Thursday, April 27, 2006
  300 Miles In One Day On The R6 - Ouch
This past weekend I dragged two friends along (one on his motorcycle, the other in his Mini Cooper S) for a 300-mile, all-day adventure through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. One road in particular has been calling my name for months - California highway 33 between Ojai and the Lockwood Valley Road junction.

Downtown Ojai

It was one of those weird weather days when the coast was sunny but anything a few miles inland was cloudy. We started in Malibu and rode PCH up to Ventura, enjoying the sun until we cut inland on the 33 and stopped in Ojai for lunch. Downtown Ojai is a nice little rustic area with restaurants, galleries and stores. The main drag is small but always congested, but it's a great place to hang out for a little while. There's a legendary golf resort there too if you're into that stuff.

We finished our early lunch and looked up at the mountains above us, since that's where the 33 was going to take us. Clouds were completely blanketing the upper landscape. Couldn't see the top. If we were going to take 33 up, we were going to ride right through the clouds. We decided to go anyway.

The lower elevations were fine, but once we climbed over 3000 feet we rode right into the clouds. My visor started collecting condensation to the point where I flipped it up completely because I could see better without it. Visibility was really poor and I was freezing, but we kept pressing on thinking the road would eventually punch through the lower cloud layer. Our patience paid off.

Climbing up highway 33 (note the cloud line)

The skies still weren't clear as there was yet another layer of clouds high above, but at least it wasn't raining and the ground was dry. We were rewarded with a good 25+ miles of decent road conditions in beautiful backcountry officially known as the Los Padres National Forest. That stretch of 33 is a sport biker's dream; a good mix of long sweepers, elevation changes and tight twisties.

Highway 33 / Lockwood Valley Road junction

We eventually wanted to end up in Santa Barbara but didn’t have time to head north and loop all the way around through Santa Maria. Instead we turned around at the junction with Lockwood Valley Road and came right back to Ojai, then took the 150 over to Santa Barbara. Once we hit the coast we had sunny skies again, and of course Santa Barbara was beautiful as it always is.

The ride home was rather mundane as we just took the 101 the whole way back, but after all was said and done I had put over 300 miles on the R6 in just one day. I think that's about the most I can reasonably take in 24 hours on my bike. Perhaps down the line I'll add a second bike to my stable that is a little nicer for longer rides.

That sounds like an awesome ride. As a matter of fact it was because I was there. Great looking SV in those pictures!
The longest day I had was 400 miles up the coast along PCH. It was quite an experience with some amazing views. But also very very tiring (10 and a half hours). But the exaustion aside, I believe there's something about a long road trip that makes it very different from short ones, even if those short ones are taken along the same streches of road.
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Name: Ray
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