“This must be one of the coolest roads to ride in the world,” I think out loud as we enter the Big Sur region, northbound on Highway 1. This road runs along most of the Pacific coast of California, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the US. It is still early morning and we’re on our way from Santa Monica to San Francisco and I have difficulties resisting the photo opportunities that slow us down.
As we enter Carmel, I remember the rich artistic history of the town. City councils were dominated by artists, and the town has had several mayors who were poets or actors, including bohemian writer and actor Perry Newberry, and actor-director Clint Eastwood. I would love to stop here in Carmel and play on the legendary golf course at Pebbles Beach, but we want to be in Frisco before sunset.
Two hours later we cross the city limits of San Francisco with a clear objective. “A ride in the historic cable car has to wait till tomorrow,” I think to myself. “Dinner in Chinatown is certainly on the programme for tonight, but first things first.” Highway 1 turns left and then right and crosses the Richmond district. We enter Mountain Lake Park, accelerate the bike uphill and there she is, The Golden Gate Bridge. In a kind of slow motion we cross the bridge, enjoying the stunning view of the San Francisco Bay.
On the other side we take the exit right on Vista Point Road and climb up a steep road leading to Battery Spencer. We park our Harleys and walk up to the fortifications dating back to the 1870s. Just in time for sunset and before the fog starts rolling in. The whole scenery is turning orange in the setting sun, the bay, Golden Gate, Alcatraz, Angel Island. “Hi there San Francisco,” I say with a big smile.