Morro Bay: Ragged Point Century

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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Today’s century ride hugs California’s spectacular Central Coastline from Morro Bay to Cayucas, Cambria and San Simeon up to Ragged Point. The route also includes a gentle out and back jaunt along Little Morro Creek Rd.

We exit Bay Pines and take Quintana Rd to Main St.

The turn on Radcliff Ave leads us onto Little Morro Creek Rd; the 2.7 gentle miles takes us through the agricultural side of town with open farmlands and ranchlands. The main crop in this area is the acres and acres of avocados groves. The pastoral grasslands are dotted with grazing horses and cattle. The turnaround point is at the cattle guard with the Private Property sign posted.

We return to Main St and take Yerba Buena St to CA-1 N. The next flat four miles along CA-1 towards Cayucas is socked in with fog; the sun begins to peek through as we make the climb up and over to Cayucas.

The fog welcomes us on the other side of the hill; it begins to dissipate as we head further north to Harmony-population of 18. The surrounding hillsides and open areas have a scattering of old barns, farm houses and grazing cattle.

The one short climb out of Harmony towards Green Valley Rd/CA-46 is followed by a flat run onto Main St into Cambria. We stop at The French Corner Bakery to fuel up on a Bear Claw and Blueberry Coffee Cake.

We stay on Main St and ride through the commercial district of town before getting back onto CA-1 N. Cambria has the usual antique shops, boutiques, galleries and other knick knack type stores along with many different restaurants and cafes. There’s something for everybody!

CA-1 N continues to San Simeon on flat to rolling terrain along the coastline with terrific ocean views to the west and mountain views to the east!

CA-1 eventually opens up to the expansive sight of the coastal hills and mountains of Santa Lucia range. The climb up to Ragged Point is about 1.4 miles with gradient ranges of 5-7.5% with no shoulder.

Take a quick walk along the garden behind Ragged Point Inn to take in the magnificent views of the rugged coastal shoreline-it’s worth the time!

We turn around and head south on CA-1 with a tremendous tailwind and gusty west winds-we certainly pre-paid it on the way north with strong headwinds. The return south has even more gorgeous views of the coastal landscape, sandy beaches and rocky shores! It’s a quick 9 miles to Piedras Blancas Light Station-access is by guided tours only. It’s a great stop to take some photos and to enjoy the fabulous scenery!

It’s another quick 1.5 mile to our next stop at Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery to check out the seals lying out on the beach. As I unclip to get off my bike, the strong gusty winds literally knock me and the bike over!

The next 10 miles on CA-1 S is fast, we’re moving along at 22 mph with minimal effort-I just have to lean into the wind to stay upright! We make another quick stop at the WR Hearst Memorial State Beach; the short walk along the pier offers fantastic views of San Simeon Bay! On our way back out on CA-1, we spot the herd of San Simeon zebras grazing the open meadows along with the cattle.

Moonstone Beach Dr is a nice detour off CA-1; this road goes along the fancy coastal inns and hotels in Cambria with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and its craggy shores and high bluffs. There is a boardwalk that leads you out along the waterfront to the beach and tide pool areas-it’s beautiful out there!

We turn onto Main St and return for another stop at The French Corner Bakery-this time we share a cinnamon roll and get a can of Coke from the Chevron Station across the street.

CA-1 S takes us back to the climb up to Harmony followed by the climb up and over to Cayucas. Morro Rock is absolutely spectacular from this side of the road!

We exit CA-1 and take some side roads through the neighborhoods to the multi-use path along CA-1 to Main St.

Main St leads us into Morro Bay State Park on State Park Rd pass the golf course, campgrounds and the wetlands to S Bay Blvd. From there, it’s a short 0.6 mile back to Bay Pines.

This century ride along California’s Central Coastline is magnificent with its breathtaking scenery! Face the headwind early on in the day and you will be rewarded with a brisk tailwind all the way back! Don’t forget to wear bright colors!

Garmin Stats:
100.89 Miles with 4114′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 321′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Flat and rolling with one climb

Weather: Wonderful! Partly cloudy with some early morning fog turning to brilliant sunshine for the rest of the day. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the mid 80’s. Strong gusty NW winds with 94% humidity.

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Get pleasure out of life….as much as you can.
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Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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