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California Motorcycle Rides

Favorite Ride: Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway

Colorful fall trees displaying their beauty around Twin Lakes.

Most people ride U.S. Route 395 in California just to get from point A to point B, but wandering off the highway reveals numerous, rarely visited geologic and historic sites as well as seldom seen canyons with enjoyable winding roads and striking beauty. This journey seeks all of that in addition to a rare California sight: fall colors. Finding fall ...

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Chasing Shakespeare: An Elizabethan Tour of the American West

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The Plan “…then begins a journey in my head…” (Sonnet 27) Bourbon and conversation, biscuits and gravy, movies and popcorn–some things just seem to go together. Having always enjoyed a good pairing of my favorite things, I conjure up a plan to unite two seemingly disparate personal obsessions into one fine journey. It’ll be a comingling of Shakespeare and motorcycles. ...

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Twisty Roads and Redwoods in Northern California

Route 36 through the coastal mountains. (Photos by the author)

On a warm summer morning, my wife and I departed on a four-day trip that would take us on some of the finest motorcycle roads in Northern California, most notably State Route 36 with its 140 miles of continuous twists and turns. Riding north from Sonoma County on U.S. Route 101 to its junction with State Route 128, we followed the ...

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Circling the Sierra: A Three-State Ride Around Snow-Covered Mountains

Circling the Sierra: A Three-State Ride Around Snow-Covered Mountains

Itching for a Northern California adventure, my longtime riding partner, Patrick, and I mull over the possibilities. It’s too early in the season for the Sierra Nevada, which are still covered in serious white stuff. How about skirting serious elevation by heading east into Nevada, then north into Southern Oregon and taking a coastal path home? We leave Los Angeles ...

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The Salton Sea: The Strange Beauty of the Post-Apocalypse

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“Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation.” That was how astronaut Buzz Aldrin described what he saw as he left his famous boot prints on the moon’s surface. I am compelled to repeat those sparse, succinct words as I leave my decidedly un-famous Sidi boot prints on the beach of the Salton Sea. I have always enjoyed exploring places that combine raw, natural ...

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A Short History of California's Cuesta Pass on U.S. 101

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I imagine we all have a lot of favorite roads. One of mine is very short. About three miles long, ascending, or descending, a thousand feet along the west side of Cuesta Canyon, just north of San Luis Obispo, California. It’s dirt, one-lane, built in the 1870s and minimally maintained. The alternative is a six-lane highway, U.S. Route 101, on ...

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Savoring Summer Along California Route 1

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Where exactly do the summers go? As I get older and older the summers seem to get shorter and shorter. When I was a kid summer seemed to last an eternity; from that final school bell of the year until classes resumed in the fall, summer was an endless string of days filled with play, with fun. For motorcyclists, summer ...

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Death Valley: Hitting the Hot Spots on a Honda F6B

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The valley of death is a fascinating place—at least in my estimation. Having been there more than 40 times since my first visit in 1967, I’ve seen a lot of it. And during each visit I find something new to gawp at. Some people ride or drive through, with quick stops at Badwater and Zabriskie Point and say, “Been there; ...

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Where Would Jesus Ride?

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The question of what Jesus would ride will obviously never be answered to everyone’s satisfaction. The faithful of all brands would welcome the common bond with the Savior, and who wouldn’t savor a ride with a guy who died and came back, right? Not to mention the son of God. But the question of where He would ride arrived on ...

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