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Highway 1 (PCH) & the Coastal Mountains

Original Flyer
& Information

MS Streets
& Trips 2006
Video Clips

After a relatively quick, standard tasting, slighty expensive breakfast at The Diner of Los Gatos, where the group had a chance to meet and get to know each other a bit, we got on our way.

After a brief moment heading south on Hwy 17, we bailed into the beautiful and secluded Santa Cruz Mountains. The first couple of roads, Black Rd and Skyline Blvd, were narrow (single lane in some places) and twisty. It gave us a chance to get warmed up and see how everybody rides. Very secluded with almost no traffic. The huge pines and foliage provided a lush forest canopy. The dappled light added to the experience.

Breaking out onto Black Creek Rd., we were then running on a more standard twisty two lane road. The speeds picked up a little, but there was some traffic to deal with. We headed south on Hwy 9 for a sedate ride into Santa Cruz through beautiful scenery and quaint little towns. When we hit Snata Cruz, we hopped onto Hwy 1 South and took the quick route to Monterey.

In Monterey we left the highway. Some slow (and crowded) touring of Monterey ensued. At this point, the traffic caused us to become separated into two groups. Both groups travelled the same roads and tourist spots (Cannery Row, etc.), just not together and while searching for the other group. Along Ocean View Blvd we wnet from full sun, to misty fog. We finally linked back up at the beautiful shoreline on Sunset Drive at Asilomar State Beach. We took a break and enjoyed the beach and scenery.

We had had enough of town, so we blew right through Carmel and headed down for the sweet spots of Highway 1, Cali's famous PCH.

It was a weekend so there was plenty of traffic. We expected it and were in no real rush. With a little patience, cages would move over and evetually we found ourseleves with open Hwy1 road ahead of us. (The only thing, sometimes you want to stop for some ohing and awing, but you don't cause your afraid cars will get in front of you). There were some long stretchs where we could run to our limits if desired.
The weather was standard PCH. A mix of bright sun with encroaching fog. As we got farther south, the fog won more often. But this part of the ride was very comfortable.

The quick transistions from bare cliffside coastline to wooded forest inlets is an amazing experience. You pop out of dense trees into spectacular views of California's pristine coastlines. The well paved road twists and turns through amazing vistas

In Big Sur, we stopped for lunch. The group selected "Big Sur River Inn". A very pretty and serene spot. We sat on the outdoor patio, overlooking Big Sur River and the many people enjoying it's slow moving waters. The food was good and plentiful. We enjoyed the time eating, lounging and sharing stories from the 1st half days ride.

On down the coast we went. More twists and turns (with a couple of contruction areas and badly repaired road from landslides). The beautiful scenery just neverstops - and neither does the awesome road.

After Highway 1 gradually straighted and leveled out, we cruisde past San Simeon and Hearts Castle. The open rolling hills and green grass were a contrast to the proceding cliffs and mountains. Once we reach Cambria, it got cold. The sun was gone and the air was wet with mist. It was probably "fog" but it didn't impair the vision. Because it was cold, and there would be no sunset, we skipped the trip to Montana de Oro State Park and went straight to our lodging, the Ascot Inn in Morro Bay.

Most of us wandered a few blocks from the hotel looking for the right place to eat. We finally settled on Dorns, a nice place about 50 yards from the Ascot Inn (and the first place we saw). The food and drinks were good and the company even better. It was a chance to sahre stories about the day, and learn a little more about our fellow riders.

The next morning we walked to Carlas Country Cafe for breakfast, as it was recommend by multiple locals. There weren't many people there for a Sunday mrning, but we chanced it. The food was good and by the time we finshed and left, the place was packed with a line waiting. Guess we timed it right.

On the walk back, you could see the huge Morro Rock. We got on the bikes road to a good spot for pictures. By the time we got off the bikes and ready for photos, the massive rock disappeared into the fog. Guess we didn't time this right.

After a short trip back up Hwy1, we headed inland on Old Creek Rd. What a pleasent surprise this little road turned out to be. Lots of turns and elevation changes. The weather was warm and the views pretty. We almost turned back and did this stretch again.

