Southern States Tour – Day 5

Day 5 route
Day 5 route

Today was sunny and warm, with temperatures starting in the mid-60’s and reaching the mid-80’s.

Day’s distance: 104 miles
Total trip distance: 1,209 miles

Today started with a latte from the Haight Street Market, which is steps away from my host’s apartment.

Haight Street Market
Haight Street Market

The motorcycle was parked two blocks away during the night, and all three hard cases were brought up to the apartment so they would be safe. It took about 20 minutes this morning to park the bike in front of the apartment and to load the three cases on the bike. It was 10am before I started my short trip down to Santa Cruz.

I wanted to ride along part of Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35), a two-lane road running along the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains between San Francisco and Hwy 17 to the south. It is popular with local motorcyclists as well as bicyclists and tourists. It is scenic and the road is in good shape.

I stopped for brunch at Alice’s Restaurant, located on Skyline Blvd. To be honest, I thought this was a famous Alice’s Restaurant from the Arlo Guthrie song, but that Alice’s restaurant is in Massachusetts. Thanks for keeping me honest, Nils.

Alice's Restaurant, Woodside CA
Alice’s Restaurant, Woodside CA

I finished brunch about 1pm and my Santa Cruz host would not be home for a few hours. I decided to ride to one of the local BMW dealers and see if I could find some new riding boots. As you can see from the photo below, I wore out these 🙂

Worn out Tourmaster boots
Worn out Tourmaster boots

These were Tourmaster boots purchased in the Spring of 2013. I replaced them with BMW’s Allround boots, purchased at CalMoto in Mountain View. Thanks go to Pete, who I met at Alice’s Restaurant, for the suggested source for new boots and to Daniel who assisted me at CalMoto.

From Mountain View, I headed to Scotts Valley to visit friends.

I traveled over the Santa Cruz Mountains via Hwy 17, a fun, twisty four-lane highway used by thousands of commuters daily. It is too congested and busy to recommend, but it was a good time. Despite spending a majority of my childhood living in this area, I think this is only the second time I have traveled over Hwy 17 on a motorcycle.

My Santa Cruz host was home by 5pm and I left Scotts Valley to meet up him. He organized a dinner party with about a dozen friends – it was great fun to catch up with old friends and meet a few new ones. I’ll be staying in Santa Cruz over the weekend and heading south again on Monday.

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