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Old 07-24-10, 05:32 PM   #1
pacificaslim
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Pacifica old san pedro rd. ride Sunday 7/25 at 11am

Sorry for the late notice. Beck is visiting the bay area and we are meeting up at the Pacifica Pier at 11am Sunday (July 25th) to take a ride over what's left of the old san pedro road to Montara. This was the road that cars used before HWY 1 was built around devil's slide. These days it's a narrow path of left-over asphalt and/or dirt and I recommend wider, lower volume tires (or cyclocross or mountain bikes) because it's got some bumpy sections. Figure 20 to 25 miles round trip back to Pacifica or more if we decide to venture anywhere else.

This weekend it's been pretty overcast here in Pacifica, and highs in the mid 60s, so you might want to dress a little warmer than usual for summer. I'll be bringing/wearing arm warmers and carrying a vest for the downhills.

If you're going to join us, post here or drop me a line at richstephens@yahoo.com.
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Old 07-25-10, 09:50 AM   #2
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Well, it is indeed overcast and cool. So if you're looking to escape the valley/east-bay heat, come on over!
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Old 07-25-10, 10:26 PM   #3
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That would have been a great ride, sorry I missed it. My family and I did go to Linda Mar beach for about 3 hours and got some of the overcast.
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Old 07-26-10, 09:41 AM   #4
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a rousing round of thanks to pacificaslim for acting as the totally cool tour guide and showing me a totally classic pacific coast ride!

the overcast made the climbing more comfortable, if anything.

great ride, totally cool ride in the greater bay area. I can highly recommend it. Totally doable as a day ride from the city. i finished it up with a ride back up to SFS, (the hills out of pacifica are STEEP!) then up Portola and down O'shaunassey for the longest uninterrupted descent in the city proper.
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Old 07-26-10, 06:47 PM   #5
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Good riding with you Beck. Let us know if you're heading down here again and we'll find some other routes to check out.

And if any of you out there want to ride in Pacifica or the coastal area anytime, let me know!
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Old 07-26-10, 07:15 PM   #6
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Pacificaslim: Do you know the status of the tunnel to bypass Devil's slide?

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-10, 08:26 PM   #7
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They are still working on the tunnel and it should open next year sometime. Here's the latest update that Caltrans has posted (pretty cool pic because you can see part of the roads/trails that we rode on this weekend):




I've heard that as soon as the tunnels open, the existing part of HWY 1 that it bypasses will close to cars but be open to bicycle/foot traffic.

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Old 07-26-10, 09:08 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot pacificaslim, next year is good news. Back in the 1970's when I was young and resilient, I went to Halfmoon Bay a few times taking Devil's slide but even back then, it was a risk. I'm looking forward to regularly taking the coast route when the tunnels open.

Thanks.
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Old 08-01-10, 09:48 PM   #9
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photos of the ride and typical conditions along the way. Somehow, pacificaslim led us up a twenty percent grade on one portion of the return trip... sheesh!


No, seriously a lot of fun, i hope and plan to ride there again. thanks to slim for showing the way, thanks once again!
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Old 08-01-10, 11:53 PM   #10
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thanks for the pictures! I swear on that first half mile of sandy dirt section from Montara back up that I saw over 20% on the Garmin a few times, but they must have been "smoothed" by the software to the 17% range upon upload. But here's a snapshot of what those grades were like, me just barely hanging on at 183bpm, 34rpm, and 4.7mph up a 17.3% section (Bek had "dropped me" at this point - he's a strong climber!):

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Old 01-01-11, 04:06 PM   #11
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Hi all, I'm a new member just reading this thread-- it sounds like a great route and I saw the photos.

Do you think it's doable on a road bike w/ 28mm tires if you drop the pressure a bit and take it slow in places (and if necessary, walk a few short sections)? Or not?
I may be organizing a ride out here with friends and not everyone has a mountain bike or wide tires, but we're also in no hurry.
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Old 01-01-11, 07:18 PM   #12
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I've done it before on 28mm panaracer pacellas. In fact I was going to do it today and that's what tires I have on the bike at the moment, but I got distracted with family stuff and didn't ride. It gets kind of bumpy in spots, but totally doable. I think Bek (above) was riding 32s or so, but 28s are ok, at least for light guys like me (150 lbs. /68 kg).

Most people are riding mountain bikes but I've seen people come over the road on fully loaded touring rigs, I've seen local racer types (webcor jerseys) come over on regular road bikes (and I assume 25mm tires at most).
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Old 01-01-11, 08:07 PM   #13
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Great, thanks for the reassurance!
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Old 01-01-11, 08:28 PM   #14
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Yes, it's quite doable on skinny road tires (i.e. around 23mm). Here's one trip we did going up that route but then returning over Devil's Slide on Hwy. 1. Shows some pictures, but also the GPS tracklog on the map and you can zoom in to see the details of the route:
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=609060
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Old 01-01-11, 09:59 PM   #15
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FWIW, I don't know if you plan to go over and back over old pedro or just one way and hwy the other way, but if I had to choose one way to ride around devil's slide on hwy 1, I'd choose to go south. This is because driver's shy away from the ocean side because they don't want to drive off the cliff: this gives you room to ride there, while moving the cars towards the middle of the road. Because of this movement of cars towards the middle of the road, it also scoots the northbound cars towards the land side, erasing what little space there is there and makes it very dangerous for bikes. There are spots on the right side where the white line is either right up against a barrier or the land so there is nowhere to go if cars are fading to the the right.

