The Flight of Bear Canada

Day 7 - April 19th
San Francisco to San Simeon

Well I'm back on the bike. I head south and reunite with Route 1. To my utter horror, it turns into a plain old chunk of superslab. So I decide to do a mail stop in Santa Cruz. I spent an eternity at the post office. (Apparently Canadians shipping packages home from the US may pose a problem. I strongly advise being patient and deploy a sense of humor if needed.) I then return to the road south.
Then after being on the humdrum highway, I spot the sign for one of the holiest places in motorsports...Laguna Seca. I took the exit, dropping into the corner like Valentino Rossi. (OK I missed it and had to backtrack, but hey this is my story and I'll write it as I see fit.) I head inland and arrive at the legendary motorsports park. Seriously from the outside it does look like a park. But up over a hill, track sits in the dry lake bed that gives it its name. (Laguna Seca is dry lake in Spanish.) I manage to sneak in and pillage the souvenir shop. I almost think that's it pointless to pack t-shirts since I buy so many as mementos of my trip. Then I ride around the infield to the holiest of holy places, the corkscrew. I manage to get a few shots of the course, and the Miata's racing around the track for the race school. I have thought about a MotoGP road trip to Laguna Seca, but now the idea seems a bit stronger.



The famous Corkscrew.


Same Corkscrew, different angle.


My bike at the Corkscrew. (Like anyone would actually allow me to put the bike on the course.)

Then after getting back onto Route 1 in Monterrey, the magic returns. Route 1 goes from ugly duckling superslab to amazingly curvy and sexy two laner. It doesn't matter that there are slow drivers and expensive gas. (almost $5 a gallon) The road is good as I wind the throttle up. The Valentino impressions are cut short by the scraping of my skid plate in the corners, but hey it's all good. The bike is now lighter.

Tomorrow looks like a short jaunt down the coast to San Luis Obispo and than inland towards Death Valley.

Day 8 - April 20th
San Simeon to Bakersfield

The day started very early in the morning when it started to rain. My pro tip is to use a two man tent so that you can bring your gear inside. So at least I was dressed and dry as I packed up camp. The problem with rain is that it's everywhere and without cover, you can't do anything without getting wet. So I started east. There was a fun little detour when I had to backtrack since someone posted the "No Services for 82mi" sign a few miles past the last gas station.

So while in the rain on Highway 58, the rain started to penetrate my gear. After a couple of nice hot days in San Francisco, I decided to return my sweater and long gloves. Bad idea as things got cold. Temperatures dropped to 9 degrees C. My arms and feet became cold. Then my gear began to fail in a critical area, I started to get cold water in the crotch. The road itself was good, however the rain and strong wind made things interesting. The wind was blowing at my back as I headed east, but as the road shifted, the wind didn't. I nearly was blown off the road. In a section of the twisties near McKittrick, the winds streamed down some of the valleys. This meant that the wind blasted in some corners than other. This would have been fun if I wasn't frozen cold.
I did stop in a 3 shack town of McKittrick, and had a burger at Penny's Restaurant. Quite a good burger for $6. I hit the road again after downing food and a gallon of hot coffee. I rolled into Bakersfield and did a prompt raid of Cycle Gear for you guessed it...cold weather riding gear. My worry was that there was more bad weather and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

So I crashed early at another hotel, and dried my gear out, getting ready for tomorrow. One thing I can chuckle at is that Gov. Schwarzenegger can promote Californians to go visit the state's campsites. But at $35 for a tent spot and hotel rooms running at $55, I would say that it's a no-brainer. But I have a tent drip-drying in my hotel room. So much for trying to live on the cheap and returning to nature.

(It's not all that bad, Spike has new episodes of Deadliest Warrior on the TV tonight.)

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Contents Copyright (C) Michael Fodor 2012.