Coast or bust...
May 2005. A bunch of us are
itching for a long road trip to enjoy our bikes. I have been
planning for a trip to Death Valley in April 2005 but it fell through
because too many of us are busy with our private lives and can't seem
to get together. We kept on delaying the Death Valley trip to the
point where we couldn't go any more. May until October is a bad
for Death Valley because that is when the valley turns into an
autoclave. So we all sat down and look for an alternate
destination. I have been commuting to work every day on the
(rain or shine) and feel the need for a long trip. The second
option was the California Central Coast. Places like Morrow Bay,
Big Sur, Monterey Bay, etc. The plan is to ride from Los Angeles
to Big Sur on the
Pacific Coat Highway, but we're not sure if we can really make it that
far within the time frame we have (3 days). So we'll shoot for
and decide if we should go further at a later time.
This is my first ever big trip on a motorcycle and I'm the only enduro
in the group. All of the other 5 bikes are sport bikes.
Mostly Hondas. I'm a little out of place but I figure I'll have
it the easiest in the sitting department. I know the sport bike
guys' rears will be hurting within the hour, give or take 15 minutes.
We leave on a Friday morning and hopefully get to Morrow Bay by 4 or 5
pm that evening. My apartment complex in Arcadia was the
for 5 bikes. we'll then meet up with another bike on the way
usual, Russell is a little slow in getting to the starting point.
We end up waiting an extra hour before he appears. From there we
all head off to a gas station to fill up before beginning our
journey. Cool thing about this trip is we have a support vehicle,
my 2002 Subaru Forester.
We leave from Arcadia heading West on the 210 until it turns into the
134 which turns into the 101. Our first destination is Santa
Barbara. But before that, we have to meet up with Primo and grab
a quick bite to eat.
Kind of a blurry picture.
BTW, the guy in the BMW Rally 2 suite talking to the support vehicle
is your truly.
Kevin is standing in the middle of the picture in blue.
That quick bite to eat turn out to be lunch instead of breakfast.
We ended up eating at an In-N-Out Burger somewhere off of the 101 still
in Los Angeles. This is where I brief everybody as to what our
plan is and where we're hoping to get to. They already know the
general info but this is the specifics.
Trying to figure out what to do at the In-N-Out burger parking lot.
Here is where we're going... I tell you... Here!!!
After the quick lunch we head back out on the 101 West to go to Santa
Barbara. Being my first long ride, I'm noticing there is a lot of
wind to contend with. I'm also noticing how light my bike is and
how much it is effected by wind. Strong gusts here and there
would knock me back and forth within the lane. Additionally, this
is when I had the 2004 F650GS tall windshield installed on a 2005
F650GS. Talking about hack jobs, this is definitely one of
them. It did a decent job of fending off some of the wind but it
didn't do jack when there were big turbulent gusts involved. I
felt like I was going to fly off of the bike. I'm also noticing
my throttle hand is going numb when I stayed
at 80 MPH for any duration of time. It's annoying but I had to
put up with it.
Later on I changed out the rear sprocket on the bike and that really
help out on the smoothness part. For this trip was essentially on
a stock bike from the BMW dealer. No real add-ons other than the
We didn't take many pictures between the In-N-Out Burger and Santa
Barbara. We were too busy having fun or just riding. We
made a long stop when we got to Santa Barbara and started shopping for
food for that night.
Round and about, after a lot of head wind and a 15 minute rest every
hour or so, we arrived at Morro Bay at around 5:30pm. Approximate
distance is 230 miles one way. We reached our destination
campground (Montana de Oro State Park) and was referred to a more
scenic campground on the beach front, Morro Strand State Beach.
Montana de Oro was more in land and didn't offer too much of a view to
the beach. Plus the thought of walking around the beach was more
appealing. So at approximately 5:30-6:00pm we head back out to go
to the recommended camp sight. It was another 30 minutes ride
with a little confusion as to what the street name was suppose to be
and if we were suppose to turn left or right. At this point
everybody was exhausted from the day's long ride and we were all ready
to plop down the tents to relax and prep for a good night's
sleep. All said and done, it was pitch black when we decided on
one of the many camp sights at Morro Strand State Beach. We can
hear the gentle waves coming ashore but we didn't know how far we were
to the beach. Actually, we didn't really cared much.
We were too busy unpacked the portable grill, setting up the tents, and
cooking hot dogs and hamburgers. Everybody gorged themselves with
the food and drank the beer and wine. Within minutes, we were all
really happy and laughing up a storm. BTW, being the Southern
California people we were, we were loud and boisterous late into the
night. The campground ranger made at least two quick tours to
tell us to keep it down or be kicked out of the campgrounds.
