Hwy 94 – San Diego County

I’ve have the good fortune to live close to one of the best motorcycle roads in San
Diego County; Hwy 94. The good parts start at Otay Lakes Rd. and Honey Springs Rd.
and wander east for some 40+ miles through rough mountains that separate you from
the Mexican border, although you can see the border in some of the more eastern
areas. There’s even a well maintained dirt Border Patrol road next to the border fence
that starts on the east side of the Tecate Port of Entry and ends 30 miles to the east
near Boulevard.

This leads me to a question I’ve asked myself lately. I rarely see any dual sport bikes
on Hwy 94 and have never encountered even one on the border road. I know that San
Diego is full of KLRs, DRs and other bikes that play at being a dual sport but few
venture into the wilds of Hwy 94.  Weekends are when most riders find the time to enjoy
a day or two of riding but that also means that every Tom, Dick and Honda are out
there too. I used the word “wilds of Hwy 94” because on a weekend that’s just what it
can be. With San Diego being a military town it seems that every Sailor on leave with a
bike decides to test out Hwy 94 Raceway and brings along 5-10 friends that feel the
same way*. I’ll have to say that for the most part they do a good job of staying out of
trouble (crashes) except for the few that get caught by the “man” who has extra patrols
out, including an airplane. If you meet another rider coming at you and he pats his
helmet, that means that the law is somewhere up ahead, so slow down. Of course none
of us exceed the speed limit or cross the double line to pass the slow moving
looky-loos, right, yeah sure. Anyway, most of the sport bike crowd likes to stop at the
Potrero Cafe for breakfast or to just swap lies about how they burned up the pavement.
Once you pass the Tecate 188 turn-off toward Potrero there’s a number of challenging
corners to maneuver and a short straight leading into two fast lefts and a right. On the
weekends between 9AM and 1PM there will be a white van parked at the end of the
short straight with a guy taking photos as you approach. He’s a long time motorcyclist
and amateur photographer that captures every knee dragging sport bike rider or
cruiser motorcycle through the first left. He picked that spot because it’s a place that
every type of rider can show-off how good he is or “see how my Harley shines” and he
can show you coming either direction. Come Monday you can go to hwy94photo.com
where all his photos are displayed and when you find yourself you can order different
size photos of you in all your glory. A typical number of photos taken on each weekend
day can be as high as 400. The trip back down 94 can be as much fun as up and often
the same rider is returning and gets two ego shots.

This GSXR1000 has seen better days.

This GSXR1000 has seen better

Glory sometimes comes at a high price and Hwy 94 has more than its share of
the ultimate price.  Every weekend there are countless motorcycle accidents that
have various results such as broken bones, broken bikes, bruises (both
physical and ego) and the last and final one – death.   

Frame sliders only help so much. This bike took a beating.

Frame sliders only help so much.
This bike took a beating.

There’s a reason that the Highway Patrol spends so much time with extra coverage
on weekends.  Don’t become a statistic, just come out, enjoy the scenery, enjoy
the ride, get your photo taken and come back safe. Just be aware of that future
statistic that’s about to blow by you or Peter Rabbit/Wily Coyote that may cross
your path.

This is not how you want your bike to look after a weekend ride.

This is not how you want your bike
to look after a weekend ride.

(Todd’s note – For all you invincible Sailors and Marines in the area… we
need you guys and gals! Please be careful. If you have to get your speed fix,
take it to the track. If you haven’t been and aren’t sure what’s up, shoot me an
email. I’m definitely a newbie there too, but I’ve been a few times and I can give
you the scoop so you can feel a bit more comfortable. There are several good
track day organizations in southern California and also a local guy who runs
a supermoto school near Riverside – for about the price of a set of tires you can
ride his bike all day! Like I said, we need all of you in one highly trained and
capable piece. Ride hard but ride smart!)