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Old 07-08-10, 07:50 AM   #1
Bekologist
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any better riding south out of SF than the 1?

Travelling down to hang out with the bikes for a couple of weeks to the bay area and have been trying to find good rides to the south out of san francisco proper. (I haven't picked up a California DeLorme guide yet but will soon)

I thought the 1 would be the logical choice, until i google street viewed it. Egads, what a sucky road for cycling.

is there any coastside access between say, Half Moon bay to the north and also down towards Santa Cruz, or are the better routes inland?

I will probably be based near golden gate bridge and will be doing lots north, also wanted to travel south a bit.

any advice on route choices would be much appreciated!
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Old 07-08-10, 09:20 AM   #2
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I don't like riding on 1, but it's totally doable for a bit, especially headed south where you have better views and consistently favorable winds. Once you get out of HMB, you can cut over on Miramontes/Higgins/Purissima/Lobitos Creek/Tunitas Creek/Stage Road/Gazos Creek.

You'll be zig-zagging east west and up/down, but they are great roads and with light traffic and some good views (of rolling hills/distant ocean) at the higher points.
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Old 07-08-10, 01:01 PM   #3
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35/Skyline to 92 to 35/Skyline (via Old La Honda or Kings Mtn or Page Mill) down 84 back to 1 to Santa Cruz would be a more enjoyable way to go. From the 35/Skyline taking 9 down to SC would also be good, but would be almost no 'coast time'.
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Old 07-08-10, 06:35 PM   #4
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What makes Hwy 1 between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz look so bad? Going south is a pretty nice ride -- 45 miles with no stop lights or stop signs and generally a tailwind. The pavement is decent, except maybe around Ano Nuevo. The motor traffic isn't problematic for cyclists.

As for Hwy 9, the southernmost part, between Felton and Santa Cruz, is closed to all traffic (including bicycle and pedestrian) until November, but there are signs directing cyclists to take Graham Hill between Felton and Santa Cruz.
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Old 07-08-10, 08:22 PM   #5
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What's your bike setup? There is an "off road" path from Pacifica over the mountain to Montara on the "old road" that bypasses the slightly dangerous Devil's Slide section of HWY 1, where there is really no shoulder: the white line is pretty much on the edge of the cliff .

The "old road" (what's left of it: a bit of asphalt left but lots of packed dirt sections too) I usually take instead is a beautiful ride with beautiful views and is doable on a road bike, but more comfortable on cross tires or like 28mm road tires. I'd be happy to provide details or lead the way. After that, riding along HWY 1 to Santa Cruz isn't that bad. (I don't mean to scare you about devil's slide: i've done it no problem but some people freak out about it).

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Old 07-08-10, 08:59 PM   #6
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What's your bike setup? There is an "off road" path from Pacifica over the mountain to Montara on the "old road" that bypasses the slightly dangerous Devil's Slide section of HWY 1, where there is really no shoulder: the white line is pretty much on the edge of the cliff .

The "old road" (what's left of it: a bit of asphalt left but lots of packed dirt sections too) I usually take instead is a beautiful ride with beautiful views and is doable on a road bike, but more comfortable on cross tires or like 28mm road tires. I'd be happy to provide details or lead the way. After that, riding along HWY 1 to Santa Cruz isn't that bad. (I don't mean to scare you about devil's slide: i've done it no problem but some people freak out about it).
Yes, the 'old Hwy. 1' is a nice alternative over Devil's Slide, but it does add significant distance and elevation gain compared to staying on the highway. Here's the route and some pictures from a ride we did from Daly City to Montara taking Old Hwy. 1 on the way down and the new highway on the return:
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=609060
You can move the map around and zoom in to see the details of the route - and if you have a GPS you can download the tracklog.