I've always had smooth sailing going south, but have been run off the road on the northbound side by a caravan of three school buses! I had a sliver of ditch 12" wide between the road and the cliff that they dropped me off into and it was all I could do to stay in there and not fall. Once they passed I climbed back up to the roadway, was so pissed that I chased them on the last descent into pacifica and caught them at the stop light and yelled at them (though they probably had no idea why i was angry).

At least on Old San Pedro, all you gotta watch out for are rabbits and the occasional horse or its dung.
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Old 01-17-11, 07:10 PM   #16
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Thanks for the tips, I rode it with a group of friends this weekend as part of an overnight san francisco -> montara trip (we took old san pedro in both directions, avoiding devil's slide altogether). We had bikes ranging from carbon road bikes with 23mm tires up to full-suspension mountain bikes (and even one guy pulling a small trailer, carrying clothes and supplies for Montara), and everyone had a good time. A few people had to walk short sections, and the rough downhill going south was a bit jarring on the hands and wrists, but I'd definitely do it again.

We also lucked out into two days of beautiful, sunny, nearly too-hot-for-shirts weather.
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Old 01-17-11, 08:01 PM   #17
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Is the fabled "Planet of the Apes" road? Ive always wanted to ride it.
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Old 01-17-11, 08:09 PM   #18
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Yup. I read about it in this book (partly available online, though I bought it to support him): http://books.google.com/books?id=5Dz...page&q&f=false

Here are some photos from my ride: http://bikeit.tumblr.com/post/280304...-mountain-road
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Old 01-24-11, 06:28 PM   #19
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Nice pictures. Out of pure coincidence, my teammates invited me to a ride last Thursday and it turned out it started on this road. It was night, on MTBs and got into some crazy ass stuff, but that road was a nice scenic climb. I hope to do it in daylight sometime.
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Old 01-24-11, 10:33 PM   #20
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Nice pictures. Out of pure coincidence, my teammates invited me to a ride last Thursday and it turned out it started on this road. It was night, on MTBs and got into some crazy ass stuff, but that road was a nice scenic climb. I hope to do it in daylight sometime.
I'd be interested in riding this as well. Lemme me know when you plan on going.
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Old 01-24-11, 11:44 PM   #21
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I've gone up Old San Pedro Rd to the point that it turns off onto some really steep downhill-bike-recommended type stuff. I did it on a 5" full squish bike and it had some really fun downhill sections. I've not taken it over Montara Mountain into Montara. I'm will to try it out on either cross bikes or MTBs if anyone's game.
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Old 01-25-11, 07:27 PM   #22
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I'm always up for riding that route, as I live in Pacifica. To add a little bit of dirt fire road type trail riding to the route, we could meet by the Pacifica pier (plenty of parking for those driving over), ride up and over Mori Point on those trails, then ride up the switchbacks at Rockaway and come down into Linda Mar and head (by road) over to the trailhead for Old San Pedro.
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Old 01-26-11, 12:11 AM   #23
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I'm always up for riding that route, as I live in Pacifica. To add a little bit of dirt fire road type trail riding to the route, we could meet by the Pacifica pier (plenty of parking for those driving over), ride up and over Mori Point on those trails, then ride up the switchbacks at Rockaway and come down into Linda Mar and head (by road) over to the trailhead for Old San Pedro.
Was actually thinking I'd drop down Sharp Park road - I've always wanted to try that on the bike.

Henry and Mateo, care to put a date on the calendar for this one? No MTB for me, all I have is my Ti road bike.
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Old 01-26-11, 08:00 AM   #24
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Sharp Park is nice now that it's been repaved. They still didn't get the drainage quite perfect so if it's raining or recently rained, keep an eye out for water just before the last left turn at the bottom.

One thing I've been meaning to call the City or Caltrans about is the reflective bumpers reinstalled on the overpass to slow cars before the right turn on the west side of hwy 1. There is a big mass of them, many rows deep. When they were all torn up, there were plenty of paths to take through them on a bike without hitting the reflectors. Now they are pretty solid and the only way to not hit them is to ride on the painted white line which I try to avoid in winter since they can be slick. I feel like just chipping off a few myself to give a bike tires width path through those things! 'Cause while taking the lane for that turn, I like to maintain car speed but don't like hitting those things at 25-30mph.
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Old 01-26-11, 09:35 AM   #25
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Was actually thinking I'd drop down Sharp Park road - I've always wanted to try that on the bike.

Henry and Mateo, care to put a date on the calendar for this one? No MTB for me, all I have is my Ti road bike.
I would be interested in joining this ride. Always wondered about it. Let me know!
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