Old La Honda to Gazo Creek & Tunitas Creek

Saturday, February 25, 2012

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Today’s ride begins at the Woodside Town Hall parking lot off Whiskey Hill Rd in Woodside. Water and restrooms are available at Robert’s Market on Woodside Rd.

We head south on Whiskey Hill Rd to Sand Hill and Portola Rd for our first climb up Old La Honda Rd.


The 3+ miles climb up Old La Honda is on a narrow single lane road with an average grade of about 7%. There are sections with pitches that range from 9-10%. The sun is peeking through the canopy of trees as we wind our way up through the redwoods. There is a brief regroup at the top-Skyline intersection.

The descent on Old La Honda to CA 84 is on a narrow single lane road with many blind turns and poor pavement conditions. Watch out for the washed-out section along this stretch. The views along the back ridge are gorgeous!

The 4 miles descent on CA 84 to Pescadero Rd is smooth and fast with sweeping turns and great sight lines. The next climb up Pescadero Creek Rd is quite beautiful; it’s about 4 miles long on a quiet stretch of road with an average grade of about 6%. You’re near the top when you see the horse ranch sign.


The descent on Pescadero Creek Rd is fabulous; the sweeping turns on smooth pavement are really fun with minimal braking.  We take a wrong turn on Butano Cutoff and end up doing an additonal loop through the Pescadero Middle School to Cloverdale Rd. We get back on Pescadero Creek Rd and head west to Bean Hollow Rd. The winds have really picked up-it’s blowing like mad!


The views of the surrounding farmlands and green meadows on the climb up Bean Hollow Rd are spectacular! The sights of the yellow waves of flowers across the fields are incredible!

The climb itself is a little over a mile with an average grade of about 3.27%. Take the time to enjoy the scenery along this ridge-it’s amazing! You’re at the top when the road opens up to the views of the ocean and the open farmlands. Cycling is a wonderful way to enjoy these back roads!

 
With a sweet tailwind, we continue south on Hwy 1 for the next 5 miles to Gazo Creek Rd. We also make a slight detour out to Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The views are really stunning out here and it’s a very clear day! WOW!


The rolling terrain on Gazo Creek Rd takes us back inland on Cloverdale Rd along the edge of Butano State Park. The south side of Cloverdale Rd has a few short climbs; the last one being the nastiest with pitches hitting 11-13%! On the descent, we are hit with horrendous headwinds all the way into Pescadero! Thanks to Michael for pulling me all the way!


We arrive at our lunch stop-Arcangeli’s. There is a public use picnic area in the back of the store along with porta-potties. All of their baked goods are delicious!


After lunch, we continue on Stage Rd for the next 8.5+ miles. It’s a series of 3 climbs with fantastic descents in between. Part 1 of the climb starts off very gentle with gradients ranging from 3-5% followed by a fun descent.

Part 2 is less than a mile long and starts after you pass Pomponio Creek Rd; this section is much steeper with gradient ranges of 8-11%. The views along the back side are fantastic-you can even catch a glimpse of the ocean! The descent drops you into San Gregorio at CA 84.

Part 3 starts after you cross CA 84; the climb is a little over a mile with an average grade of about 5%. At the top, you get wonderful views of the glorious land below!


Heading north on Hwy 1 brings us face to face with the headwinds! Fortunately it’s only a mile to our turn at Tunitas Creek Rd. We make a quick stop at the Bike Hut, you can’t miss it-it’s bright RED!


The climb up Tunitas Creek begins after you pass the intersection at Lobitos Creek Cutoff. The gradient starts off gradually at around 3% and steadily increases to ranges of 7-9%. There are several long sections that hit 9-11%.

This whole area is quite peaceful; take the time to look around and take in all the natural beauty surrounding you-it’s gorgeous! It’ll seem like the climbing is going to go on forever but, after the fourth right hand switchback, the gradient eases up at around 3-4% for the last few miles up to the top. The temp has dropped down to the mid 40’s through here. BRRRRRRR!!

The temp dips even further on the descent down Kings Mountain Rd. It’s COLD! Watch for all the tight hairpin turns on this road!

We take Woodside Rd back to the parking lot at the Town Hall.


Thanks to Ivan and Eric for leading! It was another incredible winter ride!

~25 people in attendance

69.59 miles with 6658′ of elevation gain

Weather: GREAT! Sunny blue skies with cool temps ranging from the low to mid 50’s. Horrendous NW winds on Cloverdale Rd, Pescadero Creek Rd and Hwy 1 north. Temps dipped to the mid 40’s on Tunitas Creek and on Kings Mountain Rd

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>AREN’T WE LUCKY!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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2 Comments

  1. Nancy, That’s a great ride. How did you ever figure a grade of 3.27%? That’s certainly prcise!!
    Carole

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