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Old 06-23-09, 04:47 AM   #1
brron
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going through hecker pass road (need advice)

I'm planning a ride from San Jose, CA to Monterey, CA. It seems that every route leads through 152 into watsonville. After looking at the google map satellite images, there are sections where there are no shoulders to ride on. If you have rode through or know, please help me by answering the following?

1.avg speed of cars going through?
2. bike friendly? (or doable?)
3. alt options?

any help would be great.
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Old 06-23-09, 10:38 AM   #2
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1. 30-50 mph
2. Nope. But doable (I don't think I've ever actually seen a cyclist on 152 over Hecker Pass)
3. Good question. I'm curious too. I'm pretty sure I've heard another option that involves dirt (but road bike friendly dirt).

I have seen cyclists on hwy. 129 which is a few miles further South. Not much of a shoulder here at some points either. Traffic is a bit faster since it's more flat/straight.
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Old 06-23-09, 11:32 AM   #3
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I was just out there this weekend. Here's the route I took through that stretch:

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2943442

Redwood Retreat is paved all the way. Then you make a left turn on Mt. Madonna road which starts out paved but turns to dirt about where the 5 mile marker is on the above map and stays dirt until the junction with Summit and Pole Line. So about 1.5 miles of dirt. This stretch is entirely uphill (about 700' worth) and it's totally doable on a road bike. I wouldn't want to descend it on a road bike though.

At the junction you could either continue on Mt. Madonna or turn left on Pole Line. I took Pole Line and joined Hwy 152 right at the top of the pass. This is a pretty busy road and I would not consider riding uphill on it but downhill was a lot of fun - you should be able to go fast enough to keep up with traffic.

I didn't see the eastern half of the pass but if it's anything like the western side that I was on, I wouldn't recommend climbing it.

Hope that helps and have a good ride!
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Old 06-23-09, 12:32 PM   #4
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I used to see riders going over this when I was a kid, my neighbor did it all the time. I think I would rather go up this then through 129. The cars are going to be going a lot faster on 129, and while there are plenty of blind corners on 152, I can't imagine it's anything worse then riding over 9.
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Old 07-30-09, 02:44 PM   #5
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Have you taken the trip to Monterey yet? Where in San Jose were you coming from?

When I went from Sunnyvale to Monterey, my basic route was through Los Gatos, along the Los Gatos Creek Trail to Lexington Reservoir, to Soquel-San Jose Road, then the 'coastal route' on to Monterey. All was pretty bike friendly, and relatively flat, with a few bike paths in Monterey. (I could dig up the cue sheet that I received from somebody else.)

On the way back, I went through Salinas, San Juan grade road, through San Juan, down 101 to Gilroy and Monterey Highway for a long long long long time. This was also fairly flat. The most significant hills were on San Juan Grade, and that has just about no traffic. The short stretch on 101, however, has a couple narrow bridges that are not very fun. And Monterey Highway just seemed to go on forever. (The "San Jose City Limit" sign is especially misleading.)

For this year, I am thinking about alternative routes. I wonder if summit can be taken all the way now?
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Old 07-30-09, 03:15 PM   #6
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Back when I raced my daily commute was from the west side of Santa Cruz, up and over Mt. Madonna and into Gilroy every day. Hecker Pass is just like every two lane mountain road in our area, no bike lanes. Ironically, the lower Gilroy side flat section that has a very big bike lane is also the site of one of the most horrific group bicycle fatalities ever. An entire family, mom, dad and two kids were killed by one car that drifted into the bike lane.

Uhhhhhh, I guess Iím not helping if you were already nervous about the hill

As for cars speeds, in low traffic times, folks drive it fast and in high traffic tourist times it is crowded and slow..pick your poison.

The good news; as others have said, there are other ways to get over the mountain on smaller, narrower and less traveled roads.
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Old 07-30-09, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L Dude 7 View Post
For this year, I am thinking about alternative routes. I wonder if summit can be taken all the way now?

Are you planning on taking Summit to Highland and then into Corralitos? Or Summit into Mt. Madonna park, I am pretty certain that Summit into Mt. Madonna is dirt, and private. I have driven Summit - Highland - Corralitos, it is certainly possible, but the road surface looks terrible.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:15 PM   #8
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Wife and I went 2 weeks ago all the way on top the mountain range from San Jose to Mt. Madonna Center using Summit - Mt. Bache Rd - Loma Prieta Way - Summit. Grade on Mt.Bache and Loma Prieta was 10%. There is a section of about 8miles of Summit Rd that is packed dirt and that was annoying. We did not pay much attention to few "no trespassing" signs and no one seemed to bother (very low traffic there anyways).
I'm not sure I want to ride there again but the views were pretty nice.

The other route (Summit - Highland - Eureka Canyon Rd) leading to Corralitos is not that bad (I actually drove it in my Elise even). It least it's patched asphalt all the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by starvingdavid View Post
Are you planning on taking Summit to Highland and then into Corralitos? Or Summit into Mt. Madonna park, I am pretty certain that Summit into Mt. Madonna is dirt, and private. I have driven Summit - Highland - Corralitos, it is certainly possible, but the road surface looks terrible.
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