Visiting California- What are must see locations?

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7/27/2018 5:59 AM

Significant other is currently interning at NASA Ames, which may result in a more permanent living situation. It is near San Francisco. This visit is not only to see her, but to scout potential living situations.

Dirtbikes and motorcycles have always been a big part of our lives. And having lived in Ohio our whole life, I always heard about how California is sort of the mecca of dirtbike riding, so I am really excited to visit. I am renting a convertible mustang for the 5 days i'll be there, and we plan on driving all around. The only things we have planned so far is driving highway 1, visit Metcalf Motorcycle Park, see the computer history museum, and to go hike some Redwood Forests. As a curious tourist, and potential local citizen- where should we go and what should we see?

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7/27/2018 6:32 AM

Best place, anywhere it says you are now leaving california!!!! Yosimite is cool. San fran is cool to visit.

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7/27/2018 6:47 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/27/2018 7:04 AM

Here's a few of my "go-to's" when I used to live down there. If I can think of a few more, I'll let you know. Enjoy.

- Checkout Highway 9 out of Saratoga up to Skyline boulevard for a nice drive. If you're into moutain biking there's a number of trailheads at that junction. This is just an example, but many many other great rides too. https://bayarearides.com/rides/saratogagap/

- After finishing your ride (or drive), don't stop there...head up Skyline Blvd. to Alice's to grab a bite to eat. Oh, and it's a mini-street bike motorcycle/car show every weekend. http://www.alicesrestaurant.com/

- And one of my favorites for driving/riding. Very rural, but good twisty roads. Head out to the Mt. Hamilton Lick Observatory (https://www.ucolick.org/main/visit/info.html) on the Eastern side of the Valley for some great views at 4,000 ft. or so. Some of my buddies still ride (road bike and motorcycle) this route all the time. Don't stop there, continue the drive out to the Junction Bar and Grill. http://thejunctionbarandgrill.com/. If you want to continue the drive and checkout the moto scene in the Livermore area, visit Club Moto http://www.clubmoto.com/ and Diablo Ranch MX http://www.diablomxranch.com/ while your're out in the Livermore Valley.

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7/27/2018 6:47 AM

Dude ..... there is a really big lake that has sharks in it that is cool to visit.

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7/27/2018 7:23 AM

Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and Redwoods as far north as you can go, Jedediah Smith State Park is my personal favorite for some big ass trees.

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7/27/2018 7:24 AM

Ted722 wrote:

Here's a few of my "go-to's" when I used to live down there. If I can think of a few more, I'll let you know. Enjoy.

- ...more

Huge thankyou! This is definitely what I am looking for. And yes, we are both into mountainbiking as well. I won't have a bike out there, but maybe i'll rent one for a day.

I will also be sure to check out big shark lake.

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7/27/2018 7:44 AM

Mammoth Lakes Is Amazing !!!!!

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7/27/2018 7:46 AM

davis224 wrote:

Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and Redwoods as far north as you can go, Jedediah Smith State Park is my personal favorite for some big ...more

Northern California definitely looks to be a little more my style, but I don't think we'll be traveling that far north. My brother lives in northern Idaho, so I have been to Washington and Idaho, but not so much the mid California area yet- that will be our focus. We thought about visiting Yosemite, but we sort of agreed that we would like to devote a whole vacation to that. UNLESS there is a road similar to The-going-to-the-Sun road that is in Glacier. We could travel to that and drive to/ through, then return back to Palo Alto.

Smoke is also a little bit of a concern. When I was in Glacier, it was during forest fires (I know- when aren't there fires?) and it really hindered some views.

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7/27/2018 7:53 AM

I’ve been in LA for 12 weeks now doing an internship with SpaceX. Being up north, you’ll miss a lot of the Moto scene. But I’d go see Alta motors in brisbane. My girlfriend and I plan on going to Yosemite before we head east, it’s out of our way but I’ve heard it worth it. We are coming from WV so we have a long drive home. I’ve gotten to ride at a lot of tracks in SoCal since I’ve been here. And that’s been arguably better than interning. Lol

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7/27/2018 8:03 AM

Millerrr973 wrote:

I’ve been in LA for 12 weeks now doing an internship with SpaceX. Being up north, you’ll miss a lot of the Moto scene. But I’d ...more

We thought about the Alta Motors tour. I need to call them and see how attending a tour works. If its something I need to schedule or just walk in?

What do you do about dirtbike storage/ cleaning/ maintenance? What is your living situation like? That is a big concern for me. Out in Ohio, you don't need to make a lot of money to have a garage. I would imagine it is different in California. How has your experience been on that side of things? Did SpaceX set you up pretty well?

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7/27/2018 8:15 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/27/2018 8:16 AM

Yosemite is closed, but Tahoe is one of my favorite places. Don't really like the whole bay area, but SF is cool if you like big cities. For a little more of a chill time, I like the town of Bodega and of course Bodega Bay. If you go there, make sure to stop at Wild Flour Bread and get the fugassi and/or cinnamon bread. Not sure Metcalf would be on the list. It's kinda like making a point to visit the local Carl's Jr, but if you have a bike and are jonesing, it's a heck of a lot better than nothing. I'd say E-Street or the Hangtown track at Prairie City would the place to visit if you want to see decent quality NorCal moto.

