we were on our way North with the destination of San Francisco and beyond. The beyond part was what we didn't know for sure as our plan was to ride until we wanted to stop, and then find a place to stay. Leaving Monterey we followed Hwy. 1 to Santa Cruz. At this point you have the option to continue following Hwy. 1 on up to San Francisco or go inland and catch some Redwoods, elevation and twisties. It is usually cold and damp on the ocean early in the morning, so we opted to go inland for a little different view.
Keep in mind that I like taking the back, back, roads whenever I can, so out of Santa Cruz we took a road known as Empire Grade that runs just West of the U of C Santa Cruz. This is a narrow road that winds you through the hills and heavily wooded areas of the Santa Cruz mountains as you work your way to elevation. After about 20 miles it will drop you off at Boulder Creek Country Club where you will then take Hwy. 236 through Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Home to the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco on your way back to Hwy. 9. Hwy. 236 is a very fun, twisty and sometimes very narrow ride through the Redwoods. If you want to get off the beaten path, this is a good way to go. Turn North on 9 to Hwy. 35 which is also known as Skyline Blvd. This will follow a ridge on the mountain through the trees that will offer some great views along the way. Don't forget to stop at Alice's Restaurant located at the corner of Hwy. 35 and 84. This is a really cool place and a stop for all motorcycle riders in the area. You will then continue on to Hwy. 92 to I-280 to San Francisco. This route is a great way to get from Santa Cruz to San Fran.
As you get closer you will start to see the vast skyline of the city. Personally, I would never want to live here, but it is a cool place to ride through to experience some of the history that is in San Francisco and to see the turn of the century houses, buildings and of course the famous cable cars. I usually go into the city and take a loop through the Marina District and do that touristy lap down the famous Lombard St. (See 20 sec. Video) before getting back to doing what I came there for, and that is to ride across the world famous Golden Gate Bridge. One suggestion I can make if you are planning to spend some time in the SF area is to take the tour of Alcatraz. We have done this before and it is really a memorable experience.
As you make your lap through the Marina District and head back West to rejoin Hwy. 101 you will soon find yourself at the South end of the Golden Gate bridge. Going North there is no toll, so you can scoot right through without stopping. For the next mile you will cross the Golden Gate Strait, (hence the name of the bridge) which is the entrance to the San Francisco Harbor Bay from the Pacific Ocean and will be riding on one of the most famous man made structures in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge. Opened in 1937, the 4200 feet of the GGB was the longest suspension span in the world until 1964. The 37 million dollars that it cost to build in 1937 would be well over 1 billion dollars today. So I guess the $5.00 toll that it will cost you to go Southbound is fairly cheap.
Once you cross the bridge you can turn into the Golden Gate Vista Point to get some photo ops of the piece of history that you just traversed. After that, take the frontage road about 1/4 mile to the Sausalito Lateral Rd. that will take you under the 101 and to the Marin Headlands and up the hill for a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the City of San Francisco. If you are lucky enough to be there when a cloud is not covering half of the bridge, you will get some great photos. Don't miss this short ride to the Marin Headlands in the Golden Gate Recreational Area.
After taking advantage of the clear blue skies and filling up my digital card with photo ops, we headed back down the hill and stopped in at Fort Baker for some more views from below the bridge, and then on in to the little town of Sausalito that lies just to the North of the bridge. This is a historic old seaside village that was once a major ship building town during the war and now features some spendy hill side real estate and a fantastic view of the city. My Dad even mentioned that it was a hot spot for sailors on leave when he was there in the early 1940's. Now it is often compared to the French Riviera. This is a fun stop for lunch or dinner.
After dinner in Sausalito it was only 6:00 pm which meant that there was still a good couple of hours of daylight left to burn, so we decided to continue on up the road and enjoy some late evening riding on more California backroads. The next 2 roads I had pegged were the Panoramic Highway that would take us through the Mt. Tamalpais State Park to Stinson Beach on Hwy. 1. About 4.5 miles North of Stinson you will find a road known as the Fairfax Bolinas Rd. that will take you back East to the 101. Once again this would be for the adventurous as it is a narrow paved road that takes you from sea level to over 1500 feet as it snakes its way up the side of the mountain and through the thick trees on your way to Alpine lake as you break out above the tree line for a beautiful view of the area and the road below. You will soon come upon the Meadow Club and Deer Park, where sure enough, there were deer crossing the road. This will drop you out at the old town of Fairfax where hotels are limited. We actually went on in to Corte Madera where we found a nice Best Western on the 101.
