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  1. #1
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Ride Report - Classic Coastal Ride

    Velodiva and I decided to ride to the coast this weekend over Skyline Ridge on our tandem. It is one of the epic rides on the Peninsula and is highly recommend for cyclists that visit the San Francisco Bay area. It features two major climbs that wind through the redwoods and a minor climb as you approach the coast. After the first climb we were treated to a long curvy descent through the trees that flattens out on rolling hills with headwinds off the Pacific Ocean. It was a perfect fall day in the San Francisco Bay area, sunny with the highs around 70 degrees, although it gets chilly riding through the shady redwoods.

    Here are the summary metrics from Motion Based : 46.5 miles, 7800 feet of climbing, average speed 13.1 mph and the max speed 40 mph (not 61 mph).



    Below is the elevation profile of the ride. The first climb is Old La Honda which is the benchmark climb of the area. The second smaller climb is right before we reached Pacific Coast Highway. The third and final climb back up to Skyline is Tunitas Creek. It is tough and comes at the end of the ride. The climb is beautiful with very little traffic but the road is rough in spots. The Tunitas Creek climb takes about an hour.





    Here we are getting ready at the car. We started about 4 miles from the first climb to warm up.



    Here is Skyline in the backdrop; the Pacific Ocean lies beyond the ridge.

    Below is the first stop after climbing Old La Honda. This area is populated by LOTS of motorcyclists.







    Our underpowered hardware among the beasts.

    Here is the area after the descent.



    Here is a landmark stop, San Gregorio General Store, right before we began the climb up Stage Road to the ocean.

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  2. #2
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Here is the view of the Pacific Ocean taken by Velodiva from the back of the tandem at 35 mph.








    The actual ride along the coast was short. We turned east on Tunitas Creek and began the climb. The beginning of Tunitas Creek gave us a few miles of easy climbing. Here are a couple of pics while the going was easy.





    As we snaked among the redwoods, the road pitched up and began to inflict some pain.



    We made it to the top of Tunitas and climbed 2250 feet. We put on our wind vests and arm warmers and got ready for the 6 mile 6.7% descent.



    The descent down Kings Mountain was fast and curvy with numerous switchbacks. At that grade the tandem accelerates really fast and we are upon the next turn quickly. Our 10 inch disc brake worked really well and we were able to hit the turns with the perfect speed to maintain control.

    It is a great ride and highly recommended. Just make sure to bring your climbing legs and brakes.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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    Nice report and pics... thanks for sharing.

    We have done the skyline climb several times (between visitis to a Stanford student and trips with a high school Northern CA Volleyball player, daughters 1 and 2....) and it is beatifull and challenging. We ususally take Paige Mill road and go down to Pescadero and back. As we recall, the roads were in great shape.

    The average HR of whoever was wearing the HR monitor.... is that right?

  4. #4
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornucopia72 View Post
    Nice report and pics... thanks for sharing.

    The average HR of whoever was wearing the HR monitor.... is that right?
    Yes the HR is correct. My wife's resting HR is low. When coasting down Highway 84 and Kings Mountain, her HR drops and therefore the average is low. We recorded laps on the Garmin for each climb and we both recorded about 1 1/2 hours at lactate threshold for the day. The rest of the time, we tried to keep it in zone 2 or recovery.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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    That is very interesting. We usually average 130 bpm or higher in similar rides. With grades like that, it takes us at least 6X as long to go up as compared to going down. Go figure.

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    Great job you guys! That is a beautiful but tough 46 miles.

    We had a great ride with about 15 other cyclists-3 tandems total. We rode in Redriders and CGallagh back yard (Vacaville). Weather was fantastic, the roads were lightly traveled by cars, scenery was great.
    55 miles, 2800 feet, 16.9 av

    Here is a ride report and some pics:

    BF NorCal North Bay Ride 10-28 - Post Ride Report

    The after ride dinner at Redriders and CGallagh was epic-Thanks again you guys.

    Look forward to our next ride together.
    The hill - It is long - Lungs filling - Heart pounding - Muscles Pumping
    It hurts so good - I am alive
    I cycle

    Smooooth and Sassy
    Walnut Creek CA

  7. #7
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    If it was 73 degrees out, why were you wearing long sleeves?

  8. #8
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
    If it was 73 degrees out, why were you wearing long sleeves?
    When we started it was 60 degrees and we anticipated wide swings in temperature and wind. We wore layered clothing with arm warmers (they match the jerseys), leg warmers, jerseys, base layer, toe covers and windvests. At the top of Skyline, it was 10 degrees colder and it is even colder under the shade of the redwoods. We constantly adjusted our clothing as the temperature and riding conditions changed and we faced high speed, long, colder descents. When we returned to the car, the temperature was 75 degrees and we were wearing short sleeve jerseys and bike shorts. All the excess clothing was stuffed in our back bag.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  9. #9
    Senior Member PlanetU's Avatar
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    Can anyone provide a turn-by-turn description of this ride? My sister lives in Pacifica - and we need a nice route for our next visit!
    :-)

  10. #10
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanetU View Post
    Can anyone provide a turn-by-turn description of this ride? My sister lives in Pacifica - and we need a nice route for our next visit!
    :-)
    Coming from Pacifica you can pick this up via Canada and park at Edgewood or Highway 92 depending on how much warmup you want before OLH. You can also come down Highway 1 from Pacifica and pick up the route off of Highway 1 by turning left at Tunitas Creek. Tunitas Creek turns into Kings Mountain at the intersection of 35 at the top of the climb. At Roberts Market, turn right onto Mountain Home and follow the route back to Highway 1.

    Using Canada, Go south on Canada to the intersection of 84 and Canada Road, Roberts Market is on the right.
    Go through the intersection and Canada turns into Mountain Home,
    continue on Mountain Home until stop sign.
    Bear left at the stop sign onto Portola
    At the next stop sign turn right. You are still on Portola
    In approximately 1 mile turn right on Old La Honda. The road pitches up and you will climb for about 3.5 miles before you come to a stop sign,
    right on Skyline at the top and continue climbing followed by a fast descent to Skylonda at the intersection of Skyline and Hwy 84. (water available at a tap outside at the store on the NW corner of the intersection),
    west on 84 to San Gregorio (anther little store with water/food, etc. Take off your biking shoes, please),
    right on Stage,
    right on Hwy 1,
    right at the bottom of the hill just after you cross the bridge,
    climb Tunitas Creek Rd for an hour or so,
    descend Kings Mountain Rd.,
    left on Hwy 84 (stop at Roberts Market for water. They have a tap outside.),
    left at the stop sign and you are back on Canada

    Have fun and good cycling.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    ...
    west on 84 to San Gregorio (anther little store with water/food, etc. Take off your biking shoes, please),
    ...
    Just curious, why do you have to take off your bike shoes at this store? Would this apply to both road and MTB/Tour type shoes?

  12. #12
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    They have a wood floor and this stop is frequented by lots of cyclists. The management requests that cycling shoes are removed. Cyclists respect their request.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  13. #13
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    These displays from Motion Based are pretty impressive. Which GPS unit do you have?

  14. #14
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
    These displays from Motion Based are pretty impressive. Which GPS unit do you have?
    We have the Forerunner 305. It is the running version of the Edge 305 but has the same technology.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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