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7/27/2018 8:32 AM

davis224 wrote:

Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and Redwoods as far north as you can go, Jedediah Smith State Park is my personal favorite for some big ...more

Wiztardo wrote:

Northern California definitely looks to be a little more my style, but I don't think we'll be traveling that far north. My ...more

I wish I had a whole month to spend in Yosemite, but if you only have a day, there are several quick worthwhile things to do. Tioga Road drives across the northern high country with lots of great views, and Yosemite Valley is full of jaw dropping views from your car, and if you go up to Glacier Point via Glacier Point road, that is the best viewpoint in the US in my opinion. When did you say you were going? Right now Yosemite is mostly shut down due to a raging fire just outside of the park. Going to the Sun road is awesome though! I went to Glacier and Banff in 2014. If you're seeking mainly a scenic drive, it's hard to beat Highway 1 through Big Sur and up in the Sonoma coast. Driven it a few times!

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7/27/2018 8:54 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/27/2018 11:47 AM

I would skip visiting Metcalf. You'll spend a good chunk of the day sitting in shit traffic. It's a motocross track. They're all the same. It's going to be dry and hot as balls and you'll spend 5 minutes there watching spodes go around the track and get bored. It's there and available to you if/when you move there. That's all that matters. Seeing it will be a giant waste of time.

Unless you have a hard-on for sitting in traffic and looking at depressing office buildings, I would get the fuck out of San Jose and head to the coast. Drive the 1 to Monterey Bay Aquarium. Perhaps go farther South to Carmel and even Big Sur. The farther you can get away from the valley the better. As someone who lived and worked there for well over a decade I can guarantee you will be sorely disappointed. Especially in the summer. It is a giant shithole of shit.

Spend a day in San Francisco. Ride the trolley. Have dinner in Chinatown. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and drive over to Sausalito. Santa Cruz is halfway decent for a quick visit. There's a fun zipline park at Mount Hermon.

Traffic absolutely sucks up there so I would try to get as far away from the valley as you can, especially in the summer. You definitely don't want to be spending your precious vacation time stuck in traffic.

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7/27/2018 9:23 AM

L.A. near Metro Station for a true cultural experience. lol

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7/27/2018 9:35 AM

Rent a street bike, see the central/northern coast

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7/27/2018 9:51 AM

Wiztardo wrote:

Significant other is currently interning at NASA Ames, which may result in a more permanent living situation. It is near San ...more

If you consider moving here, there are alot of great things about California, and some really crappy things (like any state I suppose). One issue in the Bay area is the cost of living is outrageous (I am sure you were aware of that), I can't understand it, or how the middle class "survives" there. Traffic in the Bay Area is nuts too. Taxes (for higher income earners) and regulation are through the roof, but the weather is generally really good (compared to the Midwest) and the scenery is incredibly beautiful and diverse. As others have noted there are alot more moto tracks in So Cal, but there is great trail riding all over the state. We live 90 minutes north of Sacramento, if we leave our private track we will ride down in Marysville (3 separate facilities with about 6 different tracks) and trail ride over in Stonyford (Mendocino National Forest), (hundreds of miles of connected trails and elevation ranging 1500 feet to over 6000 feet). These hills go non-stop literally for miles... Good luck and have fun!

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7/27/2018 9:55 AM

If you head over towards Monterey you MUST visit Point Lobos National Park. Absolutely beautiful views with minimal hiking. The hiking is barely level 1. Super easy. Get there 1st thing in the morning and once you've seen everything head south towards Big Sur. Amazing drive!

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7/27/2018 3:59 PM

If you’re looking for riding, Hollister used to be the place. I haven’t gone in a long, long time so I don’t know how it is anymore. The MX tracks didn’t have many fun jumps, but there are great hillclimbs and trail rides. It’s a great spot, or it least it used to be.

Metcalf is limited. In the past, it wasn’t even good as an MX track. It has some trails (had?) but is small and not great. You could get a fix but it wasn’t very fulfilling.

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7/27/2018 4:30 PM

Crisp BRAAAP! wrote:

If you’re looking for riding, Hollister used to be the place. I haven’t gone in a long, long time so I don’t know how it is ...more

Good info. Clear Creek used to be something special too. Enjoyed the heck out of it. Not sure the current status of that place.

Metcalf is what you make it. Have had some fun off-road HS races there too. It’s convenient, cheap, and I had no problem stringing some 30-45 minute challenging loops together with some creativity. I like off-road better anyway so it worked out ok. Would finish the day usually with a couple motos on the back track MX track.

I have Prairie City OHV in my “backyard” now, but prefer Metcalf OHV over it. Not talking about the prepped moto track (Hangtown at PC) which is awesome.