The Fairfax Bolinas Rd. is only 15 miles from the 1 to Fairfax, but you will want to budget at least 45 minutes for this section of road. The condition of the road is good, but the amount of intense switchbacks while climbing the hill will eat up some time. But it sure was a fun ride. I think we only passed one car the entire way. If you are looking for some California backroads, most of our ride from Santa Cruz to Corte Madera was a great day of just that. With the new google mapping that I am using you can zoom in as far as you want and even print sections of the map that you would want to use to refer to because some of these roads are not well marked. Once again, I would suggest getting a GPS if you are going to hit the backroads or even to navigate a city like San Francisco. We were never lost while in the city or on these back roads, there were just times we didn't know where we were at. But I could always put a cursor on a point and it would route me there.
Our riding time on this day was 10 hours and 22 minutes with just under 7 hours in the saddle for a total of 223 miles. Doesn't seem like that many miles, but I'm guessing there were triple that many curves. It does take a while to get through all of them. But at the end of the day, sitting in the spa at the motel, we had a lot to talk about. If you are going in this direction and want to get off of the major highways for a while, this would be a good route.
Next week I will be back with our trek across the State of California via Carson Pass on our way to Lake Tahoe and Virginia City.
Click Here for Photos of the Day
Click Here for interactive Google Map. Zoom in as much as you like and print.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Facts about the Golden Gate Bridge
Highlights This Week
Saturday, July 26th
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Monthly Free Breakfast.
Stop by and visit with other riders from 8:30am - 10am for your free pancake breakfast.
Saturday, July 26th
Buddy Stubbs Hogs and Paradise. Join Buddy Stubbs for their monthly last Saturday of the month
HOGS and Paradise Party. From 11am - 3pm enjoy Free Food and Soda, Live Music.
Bike Nights This Week
Chandler Harley-Davidson Bike Night at Tilted Kilt Mesa. Stop by the brand new Tilted Kilt in Mesa for Thursday Bike Night sponsored by Chandler Harley-Davidson. Sit out on the spacious patio or the cool inside. No matter where you are there will be the Tilted Kilt girls there to wait on you. Enjoy great food and drink, Door Prize Drawings, Music and 15% off your entire ticket on Bike Night. The NEW Tilted Kilt is located at 1910 S. Gilbert Rd. in Mesa. 480-507-5458.
Chester's Harley-Davidson Bike Night at Dos Gringos Mesa. Ride by the New Dos Gringos Mesa located on the northwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline in Mesa. Dos is sure to make an impact and add some flare to the east valley. Enormous patio, complete with its own outdoor bar and separate dining areas on each side. Dos is a casual neighborhood hangout with great food and cold cervezas. Feel free to dine at one of our four tops, relax at one of the booths lining the edge or just belly up to the bar. Click Here to View. There will be drink and food specials and Raffles and Fun from Chester's Harley-Davidson. Ride with Chester's from the dealership at 5:30pm every Thursday located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa. 480-894-0404.
Hooter's Thursday Bike at Peoria location. The parking lot will be blocked off and it will be a night for MOTORCYCLES. Ride by Hooters in Peoria every Thursday night for Prizes, Giveaways every 1/2 Hour, Specials and of course great service by the Hooter's Girls. Enjoy $2.00 Bud and Bud Light Pints and $5.00 Bombers as well as those tasty Hooter's Wings. Sit on the huge outdoor patio and watch your favorite sporting event or inside with TV's every where you look. Enjoy this perfect riding weather with a ride to Hooter's this Thursday. Plan to check out the first night. 16550 N. 83rd Ave. just South of Bell Rd. 623-776-0123.
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
July 25th - 27th
Too Broke For Sturgis. ABATE of ARIZONA presents Too Broke for Sturgis July 25-27th, 2008 at Morman Lake Lodge, Morman Lake. Starts Saturday July 25, 2008 10AM. All proceeds benefit ABATE of Arizona. Camping Friday and Saturday nights. Bike show, Poker run, 50 / 50 raffle, bike games, MS TBFS, wet t-shirt and tattoo contest. Live music Friday and Saturday by Shut Up and Drive. From Flagstaff 30 miles south on Lake Mary Road. From Payson take SR 87 north to Lake Mary Road. Fmi Margie 602-222-8329 or email@example.com. For vender info contact Muskrat at 520-371-1735. Morman Lake Lodge 928-354-2227. ABATE members get 10% discount on cabins and rv hookups. $30 for weekend pass. $20 for ABATE members. $15 Saturday pass only. Click Here for Flyer and much more information.
