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California Motorcycle Rides

Down To Downieville: Rural California Motorcycle Ride

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My machine had been idle too long during a busy summer, occupied by matters far less important than riding, so I said to Cookie (Gwen’s father called her that and it stuck and I like it), “Let’s blow out of here on an overnighter to Downieville.” We’re fortunate to live in a place called Big Valley in the northeast corner ...

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High Sierra Adventure Weekend


“I want to come back here after the thaw.” Thus I remarked to my brother as we stared at the expanse of snow spreading out before us on Sherman Pass Road (Forest Route 22S05), the southern-most paved road over the crest of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. We were there in March of last year for a comparison test of ...

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The Long Way to Monterey and Morro Bay, California


It’s 6 a.m. on a Wednesday as I head out of Port Hueneme, California, north to Monterey—the long way! There are so many fantastic back roads through this remote and pristine Central-Coast countryside that every trip is a unique and rewarding adventure. Today, riding my BMW R 1100 R, I catch Highway 33 and head up what seems like a ...

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California’s Angeles Crest Highway and Beyond


Snaking through the San Gabriel Mountains, California’s 66-mile Angeles Crest Highway, part of State Route 2, provides exceptional riding and spectacular views. Part of the road was closed for repairs for five years before it was reopened briefly in May 2009, then the road was closed again due to fires. It finally opened again in June of 2011, inspiring epic ...

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Riding Among Giants, A 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS Tour Test


Our motivations differed, but our destination was the same. Having fallen under the spell of majestic redwoods several years ago at Muir Woods National Monument, north of San Francisco, she wanted to see big trees. Having fallen under the spell of the Kawasaki Concours 14, winner of our last sport-touring shootout (Rider, November 2010), I wanted a two-wheeled odyssey. Together ...

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Central California’s Morro Bay Loop Favorite Ride


[This Central California’s Morro Bay Loop Favorite Ride was originally published in the December 2011 issue of Rider magazine] One of my favorite rides includes a road loaded with demanding curves and fantastic Pacific Ocean views, a road through peaceful and solitary farmland, and a road meandering over the sweeping curves of rural back country on the central coast. This ...

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From Hollywood to Malibu Through a Star-Studded Landscape


story and photography by Steven W. Ross [This Favorite Ride: From Hollywood to Malibu Through a Star-Studded Landscape was originally published in the September 2011 issue of Rider magazine] In 1980 British artist David Hockney produced the painting “Mulholland Drive—The Road to the Studio.” The painting is a colorful and whimsical view of the road and the star-rich landscape it ...

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