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7/27/2018 4:41 PM

The whole state is burning down right now. Probably a good time to stay home.....

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7/27/2018 4:47 PM

Yeah, CA can be a mofo. Read recently that it takes about 95K minimum to live in the state and be able to have or do anything. Sucks. And just wait until the new water restrictions hit in l think 2024 limiting water use to 55 gallons a day per person. Bye bye home values.

Be wary of SF though. Crime has exploded. Car burgluries are a virtual guarantee. So always valet if possible and of course there's the human shit and needles all over the sidewalks thoughout the city.

That aside it is an insanely beautiful state with tons to do. I live in HB but my sister lives in the Bay area and we go up there a few times a year. Got to recommend Tahoe. One of my favorite places in earth. You should hit Santa Cruz as well and if you can time it with a decent swell you can watch guys drop into huge waves at Steamers Lane and hit the surf museum.

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7/27/2018 5:17 PM

HangtownMX, calcitymx, SunriseMX, comp edge Mx, Glen Helen, MilestoneMX, PerrisMX, cahuilla creek Mx, Pala/Fox raceway....

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7/27/2018 5:21 PM

Tahoe is a weeks worth of exploring and you'll only scratch the surface cool ... in Golden Gate park take her to the Japanese Tea Garden (you can thank me later for getting you laid) http://japaneseteagardensf.com
A million other places to see ... never enough time

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7/27/2018 5:27 PM

Do not leave any belongings in your car in san fran. They will smash uour windows out and take almost anything.

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7/27/2018 6:14 PM

Crisp BRAAAP! wrote:

If you’re looking for riding, Hollister used to be the place. I haven’t gone in a long, long time so I don’t know how it is ...more

Ted722 wrote:

Good info. Clear Creek used to be something special too. Enjoyed the heck out of it. Not sure the current status of that ...more

I think Clear Creek closed years ago. I didn't ride there but my Dad did, and he told me you could ride as far as you wanted. You had to be careful to have enough gas to ride home.

OP, the desert down by San Diego is also Amazing, if you know where to go. It's vast and lawless, but there are some fun tracks out there if you know where to go. Sounds like that's too far for you though.

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7/27/2018 6:16 PM

resetjet wrote:

Best place, anywhere it says you are now leaving california!!!! Yosimite is cool. San fran is cool to visit.

yup, way better off buying a swamp hole.

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7/27/2018 6:23 PM

Millerrr973 wrote:

I’ve been in LA for 12 weeks now doing an internship with SpaceX. Being up north, you’ll miss a lot of the Moto scene. But I’d ...more

Wiztardo wrote:

We thought about the Alta Motors tour. I need to call them and see how attending a tour works. If its something I need to ...more

The place I’m staying at has a garage, I pulled a small 4x7 trailer out here with my Jeep. Brought tools and really anything I’d need to work on my bike with. The riding in SoCal is second to none, especially coming from WV, where we have so few tracks. SpaceX pays well, so it hasn’t been to bad, LA is just expensive.

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7/27/2018 6:23 PM

Go to Santa Cruz for a day. It's right by big shark lake and you can rent a bike from Ibis or Santa Cruz Bicycles for $20 and ride some great trails. If you head south on highway 1 some attractions you can see along the way are San Dollar Beach, Hurst Castle, Moro Bay, wine tasting around Paso Robles... There are numerous hiking spots along the way as well including the most southern redwood grove.

I'll 2nd the Bodega Bay area/ Pt. Reyes as well.

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7/28/2018 12:27 AM

byke wrote:

Yosemite is closed, but Tahoe is one of my favorite places. Don't really like the whole bay area, but SF is cool if you like ...more

Byke is right..... Dont waste the short time on your visit to ride or even see Metcalf. Its great if you are local to the South Bay and just need to get out and ride after work, but not noteworthy. All the good riding is outside the bay area, and there is a lot of it.

Spend your time doing research on living options to figure out if its even feasible for the two of you. Then take advantage of the all the local stuff like the City (San Francisco) the Santa Cruz Mtns, the coast and everything in between. San Francisco is like no other American city. Oakland has a great music scene and even better dive bars. Santa Cruz rocks. No offense, some people appreciate it, others dont. But you have to check it out.

Its also Motocycle Mecca.... You may give up the dirt for a couple of years to bump start careers, but plenty of street riding all over the Bay Area. I gave it up for a short time when I was young starting my career, a few years until I could afford the secure space for dirt toys wasnt a huge price to pay. In addition, there is a lot more than just dirt bikes to enjoy in the bay area from climbing, surfing, kiting, sailing, skiing, mtn biking blah blah blah YEAR ROUND. Lots of ways to get your adrenaline rush other than just dirt bikes if it means building a future.

If it is feasible and you appreciate all the Bay Area has to offer, it can be a fantastic place to live. But it is more expensive than just about any place in the US excluding Manhattan, so you have to appreciate it or you will be miserable.

Byke - you coming down for Stonybarf 12.0? CJ aka Oaklandf4i

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