Last weekend’s ride to Pacifica

First of all, I committed the cardinal sin of motorcycle touring last weekend — I accidentally went out riding with two dead camera batteries.  Doh! The one in my camera took about 5 photos and then gave up the ghost; my spare one wouldn’t even boot the camera.  So my apologies that most of the photos in this entry are from my iPhone.

Second of all, I have to say up front that this riding weekend was too much. I rode for 30 miles on Saturday (April 9) — down the hill to town for breakfast with Peter and then puttering around the local hills until it was time for my volunteer gig.  My intent was to do a nice 45 mile ride on Sunday, then go home and swap for my car to go to a massage therapy appointment.  Unfortunately, I mistimed events (bad project manager! Bad!) and wound up having to ride to the massage appointment, 15 miles south of home.  So the entire ride on Sunday the 10th was 75 miles, bringing the weekend total to…105.

Here, have a teaser photo so you click through:

105!  The last time I had a triple-digit weekend was in April 2009.

The downside though, is that I’ve been hurting the last couple of days. Lots of muscle pain, some SI joint pain, some sacral.  I had a lot of nerve symptoms on Sunday night (my back burned and my legs were cold and tingling) but that’s 90% gone now; only a little bit of tingling remains from time to time.  I’m eating ibuprofen like candy, so until I get an ulcer and have stomach pain to deal with too, it’s helping a bit.  Icepacks, the Theracane, the inversion table, and the foam roller are also my friends.  It’s way better today than yesterday, which bodes well for a quick recovery.

OK, enough about that bullshit.  On to the ride report!

I headed over to Half Moon Bay, as I am wont to do, but this time I headed north on Highway 1.  The 10-mile section of 1 from Half Moon Bay to Pacifica is one of my favorites and it’d been quite some time since I was there on a motorcycle.   I didn’t take any photos on the northbound trip, so let me retrace my steps heading back to Half Moon Bay from the Pedro Point area.

When you first leave the southern city limits of Pacifica, the road winds through a gorgeous eucalyptus grove.  Great pavement, nice sweepers; good times.

Soon afterwards is the infamous Devil’s Slide area.  Rather than copy Wikipedia, I’ll point interested readers at the page — suffice it to say that Highway 1 has suffered more than its fair share of landslides and erosions at this point in the Montara Mountains watershed and it’s often closed for weeks at a time in the winter.  A large and vaguely controversial tunnel project is underway and should be finished later this year.  The tunnel will be California’s second longest road tunnel at about 4000′ long (the Wawona tunnel in Yosemite National Park is about 4200′).

I stopped at Montara State Beach, whose biggest claim to fame is the Point Montara lighthouse and hostel. The hostel has both shared and private rooms in its converted Coast Guard quarters; I’ve never stayed there overnight, but we attended a very pretty wedding here a bunch of years ago.

Now it was lunchtime and for once, I didn’t eat at Cameron’s! Instead, I stopped at Sam’s Chowderhouse for some delicious fresh seafood.

Sam’s parking lot is almost always full, but fortunately there are many nooks and crannies to fit motorcycles.

Hello, lobster roll! Nom nom nom.

After lunch, I walked down to the beach for a nice stroll.  Sam’s has patio seating too, so on warm summer days you can sit overlooking the ocean.  Does not suck.

After Sam’s, I was running a bit late to my massage therapy appointment (see note at the beginning of the entry, woops) and so I hightailed it back over the hill and off to the freeway.  I took 280 down to Palo Alto, which I believe is the longest ride I’ve taken on the freeway with the Ninja.

While I certainly wouldn’t sign up to do all-day freeway on this bike, it doesn’t do all that badly.  Definitely better than the XT does, though that’s damning with faint praise.  The Ninja holds its own and has no trouble passing people…naturally I rode at only the safe and legal freeway speed, but hypothetically one’s GPS might have recorded a maximum speed of 84.8mph.

So that was last weekend’s ride.  No riding this weekend as I’m still trying to cajole my back and SI joints into speaking to me again.


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