Duarte's ("Doo-artz") Restaurant in Pescadero
This is a street ride, suitable for less experienced riders, but perhaps a little challenging for absolute beginners. The distance is about 90 miles, and the roads are all secondary roads, no freeways at all. There are good places for two or three brief stops before lunch in Pescadero.
Duarte's Restaurant (in Pescadero, just off Hwy 1 south of San Gregorio)
As I am writing this, the trees are shedding limbs as well as leaves, and the rain is coming in horizontally through the window. All this rain will make the hills green and the ferns grow, so it should be quite beautiful next spring. This ride takes you out to the coast via Highway 9/Hwy 236 through Big Basin, up Jamison Creek and down Bonnie Doon Road to the coast. Then head up the coast on Hwy 1 to Pescadero and have an early lunch at Duarte's Restaurant. The back room at Duarte's can be reserved for a group if you phone by 10:00 am, and can accommodate up to 25 or 30 riders. After lunch, head over Pescardero/La Honda/84 to Alice's and back home. If the weather is really, really bad, cut off the section through Big Basin, but these roads are fun rain-or-shine, and the worse the weather, the more exciting the ride. If it is stormy, bring a saw and a rope so you can clear the road of branches and trees. Most of the route, except for Hwy 9 and Hwy 1 is made up of two-lane roads, tight and twisty, great for riding practice.
Leave Mountain View and head up San Antonio and out to Foothill Expressway - Stevens Canyon Road - left on Redwood Gulch Road - right on Highway 9 West - cross Skyline - Highway 9 West to 236 (Big Basin State Park/stop and regroup at Ranger Station) - right on Jamison Creek Road, left at top - right on Pine Flat Road - turns into Bonnie Doone Road to Highway 1 north to Bean Hollow Road to Pescadero Road to Pescadero. Destination is Duarte's Cafe. (Duarte's telephone is 650-879-0464.)
Start out with your tank full, your tires checked, with proper attire for the weather and a bike which is safe to ride. Be prepared to help your fellow riders with any problems on the road. The weather is may be unpredictable, so be equipped to ride in the rain, cold & fog. It is no fun to ride when you are cold and wet.
Ride within your safe limits. 75% of your comfortable maximum rate of speed at most. I also suggest that you practice the basic smooth-riding exercise of riding with minimal use of brakes, lots of engine-braking, and maximum attention to smooth riding technique and proper line through the corners. Riding this way is a is a great skill-building exercise; it holds your attention and keeps your speed at a reasonable level. The skill set you learn at modest speeds is the same skill set that allow you to ride much more quickly on the track.