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Oakland to Cambria

Our motorcycle club had their retreat in Cambria last weekend and I really enjoyed the location and ride. Unfortunately, as a prospect I was given the duty of driving the support vehicle. It was loaded down with food, a dog, and my motorcycle on the trailer. Fortunately for me (but bad for her) Diva’s bike’s starter died at the first gas stop. I guess the starter was not strong enough to survive starting the 113 cubic inch custom bike she rides. So that means we switched duties and I got to ride my bike.

There are several options to get to Cambria, a community on California’s central coast. Highway 1 winds along the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Cambria. The average speed on 1 is about 35-40 mph and can take 5-6 hours. The views are worth it.

Highway 101 goes from San Francisco to King City then a little after King City take 46 west to Highway 1. Get on Highway one north for about 3 miles and you will run into Cambria. This route is faster, it takes about 4 hours, but there are several good twisty side roads that parallel 101 to break up all the freeway driving if you choose to do so. Gas is plentiful, even for the small Sportster tanks that limited the distance between gas stops. You can cut over from 101 to Highway 1 at many points to lengthen the ride.

From Cambria, Pismo Beach is about an hour drive down the coast. With a pier and many seafood restaurants, it is a good lunch destination.

We stayed at the Bridge Street Inn, a hostel, but on this weekend we occupied the whole main house. It is close to the main drag with all the necessities, a grocery store, a bank (Bank of America), and a gas station all within walking distance. The town has many upscale shops for art, wine, and souvenirs so be prepared to pay a little more for the staple goods as well. Beach access is not easy from this location but a short ride down the coast will offer many spots to park and walk down to the ocean.

Map: Oakland to Cambria


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