SF Ride Report

After talking with some folks at work about Skyline and Highway 92, someone mentioned that 84 to the coast was where to find the action.  I finally got a day to myself and took a few hours out on the bike.

Unusual for a SF summer day, it was clear and warm, if a bit blustery.  I suited up in the leathers, stuck Mendy in Sport mode and got onto the 280 – windy and not the most stable, but warm and clear.  Onto the 101 -> 380 -> 92… Before Mendy reminded me I needed gas.  I looped east on 92 to find gas.  Fueled up and headed off, all the while the wind reminding me I hadn’t zipped the jacket into the pants.  Pulled over to do just that and then back onto 92.

92 Traffic was horrible as usual.  Stop and go until the turnoff to 35.  Skyline was clear.  A few motorcyclists coming northbound, but it was everything I remembered.  Slow-ish blind corners, lots of shade against the bright Cali sun meant visibility was never that great.  As always, kind of missed my morning rides up Mt Seymour back in Vancouver.  I really hoped 84 was better.

Making it to Alice’s, I hung a right and got onto 84.  Almost immediately, it became what I thought of when riding in California.  Good mix of arid warm sections and green forest.  Still pretty slow, I was stuck behind a few family sedans and another motorcyclist.  But unlike the section of 35 north of Alice’s, visibility was better and the turns connected.   Tipping into the corners and then that slick feeling tilting from one side to the next.  Maybe lacking the rush of a true sportsbike, but being able to enjoy the actions of a single track vehicle in some gorgous scenery is what touring is all about!

84 T’s onto the 1.  I headed south intending to make it to the first coffee shop, pull over and start this ride report.  This really only made sense if I was still north of 92/Half-Moon Bay, but I guess I wasn’t 100% because I still went south.  Not much in the way of amenities, but I did pull over to take a picture:

The California coast is pretty nice on the good days.  But it is the 1, so that meant lots of wind and enough traffic that it’ll never be a great ride.  Just a slow lazy tour to see all the tiny beaches along the way.

I passed Pescadaro, thinking I should stop there, but eventually made it to Highway 1 Brewing Company.  Little brewpub in the middle of nowhere – no internet access!  But I got a coffee and ordered some fried pickles and did some scribbling.   They had some live music and the staff were pretty nice.   Not great coffee, super salty fried pickles – if it weren’t for location, not a place I would recommend.  But sitting there by myself and getting a chance to reflect was really nice.  That place is probably a lot better when you are actually drinking there beer.  But as the middle point in my first ride report in a long time, it will probably be something special for me.

Back on the road, heading up the coast, I considered going back up the 84, but thought I’d try something new.  Again, not the best decision in the world, staying on the 1 meant slow, overcast and windy routes.  I think the best part of making that loop was the reminder of how many micro-climes there are in the Bay Area.  In the space of a few hours, weather was all over the place.

Back home, Potero was nice and warm!  I got off the bike, collected my things to check my phone and a bunch of missed messages and pings from my wife.  From the time I sent the coastal picture until I got home had been a few hours.  And non-communication had freaked her out, thinking I had gotten into an accident or something.  We had a quick phone call, I got changed and went out to meet her at Philz…

Walking there, I realized how much of a toll the ride had taken on me.  My back hurt, my legs were achey, my hands were tired – For the last half hour of the ride, I actually used my cramp-buster throttle lever.  I think upon reflection, my single days of random touring are over.  ‘Motorcyclist’ has always been part of my identity and I’d like for it to continue to be so.  But like so many other things in life, it isn’t something that will just happen anymore.  I’m going to have to invest the time to plan and schedule it in my life.


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