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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys:

I'm flying in to Nashvegas from Iraq by way of Dubai, Amsterdam and Detroit. I'm spending one night at my house and then flying out to LA on Thursday the 7th. I don't have to be anywhere until the BBQ on Friday at 3:00pm.

My brother and I are going to drive up the PCH to Monterrey. My brother has never flown before, never seen California/the PCH and never seen a MotoGP race, so that is why we're driving from LA instead of flying to Oakland like most of my buds that are going.

We'll have about 30 hours to get from LA to Robert's BBQ, so we'll probably do some touristy stuff along the way like check out Hollyweird, Venice Beach, etc.

Right now the plan is to stop somewhere around San Luis Obispo / Pismo Beach or as far as San Simeon. I understand it'll be mostly interstate until San Luis Obispo...my friend that lived out there said that Highway 1 is pretty boring until you get to that point.

As far as the touristy stuff is concerned, I know that the Hearst Castle is on the way, the 18-mile drive is near and Big Sur is on the way...what other stuff do you guys recommend?

Any must-do event or place that I'm leaving out? I've just recently gotten the travel plans worked out, so I haven't had much time to research the other stuff yet.

How soon on Thursday do I need to get out of L.A. to avoid the traffic? Or is avoiding LA traffic even possible? I think we left in the middle of the night the last time I went to Laguna Seca, so we missed most of it.

If we stop for the night around San Luis Obispo or San Simeon, the hotel rooms are still reasonably priced and we're still close enough to make it to Salinas the next morning. Ideally, we'd get into Salinas in time to check in to our hotel and then make our way to Robert's by 3-4:00pm.

Does all of this sound reasonable / doable? What do you guys think? Thanks in advance for your suggestions and advice...

Jeff.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Good job you're doing over there in Iraq for us. We're all proud of you.

You've mentioned all the sweet spots along the coast so I think you'll be pretty occupied on your ride. Venice beach is a must and Hollywood is pretty cool. It was a lot wilder back in the days, but the last time I cruised the strip, it was wack.

PCH is a wonderful stretch of highway. More scenic than I-5 but it also takes a little bit longer.

Pismo is nice. It will be tempting to ride on the beach, but don't. Unless you want corrosion eating up your bike.

Traffic is mainly near LAX if you're on the 405. If I remember correctly, 2:30-6:30 is rush hour. Someone that rides that interstate might give you a better time frame since it's been awhile for me.

Have fun! Laguna Beach is sweet and so are California girls.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: (Hams51)

Hams:

Thanks for the reply and the vote of confidence.

I wish I could say that we were going to be riding the PCH, but I'm afraid not. There were just too many things to consider. It was hard enough getting everything to fall in place to just get me and my brother there. I ended up reserving a convertible Mustang for the trip...so we'll be cagin' it for this trip.

I will ride the PCH and all of the famous CA roads someday, but it'll be after I get finished in Iraq. One of my buds over here is a fellow rider from Colorado. He's getting a K 1200 S when he gets back...he'd like something sportier, but he's about 6'4", so his choices are limited. He talked me into doing a 'Four Corners' trip with him when I get back, so we're already making a list of all of the roads we want to hit and cities to visit and events to attend along the way. It's going to be epic!

It'll probably be mid-2007 by the time we get around to doing it. My goal is to stay here until Spring 2007, so we've got a while to plan this one...


Take care,
Jeff.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey, RCFiftyWon,
Thanks for the good work you and your fellow soldiers are doing for us in Bumfukistan.

Okay...I've done the trip from L.A. to Laguna Seca a number of times, but always on a bike.

While you're in L.A., Venice Beach is a nice way to hang out, check out the babes on the bike path and eat some local food. I would not hang out too much after dark, as the areas along the beach tend to get a little rowdy with some gang activity at night. Stay away from hanging near the water at the Santa Monica Pier after dark. Up on the pier is fine, because security is good, but hanging on the beach at night is pretty scary.

Hollyweird is indeed cleaned up now, and there's a new shopping center with all kinds of entertainment and eating at the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Blvd. The center is naturally called "Hollywood and Highland", which is just a mile south of the Hollywood Bowl. L.A. is pretty boring at night. If you guys want to go cruising in the Mustang w/ the top down along Sunset Blvd. (west of Hollywood by a few miles) and check out all the clubs and neat places.

Now, once you're on the road towards San Luis Obispo, make sure you give yourself enough time to get to SLO. Traffic is the pits along the 101 Freeway until you hit Thousand Oaks, and then it should be clear sailing most of the way to SLO. While you're in SLO, check out the Madonna Inn (the bathrooms are wild). For a good meal, I always eat at Apple Farms, for a good, home cooked kind of all American meal (meatloaf, pot roast, mash potatoes, etc.).

As you travel north, stop off at Morro Bay (a quaint little fishing village next to this gigantic rock sticking out of the water covered in bird sh*t). It's a nice place just to drive thru and check the sites and shops. Further up the coast, along Highway 1 (Hwy 1 really starts to get interesting after Morro Bay), you'll see a couple of little signs that say "Cambria". Cambria is a little town just a few miles inland from the highway. It's got good restaurants, shops, and a great ice cream shop. It's a good place to gas up and take a leak. Further up the coast, you'll soon be approaching the Heast Castle. It's a neat place to visit if you've got the time and want to see how truly weathly people used to live. Now, my favorite thing to do while riding/driving along the stretch of ocean about 15 miles north of Heast Castle, is to stop at one of the view sites and go down to the water...much of that beach area is a sea otter nature preserve (look for signs that say Sea Otter Game Refuge"). Sea otters, seals and other beautiful sealife hang out there, and come up to the beach. It's a blast. Bring lots of film or digital memory for your camera.

