July 3rd, 2011 Sunday Ride posted July 4, 2011 by Brian Davis

We had to have a ride this weekend. We all knew it. It was just a matter of someone getting the ball rolling. Emails started hitting the list late in the week, and by Saturday afternoon we had zoomed in on a Sunday ride, meeting at Roberts’ Market in Woodside at about 9:15.  Jeff Beam and I met Mario DiSalvo at his house and we then headed up to Steve Brown’s house where we were joined by Ralph Stoll.  The five of us then took an easy ride up 280 to Woodside (easy especially compared to the last time Ralph and I made a 280 run at 75+ mph!). We found Mark Addis waiting for us in the parking lot across from Roberts’.  Our only plan up to this point was to head for the coast and perhaps end up in the Santa Cruz vicinity.  We hatched the beginnings of our plan for the day there in the parking lot.  We would head up King’s Mountain Road to Skyline, then head south to Alice’s (actually to the store across the street).  From there, down 84 to the store in San Gregorio.  Ralph told us there was a slide on Hwy 1 south of  Pescadero.  So we decided our route would be Stage Road to Pescadero (where those of us with thirsty bikes could gas up), then inland on Pescadero Creek Road for about a half mile to Cloverdale Road and Gazos Creek Road, which would take us to Hwy 1, hopefully south of the slide.

With that figured out, we headed up the road.  King’s Mountain is a pretty amazing road.  It’s narrow, winding, and surrounded by Redwood trees. The weather was perfect.  Most of us went with t-shirts for the rest of the day.  Once at the store at Skyline and Hwy 84, we discovered that vintage bikes were more the norm than the exception.  We found a brave soul enjoying his first ride on his Velocette (sorry, forgot to ask him for the year) after considerable effort to get it back on the road after a 50 year absence. He had ridden solo from Campbell up Hwy 9 and decided to continue up to Alice’s since the bike was still running.  When we left him, he was trying to decide where he would go next, since home seemed silly at this point.  There were a couple of old Nortons, a BSA Victor, and a lot of vintage BMW’s in the lot.  While hanging out in the lot, we fine tuned our plan for the day (at least as far as lunch).  We would indeed head for Santa Cruz and have lunch on the Wharf.

We ran into fellow AMCA members at the San Gregorio Store who were out on a ride with the Norton Club that day.  From San Gregorio, we followed our planned route.  Cloverdale Road is wide and fast for several miles, to the entrance to Bonano State Park.  At that point it transitions instantly to narrow and slow, and without a lot of warning!  It’s an awesome ride from that point to Hwy 1. As we rode down the coast we couldn’t believe how great the weather was.  How often do you ride along the ocean without a jacket, glad you’re not wearing a jacket?

The wharf in Santa Cruz was not as crowded as you might expect on a great day like this.  We were able to find parking for six bikes, together, without much difficulty at all.  Lunch at Stagnaro’s was excellent. Here we developed the beginnings of the plan for the rest of the day.

With local knowledge provided by Ralph, we took a short cut (for me at least) from the wharf to the beginning of Hwy 9.  We had planned to stop at Henfling’s, then continue on Hwy 9 to our various final destinations.  As we rode up Hwy 9, the temperature increased in seemingly never ending waves. By the time we arrived in Ben Lomond, the temperature was up at least 20 degrees. While hanging out at Henfling’s, we modified our plan slightly to include a run through Big Basin. Ralph’s final destination took him in a different direction, but the rest of us made the left turn in Boulder Creek to follow Hwy 236. Traffic held us up a bit initially, but the temperature was back down to comfortable t-shirt levels and we thoroughly enjoyed the ride back to the top of Saratoga Gap, where Hwy 9 meets Skyline.  Mark headed north on Skyline, while the rest of us continued toward Saratoga. I discovered at this point that I was having an electrical issue which prevented my bike from re-starting. No problem, I figured I could coast into Saratoga, but was able to bump start it on the way down and completed the ride home without further issue. Of course, the problem is still there (it’s intermittent) so I have some troubleshooting to do prior to the Norm Beam ride next Sunday. May have to finally install that new wiring harness that’s been sitting on the shelf for the last three years.  I road 155 miles.


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