Friday, July 25th
1st Annual Salute To Arizona's Military Women. On July 25, 2008, there will be a ceremony at the Phoenix Mercury vs Seattle Storm basketball game to HONOR all Arizona WOMEN who served our nation in the military, with special recognition to those who served in WWII. This will be the 1st ANNUAL SALUTE TO ARIZONA'S MILITARY WOMEN, past, present & future. We need MOTORCYCLE RIDER VOLUNTEERS to escort a motorcoach from Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center (7th St. & Indian School Rd) to the US Airways Arena. Phoenix PD will provide traffic assistance. PARKING WILL BE PROVIDED FOR THE MOTORCYCLE ESCORT ON THE CONCOURSE AT THE ARENA. Motorcycle volunteers ASSEMBLE BY 4:45 PM AT THE MEDICAL CENTER IN PARKING LOT OF BUILDING 21. Please visit WWW.VFLLTD.ORG, for additional information or if you wish to purchase tickets to the game. You do not have to purchase tickets to the game to be part of the escort, Contact Bob Rogers at 602-439-4517 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to participate. Phoenix PD & the Arena would like to have a head count.
Saturday, July 26th
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Monthly Free Breakfast. Last month was a huge success. There was a line of riders all morning for breakfast. Arrowhead Harley-Davidson wants to invite all it's great customers to a customer appreciation breakfast on Saturday June 28th from 8:30am till 10:00 am!. Join us for a FREE pancake, sausage and egg breakfast. Thank you for all your support and business! Ride by Arrowhead Harley-Davidson the last Saturday of Every Month for a free breakfast. Arrowhead Harley-Davidson is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. in Peoria. 623-247-5542.
Saturday, July 26th
Buddy Stubbs Hogs and Paradise. Join Buddy Stubbs for their monthly last Saturday of the month HOGS and Paradise Party. From 11am - 3pm enjoy Free Food and Soda, Live Music, Pool Tournament, 50/50 Raffles and Museum tour of over 125 Vintage motorcycles in the onsite museum with Buddy Stubbs. And while you are there take a look at the new 2008 Harley-Davidsons and the latest in Motorclothes. 30-50% off Select Merchandise. Ride by Buddy Stubbs and enjoy the festivities at 13850 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix, AZ. 602-971-3400.
Wednesday, July 30th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Garage Party Event. Chester's Harley-Davidson invites you to our LADIES ONLY Garage Party. This is just for Ladies who are interested (or not sure) in becoming a new motorcycle rider! Discussions and Demonstrations will include: Learning To Ride with Rider's Edge, Motorcycle Safety, Gearing Up to Ride, Fitting Your Motorcycle, Facility Tour and a Photo Op on a New Harley. There will also be Wine, Cheese and Raffles. You could win New Boots or Beginners Training Class. This all takes place Wednesday, July 30th from 6-8PM at Chester's Harley-Davidson located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. To Register Call 480-894-0404 or email email@example.com .
Thursday, July 31st
Movie Night: The Long Way Down. Can't get out and ride? Then let's all get together and watch a movie ABOUT riding. Here is something you can do for 2 hours in the cool confines of a theater to take care of that pent up desire to hit the road. There is a new motorcycle movie coming out next Thursday night for one night only that will only be playing in 400 theaters across the United States and only 2 here in the Phoenix area. This is the follow up movie to The Long Way Round from 2004 and soon to be Fox Reality TV series with Ewan McGregor as it recounts his ride with his buddy Charlie Boorman from Scotland, 25,000 miles to the tip of South Africa. This 2 hour documentery filmed in Hi-Def follows them through 20 countries in total. Their journey takes them across Libya, through the deserts of Sudan, Ethiopia, the jungles of Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Botswana before arriving at their destination. Their last movie was a worldwide hit. I have heard from someone that saw a sneak preview of this movie that it is excellent. He said the scenery alone is worth the $10 admission. This is your only chance to see this one on the big screen. Click Here for a Trailer and to view the Long Way Down website.
Mrs. C. and I already have our tickets for the showing at Westgate. See you there.
Here are the particulars:
Where: Only 2 theaters. AMC Westgate at the 101 and Glendale at 7:30 pm on Thursday, July 31st.
AMC Desert Ridge at the 101 and Tatum in Phoenix at 7:30pm Thursday, July 31st.
Tickets: There are only 240 seats in each theater and will certainly sell out. You can buy yours online now. Click Here. Or go to the box office of the theater that you would like to attend. I would suggest getting your tickets soon as it will most likely sell out.
Parking: I am contacting both theaters to arrange for motorcycle parking. No guarantees, but I will try. Westgate does have some permanent spots on the West side.
See you there.
I lost about 150 unread emails last week due to a corruption in my inbox. I think
it was just too big of a file. If you have sent me an email that I didn't respond to in the last 30 days or so,
resend if it was important. Thanks, Barry
Ok, this is one for the women out there that would like to see a little payback for all those pull my finger moments by the guys. Click Here to View.
Here is one of those fast paced blooper videos with car, motorcycle and truck racing crashes. Plenty of oooh and awwww moments. This guy did an excellent job of editing this. One of those that you might watch more than once. Click Here to View.
Another one of those funny blooper reels with people caught on camera in funny moments called The Adventures of Seniors, Click Here to View.