And here's a longer loop we did going from Daly City down to Santa Cruz along the coast and then returning inland to the East Bay:
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=621491
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Old 07-08-10, 09:06 PM   #7
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What's this "the 1" you're speaking of?
Follow pelikan's advice and you'll have a great ride.
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Old 07-08-10, 11:43 PM   #8
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What's this "the 1" you're speaking of?
Haha! Beat me to it. We in NorCal don't put a stupid "the" in front of freeways. That's a lame SoCal thing hehe
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Old 07-09-10, 06:02 AM   #9
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Hwy1 from Half Moon Bay south is actually very nice even though it may not look like it on Google maps. The shoulder is wide, traffic is light except for sunny weekend days. Most times winds are from the north and you get a nice assist for 45 miles. Nothing like it. (I averaged 22.4mph for 45 miles last week. Don't ask me about the return trip tho.)

Getting to HMB is the tricky part because of Devil's Slide. Follow the advice about detours in Montara if you can. Pelikan's route is good if you like hills.

Answering your specific question, there are some parallel roads between HMB and Santa Cruz (at least in the Northern half of the route). Stage road, Cloverdale to Gazos Creek and others. All are quite pleasant, rolling hills, zero traffic.

If you want some company or a guide, I'd be happy to join you in the southbound direction.
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Old 07-09-10, 08:35 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the great route advice, some of the less than paved roads cutting across the coast mountains there look real intriguing in the redwoods natural area and back up the natural areas there (Higginns Canyon-Hawkins fire trail?)so will be rolling some wider tires for this trip! Old Highway 1, eh? Thanks for that.

The pictures and routes posted by prathmann look very intriguing.

I suspect i will be fine with the conditions on HWY1 as well but i googled a view of it with concrete barriers on both sides and crumbling pavement, it looked less inviting the Oregon HWY1 for sure. maybe i was viewing the devils slide section by chance.

Thanks too for the ambassadorial attitudes as well!

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Old 07-09-10, 09:49 AM   #11
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Can you ride from Pacifica to Skyline Drive on Sweeny Ridge and thru the wildlife area there with 32,35c tires or is it ubersandy?

I think i have to head down to Metzgers Maps today and get some resources!

thxk...

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Old 07-09-10, 06:54 PM   #12
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From Pacifica to Sweeney Ridge is Mori Ridge Trail. Definitely doable on 32/35c tires but there is about 200M of one section that's 30%+ that you'd probably have to walk unless you have MTB gearing. Once you connect to Sweeney Ridge, you'll descend along a paved path to Sneath Ln and eventually hook up with Skyline/35. The section of dirt trail that goes south along Sweeney Ridge is closed to the public.

Never you mind the ambassadorial attitude... we know Puget Sound is not SoCal.
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Old 07-10-10, 12:21 AM   #13
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Yeah, I live near the bottom of that trail from the nursery that goes up to the ridge and there is definitely one section I can't make it up. I tell myself that if only I had wider tires I could stand up and power up it (when I stand on the cross bike when it's that steep my tires just spin in the soft soil conditions there), but I doubt I'd make it no matter what bike. But it's just a short section to walk up. It's cool to explore around there and though I happen to have access to a lot of SF Water maintained facilities in the area, none of my keys work on that south gate! (if anyone is interested in riding on the rest of the watershed fire roads on the ridge between pacifica and hwy 92, there are group rides you can sign up for: I enjoyed it. Everybody brought mountain bikes but I was fine on my cross bike.)

If I was to ride from the Golden Gate to Santa Cruz, my preferred route would be pretty much like Prathmans:
Through the Presidio to The Great Highway. At end of Great Highway, I'd take Skyline Blvd. (35) to Daly City and somewhere before Westmoor Ave. I'd go over 1 block to the west to get on Skyline Drive (which is a residential street) and take that all the way down into Pacifica and continue pretty much like his route shows.
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Old 07-10-10, 07:37 AM   #14
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all the routing advice has been a great help in deciphering the area south of san francisco! thanks for all the great advice.

when I'm there I will try to find some local pickup club rides or will PM some of you to see if there's any riding plans i might be able to roll up on.

Thanks again! looking forward to developing a sense of place of the greater Bay area that only comes from exploration at human powered speeds. i've ridden the city and now need to get out north, south, and east.

Hoping to ride Mt Diablo, Mt Tam and more Marin county, and the hills and coast south of Pacifica on that old 1 route and the hills into the redwoods.

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