Thursday, 18 July 2013

Day 7 - Highway 1 Adventure

Woke this morning to another morning mist that was starting to burn off. Starting from just south of Santa Barbara todays ride would start with about 130 miles of motorway driving on 101 before peeling off and heading up what is the best part of the road without a doubt through Big Sur.

I have driven more motorway miles this trip than I have done at home in probably the last 4 years but I have to say that this stretch of 101 has some spectacular scenery that makes the boredom of motorway riding somehow bearable. For the first 50 miles or so the road hugs the coast and offers scenes of the ocean and beaches to one side and the mountains to the other. Then the road turns inland through a gorge and into the mountains. For at least part of the route HW1, 101 and El Camino Real are one and the same.

Having left the motorway i am now on HW1 for real. A short stop for lunch at an excellent Deli, even one of the locals at a nearby table said that is the king of all sandwiches, I was heading back up the coast towards Big Sur.

Then I saw "Elephant Seal Viista" and pulled in thinking this was just the name of the viewing point. Oh No. Basking on the beach below the car park were Elephant Seals. No something you see everyday by the side of the road at home. As I pulled out of here I lost one of my visor mounts so I am now fully open faced. Why did I not bring the spare from home from the last time this happened?

As I wound up the coast road the Harley really started to come into it's own again. This trip was always about me, the bike and the road and on day 4 me and the bike had fallen out, partly due to me making some bad decisions about the road but now we were friends again. Then the penny dropped. It was a cruiser. The Legend is classed as a cruiser, the Rocket III was definitely a cruiser and the America that i had hired in Provence was a cruiser. The road I was on like and alpine mountain road with it's twists and turns and stunning scenery was my kind of road and a cruiser was my kind of bike. The only problem was that this was not the best cruiser I had ever ridden in fact it was the worst. Harley may have invented the cruiser but in my humble opinion they have been passed years ago in their own space.

Anyway time for fuel. Shit the fuel stop I was planning to use is out of fuel now a dilemma. The sign says nearest fuel 12 miles south (back where I have come from) or 40 miles north. The trip  is reading 103 miles and the man at the rental show had said repeatedly not to exceed 130 miles on a tank. Should I risk it or should I go back over 12 miles of the winding road I have just ridden? You decide all I will say is that technically I have driven part of this road 4 times smiling all the way. Being a week day there was less traffic on the road and so more fun to be had. The cars and RVs even pulled over to let me pass and with me and the bike back on speaking terms wow what a ride. Finally to my over night in Big Sur, a lodge recommended by a friend, in the woods. Perfect except for the fact that it is tinged with a little sadness that the trip is nearing it's end.

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