Skyline Blvd

Oops, I guess I didn’t do much riding last month.  I did actually take the bike on a few errands, including taking the long way home, but that didn’t make for very interesting blog fodder.

I did roll over 20k on the Ninjette, which was cool:

So, yay, there was that.

Anyway, I did go on a nice ride today, thank goodness.  I have almost no time to blog about it, so this may just end up being a photo dump, but at least it’s an update!

My plan for the day was to head to Skyline Blvd and Highway 92, which is almost as far north on Skyline as you can get these days due to road closure/construction at Crystal Springs Dam.  Then I would head south and take Skyline as far south as possible.

The area around Skyline and 92 is almost always fogged in.  That particular section of the Santa Cruz Mountains just attracts fog and moisture like nobody’s business.

 

It cleared up fairly quickly — within 6 or 7 miles, I’d guess — and the rest of the day was bright and sunny.

 

The section of Skyline between Highways 92 and 84 is pretty consistently what you see above.  Mostly long straight sections, redwood and pine trees shading the road.

 

 

Probably the most famous stop along Skyline Blvd:  Alice’s Restaurant!  I had already eaten breakfast and it wasn’t yet lunchtime, so I didn’t go inside, but I could hardly pass by without a photo.

South of Alice’s, Skyline opens up a lot.  The road passes quite a few open space preserves as it runs through the Palo Alto area, offering great views.  I managed not to get any good photos for various lame reasons (I totally spaced out and rode right past the best shoulder opportunity for vista shots), but here’s a sort of crappy one:

 

About 14 miles south of Alice’s is Four Corners, the intersection of Highways 9 and 35 (Skyline is also known as Highway 35).   There wasn’t much going on there this morning but this parking lot is always bustling on the weekends, between motorcyclists, hikers, bicyclists, rock climbers (for the nearby Castle Rock State Park)….

 

 

I hadn’t been on the very southern part of Skyline in a while and I had completely forgotten that it gets very narrow, very abruptly.

It goes from this:

 

 

To this:

 

 

Pretty much around one corner.  You’re tooling along around 40 or 50mph and suddenly you turn a corner and there’s like half the road there that there had been.  Brake check!

It meanders like the above for about four miles in between Black Road and Bear Creek Road, a distance that takes considerably longer than four miles of the previous section.

It does, however, offer excellent views:

 

 

A passing bicyclist took this picture of me looking like a complete dork:

 

 

Christmas trees, anyone?  This little snowman was one of the Sport-Touring.net photo tags a few years ago.  I’m pretty sure that was the last time I was on this section of Skyline.

 

 

Skyline ends at Bear Creek Road, but Highway 35 continues on as Summit Road.  I took Summit for a few miles before peeling off on Old Santa Cruz Highway for a short diversion:

 

This little driveway is the entrance to Hazlwood-at-the-Summit, where Peter and I were married almost exactly six years ago (June 2, 2007).   I didn’t go down the driveway as it’s a private residence and there were people out and about, but it was nice to pay a short visit.

Happy anniversary, sweetie! 🙂

 

After saying hello to Hazlwood, I retraced my route back to Summit Road and headed south to the Summit Store for lunch.   Yum yum!  I ate outside under the porch umbrellas and was thoroughly happy.

 

I decided that lunch at the Summit Store was a good southern terminus for my Highway 35 adventuring, so I took Soquel-San Jose Road south to Laurel Glen Road west to Mountain View Road west to Vine Hill road north up to Highway 17.  They were nice roads but fairly uneventful.

I was tailgated for a while on Soquel-San Jose by some jerk who wound up passing me on the double yellow while I was going 10mph over the speed limit…whatever, dude (note that there were no turnouts or driveways, otherwise I would have moved for him.  He just didn’t want to wait for me to find a safe place to pull over).

I took the freeway most of the way home, blah blah boring.

Ride stats:

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One Response to Skyline Blvd

  1. Colleen says:

    You were totally in my neck of the woods for this ride. I just retired and would love to go for a ride with you now that my days are free. We could meet for coffee somewhere and see if riding with each other would work out. I live in Santa Cruz and ride in order to remain sane :). I ride a BMW GS and often ride 10 miles over the speed limit….but not crazy. I’d love to hear from you.

    Colleen Sepulveda

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