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From Hollister to Coalinga on Highway 25

There are rides and then, there are rides. There are technical rides along mountain roads, long days in the saddle trying to get from point A to point B, and social rides with a club, going to somewhere special.

And then there are solo rides out in the middle of nowhere, reconnecting with your bike, seeing a bit of the countryside, trying to figure out something that’s hovering at the edge of your consciousness.

Highway 25 south of Hollister in central California is a good road for a quiet, relaxing, long ride. It winds through gentle hills and cattle ranches. There are few side roads or roadside distractions. It’s a good place to think.

A lot of the old Hollister downtown was lost in the 1989 earthquake, but there are still several blocks of old time ambiance. Hollister conveniently features good places to eat, and especially, many places to fill your tank. Good thing, as there are no services on Hwy 25 for a long 79 miles.

The last gas stop is in the quirky little town of Paicines, home to an interesting watering hole. Then it’s mile after mile of relaxing country riding. The Pinnacles National Monument is about 30 miles south of Hollister, for those who look for natural spectacle, and the ghost town of Idria is down fifty miles of bad road to the East.

Highway 25 dead-ends after 60 miles at Highway 198, and you can decide to turn right towards Highway 101 (especially if you are running out of gas) or left to Coalinga. The scenery is better on the way to Coalinga, but the only amenity on the way is a bar and grill in Priest Valley.

Eventually, you will end up in Coalinga, home of friendly country people and small oil rigs painted like zebras and butterflies. Hopefully, by this time you have figured out what you needed to think about. 

Copyright 2010 Ironworks Magazine. Article authored by Margie Siegal.