Passing through Paso Robles, we headed into the coastal mountain range via Lake Nacimiento Rd. There were tons of sweeps and twists as we skirted the shorelines of the lakes hidden in the hills. Some of the group got trapped right in front of a CHP and had to do the speed limit. Some of us were out of his sight and had the rear Magnas riding interference. We never knew he was back there :-) We ran along the edge of Hunter Liggit Military Reserve for a while and then dropped back out of the mountains into King City

The trip up into Carmel Valley road starts in flat farmland, fields in every direction. It tansistions in the dry interior coastal scrub hills and mountains. All of it secluded with very light traffic. Once you get onto Carmel Valley Rd., the foliage thickens and you find a lot of shade as you wind your way through Carmel Valley. Lot's of oaks and streams and you can feel it physically cool off as you approach coast again.

We stopped at a seafood place in the town of Carmel Valley. The food was okay. What made it stand out was the "stuff" falling from the tree above our patio table into our food and drinks. And everyone on the patio had brought their furry friend since the patio was "Dog Friendly". Some of the pooches even left "gifts" laying around. Definitely affects the "ambiance" of the meal. There were some lively discussions among the group as to whether "Dog Friendly" was a good/bad idea.

A local told us that Laureles Crade Rd. (G20) between Carmel Valley and Hwy68 was a fabulous motorcycle road and that people flocked from all over to ride it. Since it was in our plans anyway... It was okay I guess. Nothing really special. But it leads to Laguna Seca.

When we hit Salinas, a few riders decided they were gonna take the fast way (freeways) the rest of the way to their final destinations. The remainder finished up the planned route that took us through the mini-delta near Elkhorn / Moss Landing. It was a fun twisty road weaving it's way through the marshes. Then a short haul through some flat fields and farms brought us to Hecker Pass (Hwy 152). A fun twisty road that had a little to much traffic, but they must have been locals cause the drove it at a pretty good clip.

The last of the riding roads were in the foothills just south of San Jose. Lots of pretty horse country with fun sweeping and twisting roads winding through them. Couple of county parks with lakes. The final road, dropping from the coastal hills down into Los Gatos, was Hicks Rd. a wild and snakey ride back down to flatlands. Lots of fun.

Back to where we started. A few goodbyes and everyone split up to make their way home.

It was a great ride. I'd like to thank everyone that attended for contributing to the ride and making it a special event for all.

We will ride again. (Like This one - 5 Passes & a Park)


If any attendees want to do a write up or supply some photos, we'll add them here.

440 Miles from Los Gatos (via coastline) to Morro Bay and Back to Los Gatos (via coastal mountains).

The Diner of Los Gatos: A Diner in Los Gatos, ample parking.
Big Sur River Inn: Big Sur good food, (too?) large portions, serene setting
Dorns: Morro Bay - good food, fairly upscale
Carlas Cafe: Morro Bay - good, fast breakfast. Locals love it.
Villagio Seafood Place?: Carmel Valley - okay food. They allow peoples dogs on the patio with you, hmmm

Ascot Inn: Nice little place. Small but clean room. Decent water presure

Wandering Morro Bay looking for the right food place
Not much extra time after riding and sight seeing

You can get details and addresses and route maps by Clicking Here

Actual Ride Route

Overlook Santa Cruz Mountains

Overlook Santa Cruz Mountains

Overlook Santa Cruz Mountains

Overlook Santa Cruz Mountains

Overlook Santa Cruz Mountains

Ocean Blvd in Monterey

Kinda Foggy Day

But not too chilly

Ocean Blvd in Monterey

Ocean Blvd in Monterey

Ocean Blvd in Monterey

Ocean Blvd in Monterey

Hwy 1 Ride

An Overlook

See The Fog Rolling?

The Coastline

The Coastline

The Coastline

The Coastline

The Coastline

The Rides

Rocks & Fog

Rocks & Fog


Lunch in Big Sur

Telling Turn Stories

Remember when?

Lunch in Big Sur

Serene Settings

Pretty place

for lunch

Hwy 1 Ride


Going South

Hwy 1 Ride

Hwy 1 Ride

Hwy 1 Ride

Hwy 1 Ride

Hwy 1 Ride

Morro Rock - it was there 5 minutes ago

Start of Day 2

Costal Moutains here we come

Hwy 1 Ride

Getting Ready

Sacrificing Geo

Smile Dobie


Ride Videos

PCH #1 - Sunny Portion 5:39
PCH #2 - Foggy Portion 6:55
Arroyo Seco Bridge :38
Just Crusin' By 1:14
Carmel Valley Road 6:39


Photos From Gumby/SlabSurfer

Photos From YoGeorge2

© 2007 WestCoastMagnas.com