I’m no expert and only have a few thousand miles under my belt, but here is my growing list, and tips, of some of the funnest roads for motorcycle riders in the Bay Area.
Note: Each road is labeled on level of difficulty from my noob experience (this probably varies with the more seasoned riders):
- Beginner: Pretty straight road at a comfortable speed
- Beginner – Intermediate: Some curves at a comfortable speed
- Intermediate: Some tight turns at low speeds
- Difficult: Mostly tight turns at low speeds
1. Over the mountain and through the woods, to Alice’s Restaurant you go!
If you’re on two wheels and live in the Bay Area, you’ve definitely heard of Alice’s. Heading West from Highway 280, you are in for 7 miles of tight turns through the woods on Highway 84 until you reach the restaurant. After you’ve enjoyed a bite to eat and gazed at the other dozen bikes that you are more than likely to find parked outside of the restaurant, you have a few options of where to go from here:
Option 1) Continue heading West on Highway 84 towards La Honda for 15 miles until you hit the beach! You are heading down hill on some curvy roads but it eases up towards the last few miles in La Honda.
Option 2) Head South on Skyline Blvd. until you reach either Saratoga or Santa Cruz on Highway 9. What makes this road more difficult is that you are going back downhill through the mountains on a curvy road.
Option 3) Head back East onto Page Mill Blvd. (see more details below)
2. Page Mill Road
If you are likely to get car sick, this might not be the best route for you. Page Mill Road is a bit more challenging than 84, only because the incline is much steeper so you take on the sharp curves at a lower speed. Compared to 84 where you would be in 2nd or 3rd gear (comfortably), on Page Mill Road you are more than likely to be in 1st or 2nd. From Highway 280, Page Mill Road takes you 9 miles up the mountains until you reach Skyline blvd.
A typical route for the experienced rider would be to go up Page Mill Road, head North on Skyline Blvd., grab a bite to eat at Alice’s, and head south on 84.
3. Half Moon Bay via Highway 92
Highway 92 is a breezy 11 miles West towards Half Moon Bay. Along the road you’ll see Christmas tree farms, pumpkin patches during the Fall, and even a Carnivorous plants nursery. Some encourage the route from 92 to Skyline Blvd to Alice’s, but I like to ride all the way until I hit Pacific Coast Highway and ride north to Sam’s Chowder House.
4. Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)
No matter how you get to the coast, either via Highway 84, 92, or 9, riding on PCH is a sight to be seen. You can take the route south towards Pescadero where you can rest at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, head down to Santa Cruz, or continue farther down to the very scenic and famous Big Sur. Or you can go up North towards Point Reyes (see more details below).
5. Point Reyes via Highway 1
After you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, take the CA-1 exit towards Mill Valley/Stinson Beach and cruise up the windy road. Once you reach Point Reyes Station, you can continue to cruise Highway 1 on the East side of the bay that will continue to take you up Northern California towards Bodega Bay. If you want to stay on the peninsula, take Sir Francis Drake Blvd and Pierce Point Road to the tip. Here you’ll enter the Tule Elk Reservation and can even hike ~10 miles to the tip of Tomales Point. You can enjoy McClures beach, Kehoe Beach, or Hearts Desire beach from this route.
Note: I’ll continue to add to this list as I put more miles under my belt. I’ve yet to explore much of the East Bay! What are your favorite routes in the Bay Area and which ones should I try next?