I am having a very hard time putting into words yesterdays ride. It was a day of incredible weather, a road with more turns than straight aways and views that make it difficult to keep your eyes forward. I was all so fortunate enough to have lunch with a father and son riding up from Southern California and heading north. This day just seemed to get better and better with each new stage!
The morning ride from Arcata through the Redwoods to the Highway 1 turnoff was mostly freeway. Gentle high speed sweepers from 7:30 am to 9:30 was a perfect eye opener. The turnoff has a warning sign that should not be taken lightly. “Narrow Winding Road Next 22 Miles”. 45 miles an hour is only reached for about 100 feet of the ride down to the coast. Hairpin after hairpin through a heavily wooded ridge line road. Exceeding posted speed limit signs was rare.
You are spit out on the coast and it is unbelievable! I finally took off my one piece riding suit at a view point. The views are stunning and the highway is perfectly banked and paved and extremely twisty. I really really can not explain. Keeping your eyes forward to pick your riding line is a challenge. Ranches with cattle grazing overlooking ocean vistas. Surf beaches. Artists towns. Coast Guard Stations. Lighthouses. On and on and on. It is a motorcycle playground.
I pulled into Mendocino and was wandering through the town and notice two other bikers parking. I looped around to stop and say hello. Turns out that it was a father and son riding up from Southern California and heading north. The father was riding an older Triumph Tiger and son on a BWM 1200. They were originally from Holland and have been living and riding in California for 10 years. I was invited to have lunch with them. We talked politics, economics, religion and of course riding. They mapped out my next few days for me and picked up the lunch bill! I was very fortunate to meet them and had a great talk.
The last part of this ride down to San Francisco was intimidating and fun. Winding into Sonoma up steep sea side cliffs. No guard rails and more hairpins. Turn after turn rising over a thousand feet. You then cross over the top of the bluff and corkscrew down the other side into farm land. Outstanding!
I am still awestruck and up extremely early. I am now off to get ahead of traffic as I ride through San Francisco and cross the Golden Gate at sunrise….