Apparently, there were people at the campgrounds that thought 8:00pm
was bed time. WATUPWITDAT?!! But as you might infer, we
would keep it down for a short duration and then get out of hand
again. Typical rowdy bikers!!!
The next morning showed us that it was worth it to spend the extra 30
minutes riding to the Morro Strand State Park. The proof is in
What more can you ask for? A
huge rock and a beach to stand there and stare (looking like idiots of
Breakfast consist of eggs sunny side up, beacon, and bread. We
pretty much spend the good part of the morning soaking up the sun,
scenery, and milling about. It was a good slow morning
with Ivy playing on Russell's boom box.
We occasionally made fun of the seagulls for swooping down and stealing
a half rack of ribs right in front of our faces. It was
amazing. Talk about a bunch of bandits making their get away with
BTW, the comment of the day: "It
smells warm in there". I
had loaned russell a silk
sleeping bag liner during the coarse of the night. His sleeping
bag looked awfully thin and I had a suspicion it wasn't going to keep
him warm over the coarse of the night. The wind was blowing and
there was a lot of moisture in the air. In the beginning he
didn't believe that the silk liner would keep him warm. However,
the next morning russell was ready to run off to the closest REI to buy
a silk liner. His comment was something to the effect, "I'm
surprise how warm it is in here" to which I replied, "Yeah, it smells
warm in there." Basically I was trying to
say two sentences at the same time, and it came out wrong.
Russell laughed and kind of cringed at the thought of what that comment
As for me, I was in a bivy sack and a sleeping bag all to myself.
Of course it was a condom to everyone.
Our goal for the rest of this day is to get to next campground (Refugio
State Park) about 26 miles west of Santa Barbara. The good news
was, it's only 76 miles south of where we are.
What a gorgeous day.
At around noon we all packed up and started heading out. The trip
was uneventfully except for Joseph loosing his rear seat. Joseph
at one point was fidgeting with his bike trunk and forgot to batten
down the hatches (that's Jospeh's Yamaha R6 on the right in the picture
above and the rear seat that went bye bye). At 100+ MPH that foot
loose rear seat is not going to hang around and shake a leg. Many
days later, Joseph reported that he found the equivalent R6 rear seat
somewhere for $50. What a deal.
To say the least, we were surprised to find out that we are required to
have reservations in order to stay at the Refugio State Park
campgrounds. This means we have to either try to find another
campground or we head into Santa Barbara to find a hotel.
Fortunately for us, At the last minute the campground guard told us
that a party called and canceled so we can take their spot. Most
likely they probably thought we were a bunch of riff raffs and didn't
want to let us in, but who cares, we now have a campground to settle
into. So we made due with our camp site and called it home until
the next day. These are pictures from the Refugio State Park the
following morning. The interesting thing about this campground is
that there were no people going to bed at 8:00pm. In fact people
were up and about until midnight if not beyond. There were no
complaints about folks being loud and everybody who stayed at the
campground that night were very courteous and nice. This time
around we never had a visit from the park ranger.
Perhaps it has to do with Southern California people instead of Central
Coast people. Who knows... who cares...
Here we are packing up and getting ready to head back home.
All the essentials that make our diner and breakfast so wonderful.
This is the restroom and bathing area. This campground is
actually quite nice.
You just have to be willing to dispense with a couple of quarters to
get hot water.
I wouldn't call it home but it's pretty darn good.
Joseph relaxing on his bike.
Russell, quite the ham but you gotta love the guy.
Russell and Primo.
Look at how close we are to the beach.
BTW, there were at least 6 oil rigs out beyond the horizon beyond the
beach. It was an amazing sight.
There's Russ again. Man... he's all over the place.
Actually, I can't blame him. All these pictures came from Russ'
What if.... What if we were to go
mountain biking in our motorcycle gear? Would it look something
Here is the last shot of all of us
together before we all head home on our merry way. It's been
fun. Thank's for all the fish...
All in all it was a really awesome trip. It was a fun three days
of riding and hanging out with the guys. Even Russ admits to
having fun from being away from the wife and kids for a while.
Good news too is that none of us received a call on our electronic
leash (e.g. mobile phone). Being the first long bike trip it took
me a couple of days to recover once I got home. A week or two
later all the guys called me up and wanted to know when the next big
bike trip is. I told them there will one
planned now and again. The next trip is already set for the air
show at Edwards Air Force base in October.
Here are some additional pictures Russell took on his way back to Los
Angeles on the our skirts of Santa Barbara. I'm already long gone
heading back towards Arcadia at
Russell on his CBR.
Primo taking a picture of something or other. Notice Joseph's R6
without the rear seat.
Written on: November 26, 2005
Last modified: September 3, 2007