Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 1

Picture of my 2010 BMW R1200RT motorcycle at the start of my road trip

My BMW R1200RT packed and ready to go

I’m on the road. My 10,000 mile motorcycle road trip across the United States and Canada has finally started. Day 1 of a 6 week road trip. This morning I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Despite months of planning, there is still so much uncertainty. My route is reasonably well defined, but how far I’ll get each day, and where I’ll spend the night depends on some things outside of my control. I know my motorcycle is capable, but am I? I’ve never ridden this far before. Thoughts kept entering my mind, such as how will I deal with unforeseen problems such as an accident or motorcycle problem? Strangely, the moment I started riding, all that seemed to go away. I was now at peace with my journey. Sorry if that sounds somewhat zen-like, but it was an interesting transition in state of mind and body.

My ride up highway 280 through Silicon Valley to San Francisco was quite routine. Typical rush hour traffic for a Wednesday. Not too bad. Traffic is always lighter in the summer. Even traffic through San Francisco was relatively light. I rode through San Francisco mid-morning, so the fog still hadn’t lifted. Nice pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay in the fog. I stopped at the scenic overlook on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge for a break. I had a nice chat with a couple who were also riding to Oregon today. They said it would be hot riding inland, my chosen route, and said they were going to take Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway. They figured the fog would be lifting soon, and it would be much cooler along the coast.


 

They were right about one thing. It was much cooler along the coast. The fog only lifted briefly around lunch, then remained for several more hours. This made for a chilly ride along the coast, and I eventually headed inland at Fort Bragg in search of sun and warm air. I did have a great clam chowder lunch at a very scenic Clam Chowder and Oyster Bar in Marshall, CA. However, the Pacific Coast Highway was very slow and windy. I probably only averaged about 30 mph, so I’m way behind schedule. I had planned to make it to about Crescent City, at the northern edge of California. After about 13 hours of riding, and one close encounter with a deer around dusk, I decided to stop for the night in Garberville, CA. I’m very tired, and about an hour short of my goal for today.

It was a very scenic ride today, despite some extended periods of fog.

 

Road Trip Previous and Next Day Posts:

Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 2 and 3

Motorcycle Road Trip Planning

Finding Scenic Motorcycle Routes

Motorcycle Road Trip Riding Gear

Packing for my Motorcycle Road Trip

review:

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Comments

  1. Masa Ellis says:

    Bryan: Thanks for your very interesting postings of the 10000 mile trip. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them all in one setting. Two year ago, I embarked on a similar two month solo trip on my GL1800. I had to give the trip up in SD due to an accident I had. Now I am ready to finish what I started. In June 2013, I will be making a five week 9000 mile trip on my trusted ’02 R1150 RT. I like the BMW much better than the GL1800, because as you stated it’s so much more fun to ride.

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