36 Hours in Big Sur, California

No matter where you live, Highway 1 through the Big Sur region in Central Coastal California, should be on your bucket list. This is a ride of a lifetime on any kind of transportation be it bicycles or motorcycles and mere words cannot do this place justice, plus October is the best month of the year to visit on account of fog in other months. Unfortunately or fortunately Hearst Castle is still on Covid lockdown. That’s why tourism is down in the area and my ability to grab a $58 room at nearby San Simeon. My Bike Bros Kevin and Javier are on their way home but, I chose to stay an extra day (retirement life perks) just so I can smell the roses or suck the last remaining “marrow” out of this ride. In this quote from “Walden,” Henry David Thoreau is giving his advice about how to live one’s life. …

So because of that, he wants to live life “deeply” and to “suck the marrow” (marrow is the stuff that you find inside bones if you crack them) from life — that is, to get every last bit of goodness out of life and that my family and friends is what I am intent on doing till-my dying days.

Bike Bros: Everyone I know is hardwired for impatience however, our tolerance threshold is much different when you come from the military/law enforcement world vs say academia. It took me roughly two years after retirement to achieve the level I’m at now, yet I still consider myself a work in progress.

On or about September 22, 2021, Kevin invites me to join the Bike Bros for a motocamping ride to Big Sur. Eight originally signed on to ride but, various highly complex human and mechanical issues kept some riders away for reasons like for example (motorcycle) electrical in nature (humanoid) bad back, won’t ride in the dark, don’t do camping, or even impatience. Other riders not the writer.

Several others invited came and left. This morning on hour (30) thirty the following are present and accounted for; Kevin, Javier and yours truly.

The north end of Big Sur is about 120 miles south of San Francisco, and the south end is 245 miles north of Los Angeles. California Highway 1 through Big Sur and is ideally suited for riding.

This two-lane, asphalt serpentine road is a roller-coastering snake, for about about 70 miles. It coils up and down, in and out, and all around, the very edge of the Santa Lucia Mountains.

Cambria near Moonstone Beach

H hour + one: When you ride big BMW motorcycles on California freeways, your mind switches to a hyper alert or rather a state of increased alertness mode. If you’re in that state you feel like you’re alert to hidden dangers, from other cars or even the roads themselves. Always ready to make that split second decision, just to stay alive and keep up. Up ahead and behind me now are my Bike Bros. These mere mortal characters, like me, each possesses superpower riding abilities, as we lay down tracks and split lanes on our way towards our final motocamping destination tonight at Big Sur, California. Once we were well into the 101 freeway and approaching the Highway 1; everything changed. Drop down from hyper alert to be one with your Bike Beos and enjoy the views, the ride and a wholesome and healthy lunch. And never a fast food chain kind. This lunch always needs to be as memorable as the ride itself. After all, we ride the ultimate riding machines. We don’t put anything but the best in fuel in our bikes why should our bellies be any different.

The one hour delay on day one morning on waiting for a rider (not Kevin, Javier or I) plus the accommodating departure time that changed from 0700 to 0800 so that someone would not ride in the dark quickly turned into 0930. Here’s what it felt like when entering the California freeways! A freaking hornets nest!! Everyone was out today Saturday in full force. The way we riders compensate is to make our own riding lane, legal of course, under California lane splitting laws.

The best time to visit Big Sur is from September to November where there’s plenty of sunshine. Big Sur is one of the most beautiful spots on our West Coast. The entire strip of coastline is only about 90 miles as it runs from the Central Coast of California near Carmel-by-the-Sea to the Hearst Castle San Simeon area.

Big Sur’s actual name on maps is California Highway 1. It is thankfully mostly undeveloped land.

What would normally take an average group of motorcycle riders several days to accomplish; we like to think that we can do in the next roughly 36 hours. Thirty six hours of eat, motocamping sleep, ride, and live our lives in the realm of the possible and the accessible vs the impossible and the unattainable. There are no rules for us, except for traffic laws, which we bend considerably, to stay alive.

The 36 hour weekend was ours and Big Sur is now in our Side mirrors. So why don’t you join us next time!

Let’s just say that we each feel safer in numbers. If you’re not from around here or don’t yet ride to this high level of expertise then let me try parsing my words to deliver you some of the highly classified insights of the next day and a half that we will forever remember. drawing you a better picture.

Departure time for the group if I recall correctly started on Friday evening and gradually changed to as late as Saturday at 0830. This new and updated 5.10 version is extremely accommodating. I’m now referring to our Cardo Packtalk communication system. A must for riding with the Bike Bros. Not only does it need to be charged but, updated to the latest firmware.

A road trip is about more than just riding, it’s about experiencing what the road has to offer along the way. It’s also about smelling the air when the air is worthy of smelling. For those smells, we go coastal. The best smells are usually there, and so are the best riding roads. And like the song goes; We’ve each got tickets to paradise and to ride! Instant Karma riding with my friends.

Hour 36: Who can argue that riding isn’t a joy? It’s like arguing with someone over a favorite desert. By the early 60’s this country already had more than 40,000 miles of roads for driving. And today we rode some of the best with the best scenery.

Big Sur is a very worthy road trip destination for anyone who loves to be outdoors and experience nature. … Sure, it takes a little longer, but the views of the Pacific Ocean, rocky bluffs, sandy beaches, towering redwoods, and vibrant green hills make it worth the extra time spent on the road.

So where did the time go? A beautiful camp fire made from plenty of surrounding drift woods, appetizers, warm liquor, refreshments, kindly conversation. Thoughts and talks-of upcoming-trips and rides like to Tecopa Hot Springs and next year’s scooter ride to Vietnam in July/August. Hopefully those that sign up and attend will have those humanoid conditions remedied by then.

Trawlercat Chronicles


Our lunch time deli – a locals favorite in San Luis Obispo, California

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