Saturday, August 19, 2006

San Diego to Mexicali via La Rumarosa

I've ridden to Mexicali many times via the I8 and for once decided
to make the trip south of the border. I had some things to do in Mexicali so I decided to see if travelling via Baja's hwy 2 was a possible alternative to I8 or Hwy 94.

I crossed the border in San Ysidro as I needed to renew my work permit. If you are crossing the border and need to get a permit of some sort, San Ysidro is the easiest crossing point to do it as the immigration office and bank are about 50 feet apart and open 24/7. Tijuana isn't the most pretty of surroundings but either south or east going highways will get you out of there in a few minutes.

The first toll heading out of Tijuana is $6, most expensive toll around. After Tecate there are 2 more tolls, one $5 and another $1. You can avoid the $6 toll by starting the 'south of the border' segment of the trip in Tecate. I94 to Tecate is a much better ride than the south of the border. I haven't tried getting permits and insurance in Tecate so can't comment on that.

The toll road is in excellent condition, and not very busy first thing in the morning. Weather was cool and cloudless. Dropping down into the desert had the temperatures climbing fast and furious. Distance compared to my usual commute on the I8 was about 20 miles less and about the same amount of time.

Overall the ride was very pleasant. Entering the south in Tecate is a much better and quicker way to make the trip as the slowest part was making it from San Ysidro to the start of the toll road near Otay.

Below is a short video of the ride down the La Rumarosa:

Sunday, August 13, 2006

East San Diego, A small piece of riding Heaven

08.12.06 0830 9th and Palm

After a long break from doing any long distance rides my wife decided we should take a ride out to East San Diego. Keep in mind the San Diego County line ends somewhere near where the I8 drops down into the desert and Imperial County. Our destination for the day was Boulevard, a small town 60 or so miles away. Three of us departed Imperial Beach and and were having breakfast at 9am at the Barret Junction Restaurant. After that we headed out to Boulevard where we waited for any takers on meeting us there by taking the I8. The return ride included a stop in Pine Valley and Lyons Valley. All in all a great Saturday morning ride getting home just after lunch.

This little loop we do is not one of the 'great' rides going, but for its ease/speed of access, lack of traffic, scenery, choices of eateries, choices of break stops, and excellent weather, it is one that never fails to satisfy.

Here is a short video of the ride:

This and our other videos can be seen here:

More Video

Friday, May 12, 2006

Where to next?

Being in Southern California this is a rather daunting question as there are so many nice places to see. We have travelled the world quite a bit and have little desire to see much more of it, we'd rather see and experience some of the great places right around home, at least while we can still ride.

Planning. Not much needed in that regard. Pick a locale for a destination than work out the logistics to get there and back, comfortably, happily. Having an 11 year old along does have it's challenges though, and in order to be fair we always try to incorporate recreation she enjoys into the ride and destination. She is water person, and as long as she can emerse herself in a body of water at the end of the day, things are much better for everyone. Motels/Hotels/Campgrounds with pools come in handy here.

Not having to carry camping gear has it's advantages, but being able to sit out under the stars before bed also has it's advantages. We've camped many times before, once using the motorcycles as transport but only for one night. Multi-day camping means more gear and hence more weight. We've done many car camping trips and being able to carry everything but the kitchen sink is very nice, we typically didn't use a third of the stuff we took however. Comfortable motorcycle camping is going to be a challenge. We have mostly backpacking gear (light tents, ligt sleeping bags, sleeping pads etc.) so we are already ahead of the game. What remains is being able to add the small things that make the trip, well, nice. Things like eating real food, and finding good campsites, with somewhere to swim.

As a first 4-5 day ride I'm hoping we can ride up the Sierra Nevadas through Lake Isabell, Sequoia NP, Yosemite, and then back down the 395 with a small divert through Death Valley and then back down the 395 to Big Bear and then home through the mountains via Idyllwild, Julian, and Lyons Valley. I think we can camp a few nights, and motel it a night or two. hmmm..

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Joshua Tree National Park

Another great ride was had by us last weekend. It was the second time I got to ride through Joshua Tree and I'm so glad I did. I saw alot more than the last time. I think it was due to the fact we rode slow and it was very early in the morning with little to no traffic. Joshua Tree is one of California's finest unspoiled desert parks and is well worth the trip if you can make it.

The ride started through Wildcat Canyon north of El Cajon and proceeded up through Santa Isabell, Warner Springs, Idyllwild, Banning, and Palm Springs. After waiting out a small fire along the 29 Palm Highway we made it to Yucca Valley where we stayed in a Super 8 Motel. Don't stay in this motel if you can, it was filthy.

We rode out the next morning at sunrise through Joshua Tree, then on to the Salton Sea for some lunch at Mama's. The video below is of the ride through Box Canyon between the South entrance of Joshua Tree and Mecca. The road has been fully redone and this is a great scenic desert ride.

Click here for the longer complete video ride report.

After lunch we headed up to Julian through Borrego Springs and the Montezuma Highway, a favorite among the sport bikers with its winding twisting road.

San Diego really does have some great rides to offer however, having been through the Sierra Nevada's and Central California, I know there is much more to go before we run out of places to ride in and around Southern California.

Southern Sierra's, Sequoias, Yosemite, and maybe even Death Valley is next on the list.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Starting of the blog

Welcome to my blog. I'll be posting details about my motorcycle/scooter and riding adventures around the South Western most city of the USA.

As you can see, we ride two Suzuki bikes, a Burgman 400 Maxi-Scooter, and a Vstrom DL1000 Standard bike. The larger of the two carries me and our daughter. My wife rides the Burger.

San Diego and the surrounding area has some great riding roads, and along with great year round weather we put on the miles.

This blog is my feeble attempt at being a better writer, as well a have a place I can document things for prosperity. Knowing others may stumble here means I will try to keep the blog going, with at least a weekly update, and I will try to make it an interesting read.

Thanks for stopping by,