[In November our Endras Motorrad Sales Advisor, Adam Hancock, took off on a 12,000 kilometer journey through the United States. Adam has decided to chronicle his journey exclusively for Powershift.]
Seven eventful days and 5,500km later, I have made it to the California coast. The Pacific Coast Highway #1 was the reason I rode here. It is the most scenic, twisty, cliff-side, two-lane highway North America has to offer with some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. From San Francisco I will follow this historic highway 850km south to Malibu with many stops along the way.
Shortly after leaving the campground this morning, I headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge. The traffic on Highway 101 was traveling at a steady 65mph in a 45mph zone, the sun was shining, and I was very excited to ride across the famous Golden Gate Bridge, only a few short miles away. My energized state was quickly foiled as a highway patrol officer ahead was directing one vehicle after another onto the shoulder, of course I was also directed to the shoulder.
This traffic stop was unlike any I have ever experienced, and very well organized. One officer was catching speeding motorists on radar and directing them to the shoulder. Once on the shoulder, you would wait in line with your vehicle where two officers quickly moved down the line of vehicles processing the offenses and issuing traffic tickets. Express drive-thru traffic tickets? My usual method of avoiding such fines was not an option as there were five police cruisers and two BMW R1200RT police motorcycles patiently waiting for any motorist to attempt escape.
When it came my turn, I immediately played the ignorance card and asked why I had been directed to the shoulder. Traveling 24mph over the posted speed limit was his irritated response followed by a pause. It was my turn to speak. Slowly and calmly I indicated that the speed I was alleged traveling at was in line with the current flow of traffic. By traveling at a lower speed I would have been impeding traffic, which would have created many dangerous passing situations for other motorists. At this point the officer was buying it… I mean he was listening to me and appeared to be accepting the justification behind my story. I carefully shifted the roadside interrogation to a conversation about how I ended up in California and where I was traveling to from here. The once irritated officer was now amazed by the challenges I had overcome the past seven days and was now hanging on my every word. I’ve seen this look in people’s eyes before. He had slipped into a motorcycling adventure daydream and it was clear he had forgotten all about why we were both on the side of the road right now.
Unfortunately it was time to bring the officer back to reality so I could deal with the very real situation at hand. I politely excused myself from the conversation and thanked him for not issuing me a traffic ticket. For a moment he looked a bit confused, struggling to remember what the ticket was supposed to be for and if he had said I was free to go. As I pulled my helmet on, he wished me good luck with my travels and moved on to the next motorist.
With that minor inconvenience out of the way, it was now time for breakfast and a quick fuel stop before continuing down the Pacific Coast Highway #1. While crossing the Golden Gate Bridge I laughed about my convincing and successful performance, celebrating with a wheelie also seemed appropriate.
Heading down the coastal highway I could feel the ocean breeze, smell salt in the air and watch as waves rolled onto the beach. For the rest of the day I explored the coastal highway and many destinations along the route including Moss Beach, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and the highlight of my day being Big Sur where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean.
There were many small campgrounds along the coastal highway, my choice for the night was Kirk Creek Campground allowing me to pick a site on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This campsite provided me with a view of the spectacular sunset and the sound of waves crashing against the rocks.
Despite only having ridden 300km today, it was a day of riding I will remember for the rest of my life. Tomorrow I will continue my ride south along the Pacific Coast Highway #1 towards Malibu and expect the historic highway will take my breath away again, the same way it has today.