DAY 3 - Today
With temperatures dropping to 39 overnight on the coast, I opt for a later-than-usual departure. Wheels up at 8:30, and with electrics pampering me with warmth I make a 30 minute jaunt from Watsonville to Hollister. Along the way is some of the most beautiful and fertile farmland in the country. Lots of artichokes, strawberries, and vineyards fill the countryside.
Ever seen soil as rich and beautiful as this? You could grow rocks in this stuff.
Hollister is of course the host of the annual huge bike fest, as well as the home of the Corbin aftermarket seat company. I've taken a tour of the factory and it's very interesting.
My first target of the day is hwy 25. One of my absolute favorites. 62 miles of a perfect ribbon of asphalt in the California back country, threading through vineyards to the North and oak-treed cattle country to the South. You can sprinkle my ashes over hwy 25 when I'm done.
South of Hollister, beautiful vineyard estates paint the hillsides.
No grapes this time of year but still gaze-worthy.
Hwy 25 is not just a pretty face. Lots of twisty stuff too. Don't you love signs like this?
Rolling foothills. Beautiful asphalt. Pinch me.
The countryside has lots of these old windmills.
One of my favorite pictures.
While riding south an M3 passed me and just about scared the breakfast out of me ( I wasn't going slow). I also saw a 4-pack of full dresser Harleys. Other than that I pretty much had the place to myself.
From King City I hook up to Carmel Valley Road. Wow. What a blast! A tad bit goaty for my bike but still had a hoot. On a Ducati multistrada or similar ride, even better.
Yet more scenic vineyards lead up to Carmel Valley.
View from a little one-lane bridge.
Climbing to the top of the hills...
What a beautiful valley.
Exercising the artiste in me...
Dense forest along the way. Love the play of light and shadows in the leaves.
Gotta get the bike in there too.
Playing with the reflections off the side bag.
At this point it was mid-afternoon and time to head back to Watsonville and the beach and spend some time with the family. I had long since shed the heated vest and liners as it was pushing 70 degrees at this point.
One more shot on the way back, for you racing fans. Does that name ring a bell?
Total miles today, about 250. Great riding! I spent the rest of the day enjoying the sun and the surf.
Tomorrow I will be spending time with the family, and then Sunday driving back home to the central valley. I've been able to ride a few familiar roads this Thanksgiving week that were well-worth the revisit, as well as ride a few new ones. I consider myself very fortunate to live so close to such great riding. Hope you guys enjoyed the pictures. If you haven't ridden these roads, make time and do it!