Pacific Coast Highway

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  • Pacific Coast Highway

    I'm thinking pretty seriously about riding out to KA and riding the Pacific Coast Highway to Oregon or as far as weather will permit in December. I found a question asked about weather on the PCH on a BMW website. Someone who was apparently a local stated the months of October, November, and December were good times to ride the PCH.

    Anyone here have experience or knowledge of riding the coast highway?

    Your thoughts and suggestion will be appreciated.

    Harvey
    Harvey Barlow
    Crosby County, TX
    2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
    2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)


  • #2
    Harvey, the PCH is a great road to ride on, especially during the weekdays, when RV traffic is low, and others have to be at work. During those months of Oct, Nov, and Dec you may run into some fog in places, more likely the farther north you go. But the fog will be spotty, and gone around the next curve. If it is foggy, prepare for cold weather riding, as it will creep into your riding clothes.

    The lower 1/3 of California, on the PCH, will have more traffic. It will thin out about 100 miles north of LA. Then get heavy again the closer you get to Santa Cruz. Thin out again as you continue north, until you get to Half Moon Bay. Then you will have traffic until you get well north of San Francisco. Once north of Petaluma area, it will thin out again, and there will be stretches of road with no cars for many miles. Visit the Redwoods when up north. Lots of fog around Eureka/Arcata/McKinleyville area. North of that, and going into Oregon, the traffic will be less, but the fog more.

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    • #3
      MMR has nailed it and must agree to go during the week if possible. We just came down the coast from Oregon 3 weeks ago and when we got to Santa Cruz area heading south the traffic sucked all the way to Cambria and this was on a Friday. From Reedsport Oregon south to Santa Rosa California traffic moved along quite nicely then once we got to the south side of the Golden Gate things got bad. It is beautiful to see and ride but there are just too many people doing the same thing. Have a good ride.
      Dave - Arizona - 2012/GL1800

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      • #4
        The Southern part will have better weather and can be fantastic those months. As mentioned above, the closer to metropolitan areas, the more congestion. The best parts of PCH are between Morro Bay and Monterey (Big Sur area), then again from the Golden Gate all the way up, especially Oregon although it can be iffy that time of year there. The tourists should be thinned out by then though,
        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Ken
        ..........Central California.........'03 1800 Durango red, the fastest color

        "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it".......Mark Twain

        "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their validity."........ Abraham Lincoln

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        • #5
          My thanks to each of you who posted the helpful replies. It's beneficial when riding an unfamiliar route to have reports from a fellow rider who lives in the area or has ridden the route recently.

          I can't completely control the time I'll go because I depend on my wife's willingness to babysit our dogs but I can control the day of the week when I start the ride on the coast. I'll be sure to hit it on a Monday morning.
          Harvey Barlow
          Crosby County, TX
          2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
          2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

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          • #6
            Winter months are the best for clear weather North of Half Moon Bay, all the way up to Fort Bragg and beyond. The summer months are usually socked in with fog. You don't have that problem South of Santa Cruz. Mostly sunny all the time, with lots of wind.
            Lots of traffic between Carmel and Santa Cruz no matter what time of day or which day you choose, but not stop and go. That's only on weekends and Fridays. As soon as you are North of Santa Cruz, look to your right. What you don't see is some of the best motorcycle roads in the world. Ah, but that would be in what you seem to call Kalifornia, so no real need to share them.:p
            Anyhow, have a great ride!

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            • #7
              Nedro, hey...don't be spilling the beans on all the good riding roads in Cali, like...Hwy 82...and Hwy 9...and Hwy 35. We need to keep Alice's Restaurant a secret

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              • #8
                How about CA-236?? :D

                Harvey - start around Santa Monica...or maybe even as far north as Gaviota State park and go north from there.

                Oh, you have some diversions to ride as well...if you choose to:





                Naciomento-Fergusson Road (Google it!)



                If you want to get serious in reading about roads in the Golden State: www.pashnit.com is well worth the time.

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                • #9
                  Thanks again. I don't think I'll have time to ride any diversonary motorcycle roads. I'll be 1200 miles from home when I begin the PCH and headed away from home each day I ride north. If I make it up into OR I'll be four or five days from home.

                  Nedro, didn't mean to insult you, just making fun of the state government. I lived in San Diego in '60, San Francisco - Treasure Island in '61, and San Diego '77 - '79, and again '85 - '88. I'll try to call it CA.

                  KWThom, great photos. I discovered Pashnit a couple years ago, probably when thinking about a PCH ride, and signed on but didn't see anything that held my interest. Perhaps I should look again.
                  Harvey Barlow
                  Crosby County, TX
                  2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
                  2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

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                  • nedro
                    nedro commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I get it. Don't know why it bothered me yesterday. I usually just laugh it off.
                    Have a great ride!

                  • kwthom
                    kwthom commented
                    Editing a comment
                    "...I'll be 1200 miles from home when I begin the PCH and headed away from home each day I ride north. If I make it up into OR I'll be four or five days from home."