Further up the coast, you'll just enjoy the drive, as it is just awesome. The driver must pay attention to the road, as it is very narrow in some areas, and since it'll be the start of summer vacation here in California, lots of RVs and campers will be sharing the road with you. Please drive patiently. There will be lots of bikes riding up along the highway, so be cool, and let them pass you so they don't become roadkill under a Winnebago coming the other way. By the way, one of the last gas stops after you leave San Simeon until you get to Big Sur is a little tiny gas station in the hole in the wall town called Gorda (it's south of a town called Lucia). You should fuel up there. Run into the little store and restaurant next door and grab a cookie or brownie while you're there.

The drive from Gorda to Big Sur is spectacular. There are plenty of pull-offs on the ocean side of the road to get photos and check out the rocks below. A few years ago, my pals and I rode up to see WSB at Laguna and the traffic was pretty good (it was Wednesday, so the crowd hadn't started to ride/drive up yet). I happened to look over the water, and saw about 1/2 mile off the coast a magnificent grey whale spouting a huge plume of water, flying out of the ocean and crashing back down in a belly flop with a huge splash. it's was spectacular and until the day I die, that scene will always be indelibly etched in my memory. Those few moments of seeing that whale majestically rise and fall in the water were "priceless". Take the time to check out the scenery. Ride with the top down and smell the sagebrush and trees on the inland side, and the surf and salt coming at you from the ocean side. It's wonderful, and it's the reason why I like to ride that route.

Okay...further north, as you come into Big Sur, stop at a little shopping/restaurant area called Nepenthe. They have a little restaurant there and a spectacular view of the coast because it's up on a high spot in the mountain. It's worth the stop, especially if you gotta take a leak.

The rest of the way into Carmel is twisty, so be careful along that stretch, as some of those Winnebagos can barely get through the turns within their own lane. Once you start approaching Carmel, you'll see lots of cops...this is one of the biggest weekends for speeding and drunk driving, and although the town is pretty friendly with bikers, they hate it when guys are pulling wheelies and burn outs in their town. They're also very tough on open containers and drunks.

If you don't know this already, one of the "must do" things while you're in town in Monterrey for the races, is to go down to Cannery Row on Friday and/or Saturday night. Saturday night is absolutely bedlam. They close the street's parking to only bikes, and the main drag is lined up with sport bikes on both sides. They let the cages and bikes cruise all night. I suggest you drive into Monterrey and find a parking space at the local Safeway market and walk the rest of the way (only 2 blocks). Get a drink at Bubba Gump's and walk and hang. Have fun and be safe.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cannery Row eh? I might have to check that out someday when I'm back in Cali.

+1 for Morro Bay. Weird piece of rock thrown into the water. Very quaint little fishing village.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep, Cannery Row...definitely "madness" on Saturday night before the Final Round on Sunday. The babes and bikes are out in droves. Every piece of moto exotica is out for all to see and lust after. You gotta get there early if you wanna eat...because after 6 pm, there's not a table to be had at any of the eateries. The bars are slammed tighter than a can of sardines (which, by the way, is why it's called Cannery Row...they used to can fish in that neighborhood).

Sorry for the typos in my earlier message...I was flying on the keyboard and there's no spell check!

Hey, KMF...you be careful in Bumfukistan, okay? Make it home okay so you can celebrate at the races. I wish I was in town to meet up with you, but I'll be Kauai getting married (yeah, I know, but I didn't choose the date...my fiancee chose the date well over a year ago, and I said "okay"...it was well in advance of the FIM's announcement of the GP dates. Sh*t!! My best man is also cursing because he wanted to go too see the GP too but he'll be stuck standing next to me on the beach watching me say "I do" for the second time. He fixed me up with my first wife, a psycho-b*tch-from-hell that cost me an arm and a leg in alimony, so this is my punishment to him...to deny him MotoGp and making him be my best man again on the same weekend!! Hah!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: (wooleeboolee)

Guys:

Thanks for all of the good advice. I've already seen how kick-ass Cannery Row can be. When I was there 5-6 years ago, a friend of mine that worked for RC Components told us where to go to hang out with the AMA crowd.

It was a restaurant / bar on the second floor about mid-way down Cannery Row on the left side. (I know that's a crap description, but that's all I can remember...) I want to say it was called Blue Marlin or Blue something...and no 'Blue Oyster' comments from the Peanut Gallery, OK?


Nicky Hayden showed up but he was too young to get in - they made him stand in the back in a little foyer for the restrooms and the kitchen door. I think Pascal Picotte and Scott Russell were there and others that I have since forgotten.

If anyone knows the name of that place, post it up...I'll try to get back there.

Jeff.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmmmm....I know the place, but can't think of the name. I'll check around for you. I'm usually outside standing on the sidewalk watching the wildlife shaking their booty and see rich old white guys drive by in their expensive cars playing rap trying to impress the young chickadees. It's hilarious.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: (wooleeboolee)

It is called Blue Fin Billiards and the Rides used to hang there. I do not think you will find many there this time around.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: (RCFiftyWon)

If your doing the 101 up from LA you should call the Vandenberg AFB Lodge. I don't know if they will have any room but its only like $20.00. The location is inbetween Lompoc and Santa Maria, it is about 30 mins south of Pismo. You can call the lodge @ DSN: 312-276-1844 or Comm (805) 606-1844.
 
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