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Motorcycle Journeys Through California

Clement Salvadori

Welcome to California. This place, in my own rather less than humble estimation, offers the best motorcycle riding in the world. Some of you will exclaim, "What does he know? What about the Swiss Alps! What about the Colorado Rockies!" I have been to the Alps many times, and to the Rocky Mountains, but in each case, you must trade in your motorcycle for skis when the inevitable snow comes. I am writing this in January in California's San Luis Obispo County, and I could go out today, get on my motorcycle, and have a blistering good ride up the Big Sur Highway.

I'm not sure if this book really belongs under "travelogues," but I think it fits here better than under any of the other catagories. It's basically a listing of 35 different trips within the state of California. Some are short afternoon-type trips, some are a couple of hundred miles long. I haven't actually gone on any of the recommended journeys yet, so I can't comment on how the book is as a trail guide, but I've really enjoyed skimming through it and daydreaming about taking this trips someday. I'm anticipating doing some of the shorter rides soon, and using it for when Peter and I go to Yosemite. All of the trips are explained in detail ("turn left after 5 miles onto Blah Street," etc) and are accompanied by nice maps and little stories about the area. I learned a lot about various parts of California and its history just by skimming over these humorous sidebars. My only complaint so far is that the maps for each trip show the trip's route highlighted, but they don't indicate where on the map the starting city is. The text mentions the name of the city, and the map has city names on it, but it requires a little bit of searching both the text and the map to figure out where the starting point is (to be fair, Salvadori specifically mentions that he routed the tours to be able to start along any point on the route, so perhaps he didn't label the start points on the map in order to avoid confusion for those not starting at those same cities. Who knows.). Other than that, though, it seems like a good resource, and it's certainly amusing and educational to read in your living room.

Buy it from Whitehorse Press