                    Yep...took me three days' the only time I was up there to get back to the desert, but it was June and I really didn't want to come back to 105 degree temps - and I only made it to Eureka/Arcata.

                    I want to go back and finish the ride to the north....

                • #10
                  I have ridden the Pacific Coast Highway a 3 times. The last time the summer of 2013. One trip we rode from Oregon down to Big Sur. The last trip we took the boat over to Alcatraz and took the tour. I really enjoyed it. The temp. was in the mid to upper 50 most of the ride. I believe it is a beautiful ride any body would enjoy. All our trips were in June or July. Good luck. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry

                  IBA #57814
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                  • #11
                    PCH in upper Oregon can be quite congested; be prepared to NOT make good time through there.
                    George - 2013 F6B Standard - Largo, FL

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                    • #12
                      I'd strongly suggest you consider some of the roads that divert you off of PCH such as Nacimiento Fergusson road that Kwthorn showed a shot of. Some are fairly short, but beautiful, and uncongested. Also, Hearst Castle is worth a look if you've got time. If you're just looking to ride, and not really stop and visit towns, etc. you could easily ride the length of the coast in 3 days if you start north of Los Angeles, or even San Luis Obispo. You could even take the road(Nacimiento Fergusson) to the base, and turn around and get back to PCH. Be aware that areas around San Francisco in particular are quite pricey. You could find yourself paying over $100 for a motel 6.
                      Costa Mesa, CA
                      2012 RED GL1800

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                      • #13
                        I do want to take time to see the main tourist sites such as Hearst Castle, the redwoods, etc. but probably won't take the time to leave the PCH just for motorcycle roads.
                        Harvey Barlow
                        Crosby County, TX
                        2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
                        2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

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                        • #14
                          Harvey, I have done it twice. Once from south and then back down. Amazing views and a great ride. Make sure your camera is charged up. We went in late August the first time and late September the next. We did the road mid week and the traffic was very light. In Solvang there is a great cycle museum that is worth seeing and the wife would like the rest of the town-Swiss I think. Anyway. Great ride

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                          • flyerq68
                            flyerq68 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Neat town to visit but it is Danish.

                          • Rick S
                            Rick S commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I stand corrected. You are right, but I was sorta in the same zip code.

                        • #15
                          Solvang too. I'm adding these attractions to my list as you folks list them.
                          Harvey Barlow
                          Crosby County, TX
                          2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
                          2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

                          Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                          • #16
                            Cannery Row in Monterey is pretty cool. The aquarium is worth a visit if you've got time.
                            Costa Mesa, CA
                            2012 RED GL1800

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                            • #17
                              Also, unless it causes a major change in your trip, I think that riding it from north to south is better. I would suggest trying to be nowhere near San Francisco during rush hour. Same goes for the greater Los Angeles area.
                              Costa Mesa, CA
                              2012 RED GL1800

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                              • #18
                                Originally posted by glarson3 View Post
                                Also, unless it causes a major change in your trip, I think that riding it from north to south is better. I would suggest trying to be nowhere near San Francisco during rush hour. Same goes for the greater Los Angeles area.

                                When are the "better" times to ride around San Franscisco? I don't care for lots of traffic.
                                DS#1146 IBA#55800 50CC,BBG, BB1500 x2, SS2K, SS1Kx3 CERTIFIED ALL DS, PGR RC
                                2010 Level3 Endeavor Reverse Trike

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                                • #19
                                  Originally posted by Pooch View Post


                                  When are the "better" times to ride around San Franscisco? I don't care for lots of traffic.
                                  The last time I was in San Francisco rush hr. started about 6 am and ended at 7 pm. :D
                                  Location: Vancouver WA Former name: CAWING '04 GL1800
                                  When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
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                                  Vietnam Veteran, Patriot Guard Rider

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                                  • #20
                                    Originally posted by Pooch View Post


                                    When are the "better" times to ride around San Franscisco? I don't care for lots of traffic.

                                    First, I agree with glarson3 that it is much better to ride the PCH going from the North...down to the South. It makes a difference.

                                    Secondly, as for Pooch asking when are the better times to ride around San Francisco.....while there are several ways to get "around" San Fran, many of which are just long detours, and not worth the trouble, I can tell you that the most direct route to avoid downtown San Fran, and get from point A to point B....is this......when riding South on Hwy 101, and just after crossing the Golden Gate bridge, be prepared to exit Hwy 101 to the right. That means...be in the RIGHT lane while on the bridge, so you don't have to fight traffic to get across the lanes.

                                    Once over the bridge, take Exit # 438, which is the exit for the McArthur Tunnel, and Hwy 1. Take that exit to the right, and STAY on Hwy 1 for the next 300 to 400 miles.

                                    If you want to see San Fran, or get stuck in the traffic, streets, and hills of San Fran...then miss that exit, and we may hear from you in a year or two.

                                    But take that exit...# 438, for the McArthur Tunnel, and it is also for Hwy 1...and everything will be golden. The exit sign may also say for the Park Presidio Blvd.

                                    But it is exit # 438.

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