Route 1

Trip Start Aug 04, 2008
1
18
90
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, August 22, 2008

This morning the weather was better, so I headed to the coast again, and followed the famous Route 1 down the northern California coast. It's spectacular, and the road is great riding, though with a decent amount of local and tourist traffic. On this road I saw ore touring motorcyclists than I had seen since Sturgis, but a minority were on Harleys. I actually saw a number of Suzuki V-Stroms (my bike is one). I took my time, since I didn't want to get to SF until the following day. I ended up spending the night at the Continental, a very nice B&B in the tiny town of Tomales. It was the nicest place I had stayed yet, and the William Tell restaurant next door was also quite nice. This was the first time on the trip that I felt a little lonely. The hotel and the restaurant were too nice for a solo traveler. It would have been nice to discuss the day's ride and sights with someone over the nice meal I was being served, instead of reading another chapter in my book.

To phrase it mundanely, traveling alone (vs with a female companion) has its pros and cons. For strenuous travel it is easier in that you don't have to take into consideration the comfort of another person. If things get unpleasant, you can simply decide to continue, because it's only your own comfort at stake. You can also make decisions much more simply - where to stop, where to eat,which way to go. It also makes the actual riding of the motorcycle nicer, because there's less weight. But there's a huge loss in not having someone to talk to, to debrief events with, to get another perspective from. On a motorcycle trip this loss is not as poignant as, say, on a car trip, because for most of the day you're with your own thoughts anyway. In addition, I'm not an overly social person. But not being able to share the ride is still a detriment.

Riding alone also creates opportunities, though. It's not like you're in a cave - there are enough people around to talk to and keep you company, you just have to meet them. Also, in a more existential way, you are the sole creator of your trip, which increases your freedom - and your accountability. I think it can also create opportunities to do things that you otherwise wouldn't do, to stretch your capabilities without someone else grounding you to your past. To -- change?

Anyway, I'd highly recommend the Continental - about an hour north of SF. Everyone I met in Tomales that evening, and the next morning at the coffee and pastry place across the street, and at the general store next door, was nice and interesting and talkative.
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