From San Ramon to the Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton, CA is about 180 miles round trip. The thing that is amazing to me as a flatlander is that after about 28 miles of the route we took today, there is a sign that says "Mt Hamilton 44 miles." The thing about this sign is that the 44 miles is nothing but twisty turny scenic road that is pretty much perfect for motorcycles. And you gotta know that a 44 mile trip up to the observatory on twisty roads involves a 44 mile return trip down the mountain on those same roads. That's roughly half of a day ride that is nothing but twisties. Wonderful.
I really don't know why I say "pretty much perfect" to describe these roads. I can't think of much that would improve them. The surface is good, the scenery is fantastic and our average speed was 34 mph (according to the GPS - not according to me - who had time to look at the speedo?) I swear there was one right hand turn with no shoulder... I had taken it in pretty good fashion with the bikes tire near the right hand edge of the road at the apex of the turn. I swear that I believed that although my tires were on the pavement, my shoulder was hanging off the road over a 200 ft drop off. I'm sure it wasn't... it couldn't have been right??? RIGHT??? At any rate, the penalty for not paying attention to the road on this ride would have been steep. Literally - STEEP. And the temptation to let your eye wander is strong. Such a beautiful place.
I'll go back to Mt Hamilton again because when I got home and looked at the map, it turns out that I missed more than half the good roads that climb that hill. Gotta go do the rest of the attraction and soon.