08/25/2001 Entry: "Ride West--Day Twelve (Aug. 17)"
Begin: Oakland, CA
End: Corona del Mar, CA
Distance: 549 miles (22534-23083)
Rather than take the boring and extremely hot ride down I5 through California's Central Valley, I decided to take the longer but much cooler in temperature ride down 101 south. Neither route provides much in the way of outstanding scenery, although 101 has the advantage of running along the California coast for several significant stretches, something I always enjoy. I had originally planned on taking Route 1 down the coast over the course of two days, but ultimately decided that I wanted to spend the extra day with friends in the Bay Area instead.
Over the past 20 years or so, I've probably done the drive from Northern to Southern California on 101 in a car 20 times and on a bike at least twice. This ride wasn't really any different from any of the others (although I didn't get a ticket like I did the last time I rode a bike on this route). My own inability to get out of the house early caused me to reach the San Fernando Valley on 101 at 4:30pm on this Friday afternoon. The next 50 miles were spent lane splitting in heavy traffic as I made the transition from the 101 to the 405 south. Along this last part of the ride, I saw the aftermath of a motorcycle accident off to the left shoulder of the highway. It looked like a Suzuki Katana (the old style) had gotten sandwiched between two cars and the guy on the bike had dumped it. He was sitting up and looked aware and I could see the ambulance coming up the highway so I didn't stop. Both drivers of the involved cars were also stopped and waiting with the biker.
By the time I reached my parents' house in Corona del Mar, I was mentally and physically exhausted from the concentration necessary to lane split for that long. I got off of the bike, parked it, unloaded it, and didn't get back on until I rode down to Oceanside on August 21 to drop the bike off for the shippers to bring back to Atlanta.