Forums

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.





Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5
Author Topic: Navigating the traffic in Southern California
banderson
Advanced
Posts: 97
Post Navigating the traffic in Southern California
on: October 11, 2013, 21:43

Let's make this a location for asking and answering questions about the infamous TRAFFIC of Southern California. Those of us that have lived, worked, commuted, and ridden here all of our lives know the roads and times that are best for navigating this part of the World.

If you are an "out of towner" in the broadest possible sense and want some advice on how to craft your USA Four Corners visit to San Ysidro to save time, preserve your sanity and actually experience some terrific roads, post your questions here and one or more of us will weigh in with what we know.

Let me start with the best piece of advice we can offer that applies most of the week: stay off I-5 through the City of San Diego, through Orange County and through greater Los Angeles. Let's start there. Of course the next question is: if not I-5, then where?

Just ask.

See you on the road

Blake P. Anderson
SCMA Chairman
(714) 801-3931
BlakePAnderson@gmail.com

banderson
Advanced
Posts: 97
Post Re: Navigating the traffic in Southern California
on: October 17, 2013, 13:16

Lone Ranger and other riders have asked about timing your visit to San Ysidro. As Lone Ranger can attest, afternoon and evening traffic southbound on I-5 is hell during the week. That is because a remarkable number of people commute from Mexico to San Diego every day. Every afternoon they leave work, head south to their affordable house or apartment in Tijuana and points south, grab dinner, shower, line up at the border, sleep in their car or truck, and head for work in the early morning. Unbelievable but true. Those riders that have been on a TFC that started in Tijuana will tell you that when we pass through the border beginning a few minutes after 3am there are hundreds of cars parked in long lines. So, the first tip is to not travel north from San Ysidro in the early morning and to not travel south to San Ysidro in the late afternoon.

When traveling west toward San Ysidro or east from San Ysidro, we suggest CA-94 rather than I-8. Look at a map. CA-94 is the southernmost highway in California. It travels in very rugged hills along the border. Gas and food are available in the small towns and outposts along the highway. You can't go wrong with where ever you stop. Mid-week travel means no wait in the out of the way outposts along CA-94. Weekends can be tough because all of the locals, bikers and rice burners are looking for strong coffee and hearty breakfasts. We highly recommend this interesting road over I-8 any time. It is a freeway in urban San Diego, but quickly becomes a two-lane highway at the edge of the city sprawl.

See you on the road

Blake P. Anderson
SCMA Chairman
(714) 801-3931
BlakePAnderson@gmail.com

banderson
Advanced
Posts: 97
Post Re: Navigating the traffic in Southern California
on: December 1, 2013, 09:40

The Malibu and Hollywood option:

If you are traveling south into Southern California by way of US 101 and have traveled through Santa Barbara and Ventura,think about getting out to the coast and travel down through Malibu and Santa Monica. Turn south on Rice Avenue off US 101, travel 4 miles to CA 1 (Coast Highway)and head 30 miles easterly toward Malibu and then another 10 miles into Santa Monica. This stretch of coast gently arcs to the right, providing spectacular vistas across Santa Monica Bay of the Los Angeles skyline and the hills of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

This is the stretch of coast that pops up in car commercials. Its where Jay Leno has been seen promoting the Tonight Show in his blue Cobra and its where Rockford's trailer was parked. The surfers, tourists, and babes hang out in the beach parking lots along the way and it is where Two and a Half Men is set. The beach homes crammed between the highway and the surf line are the residences of the Hollywood rich and famous. This is the iconic stretch of beach that is Southern California--well, as much as any single location can represent a much larger region.

Along your way, eat at Neptune's Net on the inland side of the highway up on the west end of your journey (its the first significant building you encounter) or at Gladstone's at CA-1 and Sunset Blvd at the east end. There are plenty of other choices, of course, but these are both seafood restaurants that are popular motorcycle hangouts--particularly Neptune's Net.

Once you have traveled the coast, you have two great options. Once in Santa Monica, watch for the sign for I-10 and turn east. From I-10 you can take I-405 south toward Long Beach and the San Diego. Or, before getting all the way to Santa Monica, turn east on Sunset Blvd and follow it 15 miles through Pacific Palisades, the Hollywood Hills and Hollywood to US 101 (the Hollywood Freeway). You'll cross Sunset and Vine in Hollywood and get a street level view of this tourist-packed region of Los Angeles. The front of "77 Sunset Strip" is at 8524 Sunset Blvd. (remember Kookie and Cricket?). Jimmy Kimmel's studio is on Hollywood Blvd. as is the Kodak Theatre (Hollywood runs parallel to Sunset, a few blocks south).

