Half Moon Bay Coastal Hundred

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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Click here to watch a short video of today’s ride

We’re going coastal today! This out and back century begins from Half Moon Bay and heads south on Hwy 1 to Santa Cruz-the turnaround point on this route. This course also includes a must-do bakery stop in Pescadero for the warm artichoke herb bread at Arcangeli’s Bakery.

We exit Half Moon Bay and head south on Cabrillo Hwy for the next 47 miles out to Santa Cruz. The first several miles are pretty flat as you ride pass the many restaurants, hotels and golf course.

The rich farmlands produce HMB’s famous pumpkins, berries and local vegetables. The vegetable stands have a great variety of just picked vegetables, berries and homemade pies. If I was in car, I’d stop at every one of these places!



The climbs along Hwy 1 has gradient ranges of 7-9% with the section going up and over towards San Gregorio being the highest point with a max elevation of 423′.

The very fast descent drops you down to Pescadero Beach; the ocean views are spectacular with its rocky shores and sandy beaches! There are plenty of pit stops along these beaches with gorgeous vistas.



From Pescadero Beach, the terrain along Hwy 1 becomes pretty flat all the way out towards Pigeon Point Lighthouse and Gazo Creek.


The gentle terrain continues on towards the Ano Nuevo State Preserve and drops you down to the gorgeous Ano Nuevo Bay by Big Basin State Park.


Another climb takes you up to Big Creek Lumber Company, the huge cement plant and the pumpkin farms towards Davenport. There is one RR track crossing-proceed with caution and watch for traffic!

From Davenport, it’s another 10 rolling miles into Santa Cruz. Our lunch stop is at the Safeway off Mission St; this is one of the best stores I’ve ever been in. They have a huge cooked food section with lots of variety to choose from-the fresh baked pizza looked pretty good!

From this point, we just reverse the route and head north on Hwy 1 back to Half Moon Bay. The morning tailwinds got us to Santa Cruz in a about 3 hours, now we have to face the headwinds! The NW winds are brutal with several strong gusts hitting us on the return all the way to the turn at Pescadero Creek Rd.




We all let out a loud sigh of relief with the wind behind us as we head east into Pescadero and roll pass the beautiful Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve.


The must-do stop is at Norm’s Market/Arcangeli’s Bakery on Stage Rd; they make the famous one and only artichoke garlic herb bread and other yummy pastry items. There is a great picnic area behind the market with plenty of outdoor seating and a couple of porta-potties. I like their chocolate chip cookie and chocolate croissant but they’re sold out of both items so what’s left? The big soft cinnamon rolls and butter horns along with fresh baked hot artichoke bread-I get all three!

Now we’re all sugared up and ready to face the headwinds for the remaining16 miles back to Half Moon Bay.

The climb up to Stage Rd has gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and valley!


The last few miles on the flats bring us back to Half Moon Bay.


Despite the fierce headwinds on the return north, this coastal ride was exceptionally stunning with spectacular views of the Pacific Coast! It was all well worth the effort, plus it didn’t hurt to have the bakery stop in Pescadero!

It was another fabulous ride-“thanks” to Wyatt for his great bike handling skills on the tandem during the strong winds gusts along Hwy 1! I’m looking forward to the next ride!

Garmin Stats:
100.65 Miles with 4455′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 423′
Avg grade: 3%
Max grade: 9%

Weather: GOOD! Sunny and cool with temps ranging from the high 30’s to the high 50’s. Strong WNW winds on the return to HMB.

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.  ~ William Arthur Ward


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Follow this route for today’s ride:


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