I rode the BMW up to Humboldt Redwoods State Park last Friday and back on Sunday.
The ride up was good.
I got started at 11am later than I would normally like to start a 300 mile ride, but I had to work in the morning.
It was cool in San Bruno, and I knew that the city was going to be chilly so I bundled up and hit the road.
San Francisco was it’s normal slightly hectic self, but with some spirited lane splitting I was soon over the Golden Gate (in all its foggy glory) and on to Mt Tam.
It’s so nice having the road to yourself, I only had to pull one pass while in the park, and I just zipped through. I’m still not a fan of the down hill section, and the crazy tight hairpin turns with mid corner bumps at the very end are not awesome, but over all the road is a fun ride.
After a slow ride through Stinson Beach, the road really opens up into what are some nice fast corners. Easily 70mph ish, (but of course I was mindful of the 55mph speed limit).
I did get stuck behind some slower trucks before I got to Point Reyes Station, which was annoying as well as uncomfortable since I was now a bit inland and it was warming up. I stopped for a quick gear swap, and hit the road again as fast as possible.
Hwy 1 has so much awesome it’s hard to describe. If you can get around the Cars (and I did) there are some sections of road that are pure bliss. However all this hard riding takes it’s toll and as I sped north I began to zone out occasionally. I pushed myself a little through the last 50 miles or so which took a little over an hour, to make it to Fort Bragg. I did not want to stop too often and was going to need get gas in Fort Bragg. I stopped at the first “real” gas station I saw, and was very happy to find it civilized enough to have a 3G network so I could google maps search for a Starbucks!
I filled up the bike, and then a quick jaunt up the road filled up my own “tank” with some chai and a light snack. I don’t like to eat too much when riding, it tends to induce food coma, which is not fun when riding.
I took a longish break 30-45 minutes, but was back on the road a bit after 4pm.
More amazing Hwy 1. The most challenging bit is the part where it cuts inland toward Leggett.
It’s quite twisty with some tricky turns, though most are quite fun. There was one corner that caught me out with a 1 inch deep 2 inch wide 8 foot long gouge in the pavement mid corner that caught my front tire and sent me off line that was a bit scary, but I recovered easily and stayed upright and on my side of the road so…
Once I got to 101 things got boring again, and sadly I was on it for 30 miles, before the avenue of the Giants begins.
The Avenue of the Giants is some of the prettiest road in the world. Of course the coast (when not foggy) was very beautiful as well, but the Redwoods are so magnificent. It was almost too soon that I reached the campsite.
I had a great time camping, we did a bit of hiking and exploring, and it was great to catch up with family.
I left earlish on Sunday to hopefully beat some Traffic home. I was on the Road by 10am heading south. I did debate a different route home, but I did not bring any maps and with my phone dying did not want to risk getting lost and home really late.
The first 2 hours were great, same great roads all the way to Fort Bragg where once again I needed to fill my bike and I also decided to stop for a short break. I should have cut inland here… South of Fort Bragg traffic got worse, and by the time I was near Bodega Bay it was a mess. I was getting tired and sick of passing cars to make no headway as another group of slow cars would be just a few corners ahead. I gave up and headed inland. It got hot fast, and I suffered until I was near 101 where I stopped and did a quick gear change. I then hit the turbo button and made progress down 101 as fast as I could.
I passed the Lovely Wife in the Civic on 19th avenue so I got home 15 minutes ahead of them.
While it was an amazing ride, I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again on a Family Trip. The ride home was not that great, and the grumpy wife (whose not a fan of long distance driving) definitely was not worth it.