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.