One of the “must dos” on our list for this trip was to spend a little bit of time in San Francisco. We had 36 hours in the city when we were on our Eagle Rider tour a couple of years ago and felt like we had so much more to see and do, so we booked three nights in a basic motel (with “free” parking – have you seen how much it costs to park in San Francisco?!) along Lombard Street.
A little break on Highway 1.
But first we had to get there. Breaking camp was much quicker than the previous day and we were on our way again by a very reasonable 9.30am. We started by riding the rest of the Avenue of the Giants, weaving through the trees, and then headed closer to the coast on Highway 1. Almost as soon as we’d turned onto this road there was a sign that told us there would be tight bends and steep hills for the next 22 miles – and it wasn’t kidding. It was the most twisty road of the trip so far, and to be honest I found it quite exhausting to ride (I’m a lightweight!). We went through several significant temperature changes as we crossed hills and dipped into valleys, the most significant of which was 14 degrees (26 Celcius down to 12) in less than a mile. You would never notice that in a car, just one of the reasons we like to road trip by bike.
It fell into the sea!
The road hugged the coast for a while, still twisting and turning, sometimes incredibly close to the cliff edge – we stopped at a car park where some of it had fallen into the sea (it’s okay mum, there was a teeny little barrier!). Rather than head into San Francisco on Highway 1, we took the recommendation of our new friends from the previous day and headed back to the 101 via the 128 – a road with fast sweeping bends and short sharp turns. Nice. Then it was fast 80 miles into San Francisco, using the carpool lane where it existed, as motorcycles are entitled to do, which was good as it all got so much busier as we headed towards the big city.
Using this route also meant we rode into San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge, a must do for any road trip heading over this way. We were able to tick this one off our bucket lists a couple of years ago on our hired Harleys, but it was rather special doing it on our own bikes I have to say. I don’t know what it is about big bridges, long tunnels or mountain passes, but they’re all a huge pull for a biker.
Riding over the Golden Gate Bridge the first time – read about our Wild West Tour.