We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again…sometimes the best routes are the ones you discover near your own backyard. Such was the case with a group ride we took over the past weekend.

We met up in beautiful Los Gatos, CA – a small, but very upscale berg near Silicon Valley. It also sits on Highway 17 one of the few east-west highways going to the coast, and traffic can quickly build up to a near crawl on weekends. Luckily our route meant we were mostly going to avoid it.

Instead we quickly found our way off the highway and onto Old Santa Cruz Highway, a two-lane road that wound its way through the redwoods and cooler temperatures. A few miles of some nice twisties, and we took a left at Summit Road and followed that all the way into Soquel, just outside of Santa Cruz.

Since we were headed to the Moto Talbott museum in Carmel Valley, we had to get on Highway 1. We lucked out and didn’t hit a lot of southbound traffic, plus the views of the ocean on an absolutely clear Indian Summer day forced us to rein in this group’s propensity to ride fast.


Once we got into Monterey, we headed east on Old Salinas Highway (Hwy 68) to the new Monterey Salinas Highway and followed that to Laureles Grade Road. A right on that and a few miles of some nice twists and turns and we found ourselves at W. Carmel Valley Road. A left turn here and a few miles up the road and we were at the museum.

This is not a challenging route, but it is a good one that gives you a flavor of this part of the California Coast. It’s around 75 miles and count on about two hours to ride it. Here’s a link to the actual route.