I got to thinking about the fact ride reports often focus on the places we travel to and rarely about the places we live. Unless of course, we are lucky enough to live near some fantastic riding.
IÔÇÖll start it off with a tour around Palo Alto. Others may follow with a tour around their neighborhood.
Palo Alto lies between San Jose and San Francisco. 61,000 people call the city home.
The San Francisco Bay forms the Western border and to the East, Skyline Ridge. The Southern city limit is Mountain View and Menlo Park and East Palo Alto are to the North. It is home to one of the San Francisco Bay AreaÔÇÖs many General Aviation airports.
Back in the 80's, the city made an effort to restore some of the wetlands lost due to expansion over the years. They did a nice job and migratory waterfowl can be seen here.
Numerous parks dot the city. This is Baylands Park. The shot looks towards the tidal areas. It's low tide (but you knew that). Baylands Park, in one form or another follows the bay South through to the City of Alviso.
Many, many years ago, one could sail south from San Francisco to his home port of Palo Alto. Those days are gone as the bay filled with sediment. The city of Alviso, farther South on the bay, also supported a thriving yacht club. This photo is of Palo Alto's former yacht club.
In the park is a monument, it is laid out in a cross and truthfully, I'm not sure of its significance.
All of Baylands Park is situated near the busy highway, 101. This is
the frontage road that leads to Baylands Park and 101 is to the left of the power lines.
Downtown is very friendly for motorcycles. Drive a car; look for a long while for a spot to park. Ride a bike and you'll find lots of "Motorcycle Only" parking.
This is a cinema (in the truest sense of the word) with a couple of cafes on the courtyard.
This is one of the early high-rise buildings. For the longest time, home to a motorcycle insurance firm (long gone).
Most think that Stanford University is in Palo Alto. It's got its own ZIP code. Stanford is worthy of another tour. So here's one shot, the museum.
There is no one good motorcycling road though many fine roads lead to nirvana. I chose Page Mill Road as it bisects the city running from Baylands Park (Oregon Expressway) all the way through to Skyline Blvd. You could follow it as it changes to Alpine road all the way to the Ocean.
Page Mill crosses under I-280 leaving the city behind. As it does, it becomes more rural. It also passes by the Page Mill Winery. If you're in the area, it's the second wine barrel on the left. Open on Vintner's days. If you're interested, check out the Santa Cruz Mountain Winery Association at www.scmwa.com. Page, as it's known in the bicycling circles, is a twisty, windy and poorly maintained road. A sure way to test the suspension.
The vistas are beautiful though today's fog spoiled most of them.
Page Mill continues its twisting ways to Highway 35. You all know it as Skyline Blvd. or perhaps, where Alice's is (North of Page Mill at Highway 84.). I stopped near the Christmas Tree Farm, more properly known as Russian Ridge, for this shot of the fog.
Looking North towards the Ocean. On a clear day, you can see the ocean from the ridgeline.
Skyline Blvd. is well known in the Bay Area as a road for motorcycling.
At the intersection of Highway 9 and 35, I chose to head home. But not before stopping at the Vista Point for a hotdog and to look at the many bikes that congregate here before leaving on their journey to motorcycling nirvana.
The ride down 9 towards my home town of Sunnyvale was enjoyable but for the redneck in the truck. 9 leads you through the town of Saratoga, a quaint spot filled with trendy places to eat and to hang out and a place called Hakone Gardens. Also worthy of a visit.
I hope you enjoyed this little slice of the life in the South San Francisco area!