If you have never seen Malibu and Hollywood, consider this option. It will gobble up time, that's for sure, but if you live 1500 miles from here and your opportunity to ever see this important part of Americana is very limited, then spend the time.

I recommend that you do some web research to prepare yourself for this day of riding and see the sights. Sometimes being a tourist, rather than a long distance motorcyclist, makes sense.

See you on the road

Blake P. Anderson
SCMA Chairman
(714) 801-3931
BlakePAnderson@gmail.com

banderson
Advanced
Posts: 97
Post Re: Navigating the traffic in Southern California
on: December 1, 2013, 11:07

The Stay-the-Hell-Away-from-the-Los-Angeles-Basin option.

Follow me on this by looking at a map.

If you want to avoid the sprawl of Los Angeles and Orange Counties on your Blaine-San Ysidro leg, there are excellent opportunities. Many riders living outside of California have already figured out that CA-1, US-101, I-5, CA-99 and US-395 are the principal north-south highways for traveling through long stretches of California. What is not well known is CA-25 that runs south from Hollister through the rift valley of the San Andreas Fault. Also, CA-33 is particularly spectacular from CA-166 to CA-150 and US-101 All of them can be used for moving from northern California to Los Angeles and beyond. All of them, except US-395, eventually bottle neck through Los Angeles and then continue south through Orange County and San Diego County. So, how do you avoid these congested areas and ride interesting roads?

The solution and the great riding opportunity is to travel easterly. There are some great west-east motorcycle roads that we California riders actively seek for local weekend rides. Listing them from north to south: CA-198, CA-46, CA-58, CA-166, CA-138, CA-126 and CA-2 are delightful roads and will serve you well. Of special note are CA-58 and CA-2 that landed on SCMA's first version of the Best 15 US Roads Challenge and that have landed on AMA's best list as well.

Using any combination of these roads, the smart play is to get yourself over to the I-15/!-210 corridor that is well east of the LA-OC sprawl.

My route of choice, starting at the Oregon border (and adding a few local tricks) would be US-101 south to San Francisco, CA-1 south to San Luis Obispo, US-101south to CA-166 east to CA-33 south to CA-150 southeasterly to CA-126 east to I-5 south to I-210 east to CA-2 east to CA-138 east to I-15 south to San Ysidro.

My second route of choice, starting at the Oregon border would be US-395 to I-15.

See you on the road

Blake P. Anderson
SCMA Chairman
(714) 801-3931
BlakePAnderson@gmail.com

bugsinmyte-
ethman
Newbie
Posts: 6
Post Re: Navigating the traffic in Southern California
on: December 14, 2013, 05:01

Good tip Blake, I always use CA-94 when coming in or out of San Ysidro, CA east or west.

Thanks,
Timothy Barlow

banderson
Advanced
Posts: 97
Post Re: Navigating the traffic in Southern California
on: December 15, 2013, 14:06

The Angeles Crest Option and the Mountains of Southern California Option
Note: All of this discussion assumes traveling south through Southern California toward San Ysidro. Once you have reviewed a map and seen what I am talking about, it is easy enough to reverse it for a journey north heading to Blaine. Follow along on a map and this makes more sense.

CA-2 (better known as Angeles Crest Highway by locals) is a 66-mile long world class mountain road that stretches from I-210 in La Canada-Flintridge, California to CA-138 near Wrightwood, California. It is a twisty joy running along ridgelines and mountainsides on a well-engineered and well-paved strip of two-lane asphalt. Along the way is Newcomb's Ranch Cafe (location 34.32983°N 118.00195°W) about mid-way on the route. It has been named in several motorcycling publications over the years and has an excellent reputation for great food and tall tales. The California Highway Patrol enforces the speed limit very aggressively because the road has a bloody reputation. For the 20-something Ricky Racers that own new bikes with twice as much horsepower as IQ and an unspoken death wish, this road provides much more than they bargained for. But if you stay at the speed limit in the straightaways (45 MPH along the western half and 55 MPH along the eastern half) and realize it is tough to beat the speed limit in the twisties, you will do just fine. Along some of the ridges you can see the high desert to the north and the LA basin to the south. It is a rugged introduction to the crusty, craggy, severe and unforgettable mountains that ring the larger Southern California metropolis most SCMA board members and volunteers call home.

