I recently relocated to the Bay Area from Buffalo, NY. One of my motivating factors was the ability to ride all year round. So while its snowing in Buffalo, Here in the Bay I decided to take my 2008 Kawasaki Concours 1400 on a day ride with a buddy of mine who is a tattoo artist in Santa Rosa, California. I looked at the map briefly in the morning to see where to go and I decided we would leave Santa Rosa and head west towards the Pacific Coast Highway. It was about 58ºF at 10am when we departed from Santa Rosa. Traffic wasn't too bad up Hwy101 North and it was a quick ride to Healdsburg to exit 505 Dry Creek Road. Wineries are the business up here in Sonoma and you pass quite a few on this road toward Lake Sonoma Recreation Area. Just after the fishery you make the left onto Skaggs Springs Rd. but we decided to keep going about 1/4 mile past the turn to check out the lake and take a 5min break. Getting back on the road, the sign on the right says "Next Service 50 Miles" which, in my opinion, is always one you want to see. The first 15min of road is pretty tame. Up hill, down hill decent switchbacks. Then the road changes a little and becomes less of a highway and more of a two-lane and even getting pretty narrow in spots. The quality of the tarmac decreases a little as well but it was no problem for either of our non-off-road adventure bikes. It was a blast. It gets pretty chilly in the shade and the road was a little wet but it was no problem. This road is a blast to ride. Hardly any traffic during the day, plenty of great views and pretty equal amounts of sun and shade. As you get toward the end of the road there is a little town, and I mean little, just before it feels like the woods spits you right out onto Highway 1. There is a general store at the end of the road with some pretty fancy cheese and a deli counter. We stopped briefly but when we realized they had no hot coffee we kicked rocks. We continued up Hwy 1 to Sea Ranch and when I saw the golf links I pulled in, knowing where there is a golf course, there is a counter with coffee/beer etc. We took a nice break there and while our intention was to go further north, we realized that maybe we should head back to Santa Rosa, as it was about 2:30pm at this point and I still had to go home to Oakland. So we cruised down the 1 until we got to the detour at Timber Cove. The detour around the closed section of the 101 is a great one. It takes you through pastures and forest and puts you out close to the mouth of the Russian River. There we hung a left onto Highway 116 which carries you next to the river. Not as serious as the Skaggs Springs road so you can get on the throttle a little but be mindful of the California Highway Patrol as the speed limits change here as you get into Guerneville and some of the other little towns along the way. After I dropped my buddy in Santa Rosa I headed back to Oakland. Pretty good day. Love days like this. No planning, just riding until it hurts to sit on the bike.