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Old 05-21-09, 12:20 PM   #1
stedanrac
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84 vs OLH vs Kings Mtn; What is your favorite?

I've ridden 84/Woodside Rd over to the coast a couple of times, always on a weekday. Traffic is a little scary, but the climb is manageable for me.

I want to head over this weekend, and don't think I want to do 84. There seems to be 2 alternatives, Old La Honda and Kings Mountain.

Either of these a better choice for the ride? I haven't seen either except to look at the elevation profile online - both seem to be challenging climbs in the 9-11% grade range. My inclination is OLH because I want to head south toward Pescadaro.

As always, TIA to this great group

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Old 05-21-09, 12:42 PM   #2
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OLH.

It's actually about 7.2% - a little bit steeper than KM, but it doesn't go as high, so you don't have to gain as much altitude that you then have to give up.

WRT 84, I have ridden up it only once, doing the Giro de Peninsula century ride. It's easy, but there was too much traffic and it was only 7:30 AM! Other than riding that early, I think I'd rather have a root canal!
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Old 05-21-09, 12:57 PM   #3
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Kings is a great climb. I love it. Long enough that you can get into a good groove, not so steep that you're really ever suffering or stuck at a low cadence.

I think OLH is a little harder, but shorter time-wise.

Both options are better than 84 going uphill.
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Old 05-21-09, 01:08 PM   #4
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Agreed on not going 84. You might have an easier climb, but that is not worthy of contending with the cars. Go on OLH if you would like to avoid cars as Kings typically has more cars than OLH, in my opinion.
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Old 05-21-09, 02:10 PM   #5
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Either one. Going from Kings to Skylonda via Skyline is fun too. There is a part just before you hit the 35/84 intersection where you can spin out you biggest gear for a good stretch.
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Old 05-21-09, 02:21 PM   #6
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My preference is OLH, because it has more shadow coverage. Besides, I get a kick out of seeing the street sign for Upenuf.

Kings is still a good climb. Both are much better alternatives than going straight up 84.
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Old 05-21-09, 02:36 PM   #7
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What? No love for Page Mill Road? I prefer OLH but since I know my times up it, its hard not to feel like I have to push really hard to beat my personal best. Kings is okay but I'd take Page Mill over Kings. A bit more interesting and even in the early morning it can be hot just for the extra challenge.
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Old 05-21-09, 03:41 PM   #8
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What? No love for Page Mill Road? I prefer OLH but since I know my times up it, its hard not to feel like I have to push really hard to beat my personal best. Kings is okay but I'd take Page Mill over Kings. A bit more interesting and even in the early morning it can be hot just for the extra challenge.
See OP. Pagemill is like 10 miles out of the way and significantly more difficult that either of the routes asked about.

Pagemill climb is good if you're down that way.
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Old 05-21-09, 03:48 PM   #9
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What are the mileage and average grade of these routes up to Skyline (probably could do a search, sorry for being lazy):

Page Mill
OLH
84
Kings
HW 9
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Old 05-21-09, 04:13 PM   #10
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http://graphics.stanford.edu/~lucasp/bike-grade.html
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Old 05-21-09, 04:39 PM   #11
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Of the roads mentioned so far, my favorite climbs (in order) are:
1. Page Mill Road
2. Kings Mountain Road
3. OLH

Favorite descents:
1. Page Mill Road
2. Kings Mountain Road
3. Hwy 84

I think Kings and OLH are both a steady 6-7% climb, but Kings is 1 mile longer. Page Mill has a more erratic gradient (some much steeper sections and some flat sections). Overall difficulty depends a lot on your entire route. Page Mill Road starts closer to sea level. You need to do more work just to get to the bottom of OLH or Kings Mountain.

If your destination is Pescadero, then I would definitely use Page Mill Road and West Alpine Road to get there.
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Old 05-21-09, 05:15 PM   #12
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My rule is that you should never go up 84 (too much traffic, not enough shoulder) or down Old La Honda (road is too narrow, you have to ride the brakes the whole time for it not be insanely dangerous and risk running into oncoming traffic). Kings is great to go up and down. Once you get to the top of OLH, turn right on Skyline, then left on 84 at the 4 corners and it will take you to the coast. That's one of my favorite rides.
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Old 05-21-09, 05:26 PM   #13
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Another rule of thumb I try to plan around: When riding on Skyline I prefer to go downhill to minimize the speed differential between me and cars.

Here are elevations for various intersections along Skyline (north to south, source: klimb)

Hwy 92: 870'
Kings Mtn/Tunitas: 2060'
Hwy 84: 1460'
Old La Honda: 1700'
Page Mill/Alpine: 2250'
Hwy 9: 2610'

So for example if I climb Old La Honda I would prefer heading north to Hwy 84 (-240') rather than south to Page Mill (+550). Not a requirement by any means, just a preference of mine and something to think about when planning your route.
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Old 05-21-09, 07:35 PM   #14
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So for example if I climb Old La Honda I would prefer heading north to Hwy 84 (-240') rather than south to Page Mill (+550). Not a requirement by any means, just a preference of mine and something to think about when planning your route.
Of course, another option is to keep heading west and down to the ocean.
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Old 05-21-09, 10:15 PM   #15
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My favorite way to climb KIngs is to take a right on Greer (after Tripp/Old Woodside Store) from KIngs and go through the service entrance to Huddart Park.

The climb is a bit steeper but there's virtually no traffic for the first third of the climb. (You may have to dismount to go around the gate, if it's closed.) Bear to the right to go over the bridge and follow the roadway around. (if you're going up, you're going in the right direction.) At the stop sign within the park turn left, go past the park entrance booth, and turn right onto Kings. When you reach Skyline, turn left, climb to just beyond Swett, and then enjoy the ride into Skylonda. Grab some water at the store on the northeast corner of the 35/84 intersection and head out to the coast on 84W.
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Old 05-22-09, 01:15 AM   #16
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I'm on the same page with Steve.
I'd say OLH goes second -- I like to use this climb as a test.
I absolutely hate going up 84 -- way too many cars.
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Old 05-23-09, 09:55 PM   #17
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I'll follow up my own thread... rode OLH today, up one side and down the other... fantastic ride, loved it. Very few cars on a Saturday afternoon. I love the point about 2 miles up, where you leave the Oak forests and enter the Redwoods... The coastal side descent I was all by myself. I'm a slow climber, but that was manageable.

Thanks to everyone who contributed.

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