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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 24 Mar 2011
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North Amervica (3-4 months) starting from SFO

Hi!

Missus and I have reached US (we are Indian nationals) to do a 3-4 months ride across the country. We are currently in SFO (CA) and have purchased the bike (Honda ST1300, we would ride 2up). We intend to start the trip in couple of days. Please advise route and things which we should not miss. We intend to see the real america and don't intend / want to ride much on freeways / interstate. We would want to end the ride at SFO.

Please advise route.
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  #2  
Old 24 Mar 2011
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Keep this link for the weather forcast, click on the area where you are going.
National Weather Service - NWS San Francisco/Monterey Bay Area

Your best route now is going south towards Los Angeles.
It will be raining for the next few days and snowing in the mountains to the east of you.
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Old 25 Mar 2011
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Hey Just,

Given the early spring conditions, a counterclockwise loop will at least keep you south and warm until summer hits. It's a big continent so depends on how much riding you are up for. Mainland US tour would be using the corner cities of San Diego. Key West, NY and Seattle.

Coastal route on the east coast and west coast are great, so is riding down the spine of the Rockies on your way back to California. Grab a map with the national parks and map a route that allows you to see as many as you can. The obvious ones of Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc. see a lot of visitors but are classic places and shouldn't be missed.

Once you map out an initial rough plan, post it and more detailed suggestions will no doubt follow.

You'll have to decide if you want to ride all the way up to Alaska in the later part of your trip. It's a long way and you may not have the time, but certainly well worth it. Happy riding.
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Old 26 Mar 2011
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Hi!

We are thinking of doing a few 1-2 day trips from Santa Clara to get used to the bike and riding in US. Please suggest.
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  #5  
Old 26 Mar 2011
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Wait until it stops raining (i.e., Sunday), since at the moment highways are being closed here and there, traffic is clogged, and visibility sucks. Find a way to check Caltrans reports on closures before you get too carried away with plans (for example, [http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/do4map.htm]).

I assume you've got a good map; if not, buy one. When the skies clear, head either north or south on the Coast Highway (CA 1). Deviate at will. That will give you a chance to get used to some of the local riding subtleties, like driving on the wrong side of the road and the fact that (unlike India), trucks and buses will not deliberately try to run you into the ditches.

I trust you've also got a guidebook. If not, buy one. 3-4 months is not a lot of time, and there are countless interesting places to see. I'm not going to start listing them, since I don't even know what sort of stuff interests you. At any rate, you're going to have to winnow the possibilities from essentially infinite to somewhat within the realm of possibility.

When you're ready to head out, I agree that a generally counter-clockwise approach will work best; it's still winter up here in the north. You'll still need to watch the weather forecasts carefully, since winter weather sometimes persists even in areas of the south for another month or two, but your odds are better that way. Pay attention to the locations of mountain ranges and passes; even a bit of elevation gain can mean snow and ice, and even a bit of snow or ice can definitely ruin your day.

Getting into and out of major cities will probably be your biggest hazard. Freeways can also be very disconcerting, especially in California. Try to stay off the major ones at first.

Note that the Coast Highway through Big Sur (south of Monterey and Carmel) has been cut by a major slide. You should ride this road, but you'll have to approach from both directions, turning around at the closed portion. You might find the closure a blessing, since there'll probably be little traffic. It's a glorious ride, especially when there's not a lot of competing traffic.

By the time you arrive in my neighborhood in the far north and west it might be springtime. Give a shout.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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  #6  
Old 27 Mar 2011
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Don't forget to head up to Canada, out here on the east coast we have some of the best riding around. BC has some fabulous roads and everywhere between the two it's a beautiful country.
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  #7  
Old 4 Apr 2011
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Hello,

Last summer I did a trip through Washington State, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Montana and back home to Canada (B.C). Marvellous! Stay off the interstates as much as possible and you will find some fantastic country and lonely roads. Make a point of visiting some of the National Parks. May I suggest Arches National Park in Utah, stunning! As Growler said, make sure you get up to Canada. Make your way to the Cassiar Highway in B.C., ride into the Yukon, join the Alaska Highway and visit Alaska. Food for thought! Enjoy your adventure.

Mike
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