Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Today is Joan's birthday ride up Old La Honda & Tunitas Creek. We all meet up around the parking lot near the Town Hall in Woodside.
**Photos may be enlarged by clicking on the selected image
We head up Woodside Rd to Portola and Sandhill Rd.
The climb up Old La Honda is on a narrow single lane road under a canopy of trees and enters the redwoods as you near the top. It's less than 4 miles long with many switchbacks. Riding up here during the weekday is the best; minimal traffic and cyclists! The average gradient is around 7% with several sections reaching 9-10%.
The descent on Old La Honda is on a narrow road with many blind turns. It's about 2.5 miles long and starts under the beauty of the redwood forest. The road is wet from the recent rains; I take the descent cautiously and slowly. It starts to lightly rain as I reach the section of road along the ridge. Watch out for the washed out section of the road on the back side.
It's still raining. The descent on Hwy 84 can be quite fast; it has sweeping turns with good sight lines on very well maintained pavement. We make a left on Pescadero Rd for the climb up Pescadero Creek Rd. The average gradient is around 6%.
The descent on Pescadero Creek Rd to Pescadero is really gorgeous! I can hear the water rushing along the creek as I cross over the bridge. It's very green back here. After passing the parks and campsites, the road opens up to horse ranches and open farmlands. The rain has stopped!
I decide to take North St into Pescadero.
Our lunch stop is at Arcangeli's Bakery. There is a nice picnic area at the back of the store with plenty of seating. Joan is very generous to offer us a great spread of birthday treats; chocolate chip cookies, chocolate croissants, artichoke bread with sliced tomatoes and artichoke spread.
"THANK-YOU JOAN and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"
We continue up Stage Rd for the next 10 miles. It's a stair step climb with wonderful descents in between. The first section starts off being flat and gradually increases to a very gentle 4-5% grade.
The second section is the steepest with the gradient maxing out at around 10-11%. The short climb is followed by a long stretch of downhill along the back side of the ridge.
We continue on Stage Rd and cross Hwy 84 into San Gregorio. The last climb up to Hwy 1 is a little over a mile long with an average grade of 5%.
We descend Hwy 1 heading north for one mile to the turn onto Tunitas Creek Rd. The Bike Hut is a great place to stop if you need water, snacks or just a place to rest your body. Buy what you need and place the $ in a drawer. It's that simple!
The climb up Tunitas Creek starts after you pass the intersection at Lobitos Creek Cutoff. The gradient starts off very gradual at around 3% and steadily increases to 8-9%. There are sections that hit 10-11%.
The weather is perfect for this climb, the overcast and cloudy skies made the riding experience that much more enjoyable. It's absolutely gorgeous back here! It's very peaceful and quiet. Not a single car came by during the whole time I was on the road. WOW! The gradient eases up at around 3-4% for the last few miles up to the top.
The 5 mile descent on Kings Mountain Rd is on a narrow single lane road with many tight hairpin and blind turns. Proceed with caution!
Thanks to Joan for leading us on her birthday ride!
~22 people in attendance with 1 tandem
52 miles with 5464' of elevation gain
Weather: Overcast cloudy skies with some light rain on and off. Temps ranged from the mid 50's to a muggy 67F