And while I'm at it and you have the time, rather than turning south on I-15 to head south to San Diego, consider continuing east on CA-138 into the San Bernardino Mountains followed by turning south into the San Jacinto Mountains and then the San Diego County mountains. The easterly route (starting in Wrightwood) would be CA-2 east, CA-138 east, CA-18 east, CA-38 east and south, Bryant St. south, Oak Glen Canyon Road east and south, I-10 east, CA-243 south, CA-74 east, CA-371 southwesterly, CA-79 south, I-8 west, CA-125 south and CA-5 south to San Ysidro.

See you on the road

Blake P. Anderson
SCMA Chairman
(714) 801-3931
BlakePAnderson@gmail.com

VIKING
Beginner
Posts: 42
Post Re: Navigating the traffic in Southern California
on: December 26, 2013, 18:52

I’m glad to find some great input by the local natives, concerning the west coast corridor.
In July, I will be doing the Four Corners Tour from Key West to San Ysidro to Blaine to Madawaska.

Here's the rub - - Within the 4C ride, I will also doing the IBA Border to Border Insanity Ride from MEX to CAN.

I have read a few articles and opinions on the best route for the scenery, etc.

However, I will be pushing from San Ysidro around noonish (traffic pending) and doing the 24 hour run to Canada. and during the night portion, the scenery is a moot point.

My thoughts are to leave Mexico at the San Ysidro border crossing, follow the 805; join I-15; then join I-215 in Murietta Hot Springs; then rejoin I-5 again south of Cajon Wash.

From there I am perplexed. 😕 Should I stay easterly and use US-395 to avoid San Francisco and rejoin I-5 north of Redding, or use CA-138 and get back over to I-5?

I’ve been told that the I-5 is a zoo at most times of the day around San Francisco, but that US-395 is mostly two-lane no passing and has dual 65/55 speed limits for cars vs. big rigs? And lots of CHP incursions possible… 😮

gelliott
Advanced
Posts: 78
Post Re: Navigating the traffic in Southern California
on: December 26, 2013, 20:32

I went up I-5 last July, and the traffic riding through Sacramento at afternoon rush hour was not bad at all. North of there all the way up to Eugene OR wasn't bad either. Staying on I-5 you don't go through SFO.

I highly recommend I-805, I-15, 71, 91, I-210 thru Pasadena to circumvent LA. It doesn't matter what day and/or time, LA is crazy stupid. I learned the hard way thinking going through LA the day after July 4th, around 430-500am I would be safe; how wrong was I…….

Elliot

dhkent55
Advanced
Posts: 52
Post Re: Navigating the traffic in Southern California
on: December 31, 2013, 15:24

Elliot is right about avoiding I-5 through LA. It can be bad at the Columbia River Bridge in Portland so I suggest you swing over to 205. There is no good way around Tacoma/Seattle so try to avoid commute times. Otherwise, allowing for plain bad luck, I-5 should be the fastest route to Blaine.

Happy trails!

Dave

VIKING
Beginner
Posts: 42
Post Re: Navigating the traffic in Southern California
on: January 3, 2014, 06:51

Quote from gelliott on December 26, 2013, 20:32
I went up I-5 last July, and the traffic riding through Sacramento at afternoon rush hour was not bad at all. North of there all the way up to Eugene OR wasn't bad either. Staying on I-5 you don't go through SFO.

I highly recommend I-805, I-15, 71, 91, I-210 thru Pasadena to circumvent LA. It doesn't matter what day and/or time, LA is crazy stupid. I learned the hard way thinking going through LA the day after July 4th, around 430-500am I would be safe; how wrong was I…….

Elliot

Elliott
That's exactly what I have needed to learn.
I've been thru the area on several rides, but the traffic flow can be disconcerting to say the least.
THX a lot for your help
Andy

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5
Mingle Forum by cartpauj
Version: 1.0.33.3; Page loaded in: 0.015 seconds.

 

Forum Archive
Please post all new comments in the above forum. These archives are available for reference past threads only.

FB Also visit our Three Flags Facebook page.

SCMA Archive | Three Flags Archive

Comments are closed.