Watch out, deer

Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
Trip End Jun 23, 2010

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Where I stayed
Coast Inn and Spa

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Our last day in San Francisco was spent getting ready for the ride the next day and hiding inside our hotel room from the cold and rain. Des did go out on the bike for a short while, to get some supplies in Sausalito, and came back chilled to the marrow by the bracing wind.


On a grey and windy morning we set off on our onward journey north through California. It's a bit odd, but there is a five dollar toll going across the Golden Gate Bridge, one way, fortunately, not the way we were going. We continued our ride along highway 1 which took us around the coast and past many beautiful beaches. As the day was so overcast, the water looked grey. The road was twisting and winding and for many bends it was a first gear maneuver. Much of the ride was third gear or less and our bikes have 6 gears to choose from. The wind was coming from the north, a head wind for us. It was strong and came in gusts which felt like someone was applying our hand brakes in short bursts. The weather was unpleasant but the scenery was breathtaking. When we couldn’t see the coast, beach or cliffs, we were amongst the tall redwood forests.  Mostly, the forests weren’t very regimented and other lighter coloured trees grew among the redwood. How lovely and natural it looked. We had left San Francisco at 9:30am and had only travelled 77 kilometers by lunch time, but the landscape was all so beautiful to see.

We had a coffee break just after we passed a sign to be aware of deer crossing. A young man, who has three motorbikes, came to speak with us about our bikes and our journey. He commented that the BMW’s we had were certainly the right choice for an adventure such as ours. He’s right that the bikes are good and reliable, but the 1200 GSA is a heavy bike, so I lose some advantage on maneuverability because of its size and weight. However, I feel the BMW is a safe bike and the ride is very comfortable and not as noisy or rough as some bikes. The heated handle grips too, are a big advantage in the cold weather. I wish it had a heated saddle.

This route we are taking seems to be very popular with other BMW and Harley Davidson riders, most of them silver haired, some with pony tails.  Naturally we wave to each other. Not a jolly, enthusiastic wave with a hand in the air,  just a cool, sideways, hand out next to the bike, gesture.

After the young man left, we packed up our coffee bag and headed down the road, completely forgetting about the road sign warning us of deer crossing. I was less than a mile along when two deer jumped out in front of me, they were the same colour as the trees and had been grazing on the verge. They seemed to get as much of a fright to see me as I did them. They bolted up and leapt effortlessly over a fence and raced into a field. Later a fawn stood in a rest area just watching us pass on the bikes. It didn’t move and we got a good look at it. A beautiful, majestic looking animal, sleek and alert.

The skunk we saw on the road had not won the battle with the traffic. We have also seen a badger, raccoon and hare here in the United States. It’s a pity to lose these lovely animals to the road. A huge black crow was doing his best to drag the hare off the road, and making a meal of it.

At the end of the day we had travelled about 270 kilometers then rested in Fort Bragg, where the motel room at Coast Inn and Spa, was old and plain but cosy warm.
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