CA -South SF bay to Santa Cruz - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-08-2018, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: South Bay Area, California, USA
Posts: 13
CA -South SF bay to Santa Cruz

Hello all!

I'm back into riding as of a week ago, and working on learning some standard routes to use to get around the South Bay area. I'm currently near South San Jose, and very comfortable with all the roads I need on a regular basis. That said, I'd like to ride for more than commuting.

My current big question is: what's the best way to get to Santa Cruz? I don't like 17, even in my car, so I'm looking for an alternative to that. Or is 17 actually the best bet, since other routes are much twistier? I know going up highway 9 to skyline is popular, but taking it all the way to Santa Cruz is pretty far out of the way.

Any recommendations on routes South through the mountains? Keeping in mind that I'm fresh-ish to riding (one week in after almost no riding for three years), and not terribly interested in going fast around very tight corners.

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post #2 of 7 Old 06-08-2018, 01:20 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Nor Ca
Posts: 214
Old Santa Cruz highway is one option. You can catch it by Lexington reservoir. That will take you to Summit Rd. From there you can take San Jose Soquel road Soquel
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-09-2018, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: South Bay Area, California, USA
Posts: 13
Thanks, Buffalo Rider! Would you say that route is generally calmer? I know there'll be fewer cars, but are there any non-traffic considerations (weird turns, rough asphalt, blind driveways)?
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-25-2018, 12:00 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 96
I always enjoy riding around Pescadero when I'm in that area. You'll end up having to ride some of HWY 1 but there's no avoiding busy roads entirely in the bay area.

2011 DL650 ABS, just getting started...
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-25-2018, 01:28 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northern/ Central California
Posts: 126
I live in Santa Cruz and Just bought a new 650 XT. Yes, Old Santa Cruz Highway to San Jose Soquel Rd is pretty good. Way less traffic than 17 or Highway 9.
One Ride I really want to check out is the ride up to Mt Umunhum. Theres a way you can ride up San Jose Rd/ Soquel rd from Soquel, up to Summit Rd, then Cathermola rd to Mt Umunhum Rd. Kinda the secret back way up there from the Santa Cruz side..Anyone tried that route???

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post #6 of 7 Old 06-25-2018, 02:09 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: California
Posts: 769
From South SJ you could go Almaden Expressway or 101/Bailey Ave to McKean road to G8/Uvas Road South to Watsonville Road then Highway 152 West to Watsonville then North on Highway 1 to Santa Cruz. Pretty easy ride but there are some switch backs coming over the hill into Watsonville but nothing major.
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Current: 2014 V-Strom DL650 ABS Red
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Past: Suzuki: DL650AK7, GS400; Honda: CB125, Express 49cc

Last edited by dmfdmf; 06-25-2018 at 02:11 PM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-28-2018, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Walnut Creek CA
Posts: 123
ThomasP - I suggest going to and join the group "Group Rides Forum" (it's free). Here's the link:

They have rides in the Santa Cruz Mtns just about every weekend.

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