It’s been a long day but I’m finally heading home. Traffic was a bit heavy as I rode up Page Mill past HP and all the other tech companies that are the heart of Silicon Valley. It clears up though as I ride past the entrance to 280. Everyone is in a hurry to get home and 280 South is where they want to be. Not me though, I’m still heading west. Into the hills and toward the ride home that is the envy of many of my motorcycling friends.
I’m stuck behind a Mini van for a little while but luckily they turn off and the road opens up in front of me. I speed up a little, nothing too insane, but to five or so above the limit. The first real fun corner is coming up, the yellow sign suggests that I go 25, but I know from long experience that there is no need to slow down. It’s a long right hand sweeper around a hill. I shift my body slightly to the right and push down on the outside peg and lean. Oh man I love this, the feeling of leaning into a corner, it feels like I’m defying physics. If I tried to lean the bike this far over standing still it would just topple over, but at speed I just am suspended, as if I’m flying, hovering over the ground. The corner is a long one, but it still ends too soon (they almost all do) and I’m shifting my weight again as I become upright and then down to the other side into the next corner. I love this road. So many corners. I’m leaning, one way, then another, and back again, swooping between corners not changing gears, barely breaking, just easy rolling on and off the throttle. The only things that make it anything less than perfect is the occasional really bad pavement and the longer straights where I have to remind myself to not speed up and rush to the next corner. Going fast in a straight line is too easy and boring, I want the curves, and that is where this ride home excels. Seven or so miles of awesome ends too soon and I’m at the top at Skyline.
Even though the best bit is done, I’m glad to have a break. Riding the last several miles of twisty roads at a good pace leaves me a bit winded, it’s not easy hustling the bike up the hill. Ever since my accident in 2010 my left leg is always shot by the time I’m finished with that stretch of road. I turn right on to skyline and open it up enjoying the acceleration up to the speed limit which is 55 on this stretch. I’ve been lucky so far today, no cars slowing me down till now. I come up on one cruising at about 5 below the limit. I slow down and wait till I get a passing zone, no reason to push past here, no good bits for a while. We cruise for a while, passing the scenic overlook and I get a glance down at the Stanford Campus. Soon after I get past the car and enjoy the ride trying to keep the speed down as I come up on the 84 junction. I cruise through the junction, staying slow until way after I’m past Alice’s. I wait till I get to the first corner before speeding up a bit making sure I’m going fast enough that I can lean into and really enjoy the corner.