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July 22, San Francisco
Arriving San Francisco in the afternoon, you will have some time to take in the laid-back atmosphere of this great city. You will meet up in the evening with your tour guide and go for a meal with the other members of the tour. The great thing about starting in San Francisco is if you can spare some extra days its well worth arriving a few days early as there is so much to see and do. Why not visit Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf or a cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge? Our favorite thing is just to kick back in Haight Ashbury, buy music at Amoeba Records, and eat some great Mexican food. Now that’s the way to start a west coast tour!
July 23, San Francisco – Napa
Leaving San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge has to be one of the ultimate starts to any Road Trip. The weather varies: if it’s a misty start, you’ll feel like you’re riding on the clouds – and on a clear blue day, you can see the whole city and Alcatraz. You will never forget it! Almost straight from the bridge we will peel off onto one of the Pacific Coast Highways twistiest sections. One minute you’re on a cliff top curve; the next, the road is actually touching the Ocean as it crosses one of the many coastal inlets. After taking the best bit of the PCH, we will head inland into the Napa Valley. Famed for its vineyards and great restaurants, you will find your second night’s stay a definite change of gear (downshift!) even from laid back San Francisco.
July 24, Napa – Tahoe
Today we will hit the mountains for the first time. After crossing the northern central valley, we ride up into the Sierra Nevada mountains – your first view of Lake Tahoe is guaranteed to take your breath away. Emerald Bay, on the west shire of the lake, is a must see and the road to it runs on a ridge with sheer drops on both sides. The temperature up here will have dropped from the heat of Napa, and will make for gorgeous riding.
July 25, Tahoe – Mammoth Lakes
Yesterday may have seemed like high mountain riding, but today you will climb even higher! The final ridges of the Sierra Nevada’s give way to the high desert, and your route today will run on twisty mountain switch backs and valley bottom sweepers: a great combination and in truly big country! We will be sure to stop at the Mobil Garage at Lee Vining which has the best deli sandwiches for hundreds of miles.
July 26, Mammoth Lakes – Yosemite National Park
After a stunning loop into high valleys, the road starts climbing from the desert and back into the highest part of the mountains. As the road carries you higher and higher, the view back onto the desert is almost as impressive as the wall of mountains rising in front of you. The Tioga pass at 9943 feet is the highest in the Sierras, and takes you straight into one of Americas most visual impressive national parks, Yosemite. Yellowstone and The Grand Canyon are bigger, but neither of them come close to the diversity and visual impact of Yosemite. Huge rock faces shoot up from all sides vertically from were you stand. Waterfalls roar past, and high electrical storms will make your hair stand on end. The park can be quite busy with visitor traffic, but if you take a few moments to step away from the road you will be able to find some solitude and enjoy this very special place.
July 27, Yosemite National Park – Monterey
Today we ride to the Laguna Seca MotoGP! First we head out of the splendor of Yosemite across the blistering central valley, into the cool hills of the costal range. Monterey, your base for the race weekend sits on the California coast and is a hugely popular destination at any time of year. But when MotoGP rolls into town, it’s a whole different place! There are exotic bike and motorcycling personalities everywhere. Your hotel for the next three nights is in the centre of Monterey, only a short walk from both Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row.
July 28, Monterey – Laguna Seca
After a night spent walking Cannery Row, looking at the thousands of bikes lining this famous street, enjoying a beer and some superb freshly caught seafood, on Saturday morning you’ll take a free shuttle to Laguna Seca, home of the Corkscrew. Your tickets will not only get you all over the circuit, but the included Paddock Passes get you access into the heart of the Racing Paddock. Out of all the MotoGP’s on the calendar, the fan access at the Laguna is by far the best. The Paddock is far less crowded than at European rounds, and as such the riders are far more approachable. After a full day at the track, including qualifying, it’s back into town for a night of fun, music and of course, motorcycles!
July 29, Monterey – Laguna Seca
RACE DAY. It’s best to head to the track early on race day, to beat the crowds. As you arrive at Laguna Seca, it will likely be misty with a chill in the air. Within an hour or two, the clouds will lift, the sun will hit the track and sound of race motors will fill the bowl in the hills where Laguna Seca sits. An old school circuit, you can get fairly close to the track at several points and hearing MotoGP bikes up close at full tilt will stun you. Add to that this is the first year MotoGP is back on 1000cc bikes – we are expecting a great race!
July 30, Monterey – Pismo Beach
After three nights in the rareified air of the MotoGP paddock you’ll be needing a come down – but sorry! You won’t find that until you board the plane home. Today we start a ride thats on many peoples bucket list – the Pacific Coast Highway. I can’t right much that hasn’t already been written but safe to say its every bit as good as you hope! You’ll end the day sitting on your balcony overlooking the Pacific.
July 31, Pismo Beach – Los Angeles
Pismo to LA is a mixed ride, through Farmland where the smell of strawberries fills your helmet, to the surf beaches of Malibu. There’s a possible lunch stop for some clam chowder in Santa Barbara. After so much variety in roads, Hotels, scenery and temperature most people we ride with by this point tell us they feel like they’ve been on four different holidays, not just the one! For riding variety, this tour is hard to beat, and when you add the Laguna Seca MotoGP, it’s impossible to beat.
August 1, Depart Los Angeles
You’re free to explore the City Of Angels until your flight leaves, most European flights leave in the afternoon. With an early start its quite possible to take a trip down to Santa Monica or Venice to sample that LA vibe. But if you have the time, as with San Francisco, Los Angeles is worthy of a couple of extra nights stay – what a great place to wind down from the tour you have just completed. Plenty of incredible shopping in LA if that’s your thing!