I've been enjoying the road trip reports and photos on this website for a long, long time, as a lurker. Always wanting to try touring myself, always imagining the freedom and solitude it offers. But first I had to get a bike. Enter the ninjette:
Fig 1. Completely stock, with rashed and cracked fairing and exhaust (previous owner), still pretty.
After spending 1,000 riding around Berkeley, I felt the chances were good for surviving a 1,000 mile road trip to LA and back. I was very fortunate to find another like-minded rider who liked the idea. We became close friends during the 4-day trip.
Day 1: Oakland to San Simeon S.P.
Route: I-880 -> 17 -> 1
Fig 2. Hard luggage by Rubbermaid: 8 Gallon Action Packer
Ugly? Sure! Useful? You bet! It held my sleeping bag, clothes including rain gear, food, and some misc. camping stuff.
Fig 3. First stop: somewhere along Hwy 1, in Big Sur
Fig 4. Me and my friend Sai
Fig 5. Julia Pfeiffer Burns S.P. is home to a spell-binding waterfall
Day 2: San Simeon S.P. to Marina del Rey, LA
Route: 1 -> 101 -> 1 (incl. getting lost and doing a ~40 mile detour north)
Fig 6. Waking up, hearing birds singing, looking around...
Fig 7. How about a nice, hot cup of oatmeal??
Fig 8. We set the tent up in the dark; next morning I realized how pretty the place was
After San Simeon, the coastal route straightens out. Perhaps because of this, we didn't stop much until arriving in LA.
Day 3: The Getty Center
Route: I-405 (in my mom's Camry)
Weather: Rain, and lots of it
It's a very nice museum, and I visit it often because they change their exhibitions frequently.
Day 4: Sandstone Peak in Santa Monica Mtns
Route: 1 aka PCH
Weather: Partly cloudy with rainbows
The tight, twisty road leading up to the trailhead is a lot of fun to ride. I felt like I was leaning the bike the furthest I've ever done!
Fig 9. View fron the top of Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica range
Fig 10. Above the cloud top
Fig 11. USGS marker
Day 5: LA to Morro Bay
Route: 1 -> 101 -> 33 -> 166 -> 101
Weather: Gray, cold
Fig 12. Route 33 goes inland from Ventura through Los Padres Nat'l Forest
"Nice set of twisties." <- understatement
Fig 13. Route 166 took us back to the coast
166 is mostly straight and flat. It passes through spectacular farmlands.
Day 6: Morro Bay to Oakland
Route: 41 -> 101 -> G13 -> 25 -> 101 -> I-880
Weather: Gray, cold, wet, very wet (later in the day)
The weather was uninspiring for stopping and taking pictures, so we just enjoyed the ride.
Fig 14. Road leading into Pinnacles Nat'l Monument
Fig 15-16. It started raining as soon as we entered the park, so we decided against hiking
That was the last photo stop, since it started raining pretty hard as we left the Pinnacles. Riding in the dark, in the wet, through stopped traffic on 880 made for some tense moments, but nothing too bad.
The trip almost doubled my motorcycling experience. It was safe, fun, and not tiring. I'm looking forward to the next one!
Edit: read my friend's write-up ->here<-
more pictures ->here<-